NHL Draft: Incoming Freshmen - Forwards

July 28, 2005

What follows is a list of some of the top college forwards eligible for this Saturday's 2005 NHL Entry Draft, as ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Service and Hockey's Future.  Be sure to check out CSTV.com's team features on Michigan and Boston College for more on some of the top incoming freshmen in the Draft.


Jack Skille, Wisconsin


Height/Weight: 6'1", 198 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 9/11

2004-05 Team:  US NTDP Under-18 Team

2004-05 Stats: 55 points (24g, 31a) in 54 games


Jeff Dahlia, Hockey's Future:  Skille is a great skater who displays good speed and quickness. He is a prototypical power forward who does a tremendous job on the forecheck. Even though he has the ability to bury the puck with skill, he isn't the flashiest of players out there. He is a high-octane type of player who finds ways to get things done and is not afraid to get dirty. He is a very responsible player at both ends of the ice and is a good positional player. Overall, his commitment and work ethic is second to none, both on and off the ice.


Ryan Stoa, Minnesota


Height/Weight: 6'3", 200 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 11/13

2004-05 Team:  US NTDP Under-18 Team

2004-05 Stats: 38 points (14g, 24a) in 38 games

Jeff Dahlia, Hockey's Future:  At 6-3 and a bit over 200 pounds, Stoa has the potential to develop into an effective power forward in the future. He is a good skater who possesses deceptive speed despite his size, and has a great set of fundamental skills. Stoa does a good job using his body to protect the puck, which helps him to be effective down low and in the corners. He is a good forechecker but also has a bit of a scoring touch. Stoa has shown himself to be a more effective setup man, but he will find ways to bury the puck.

Justin Abdelkader, Michigan State


Height/Weight: 6'1", 195 lbs

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 29/25

2004-05 Team: Cedar Rapids (USHL)

2004-05 Stats:  52 points (27g, 25a) in 60 games

D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: The Muskegon, MI native was a key contributor to the success of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and their capturing of the Clark Cup (USHL Championship) last season. Cedar Rapids head coach Mark Carlson's insights on Justin Abdelkader: "Justin is an excellent skater. He has a great release, good shot and is very good around the offensive net. He's a good two-way forward who plays well at both ends of the ice. He is also physical. Justin is a very coachable player who is of tremendous character. For Justin to be successful at the next level, I don't think that he needs to grow more into his 6'1/195 lbs body as much as just the whole maturation process."

T.J. Oshie, North Dakota


Height/Weight:  5'10½", 170 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 109/43

2004-05 Team:  Warroad H.S.

2004-05 Stats:  99 points (37g, 62a) in 31 games


Eric Vegoe, Hockey's Future: It seems as if Oshie developed his game playing pond hockey. The forward displays great strong skating, creative puck skills, and a flair for goal scoring. The Fighting Sioux recruit defined himself as one of the better one-on-one threats in the state and there will be a lot of eyes on him as he makes the transition into the WCHA.


Jason Bailey, Michigan


Height/Weight: 6'0", 205 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final)

2004-05 Team:  US NTDP Under-18

2004-05 Stats: 47/56

Jeff Dahlia, Hockey's Future:  Bailey is a versatile, two-way winger who plays with an edge and is a pure competitor. He is the type of guy a coach would want to send up against the opposition's top line to shut it down. Bailey is a good skater with exceptional speed. He is very reliable at both ends of the ice. Although he is not much of an offensive threat, Bailey isn't afraid to get dirty on the forecheck to get things done.




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