Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CHL Drafts

One note, that is somewhat related to this post. Last weekend I said that the NCAA was pushing back the time when colleges could first call a prospect. That is true, however it only applies to prospects that are living in a foreign country. That seems like a fair compromise on the NCAA's part. They're acknowledging that there is a hockey-specific problem, and seem to be giving it a hockey-specific solution.

Anyway, the Canadian major junior leagues will be holding their drafts this week. The WHL will draft '92 birthdates on Thursday, while the OHL will draft '91 birthdates on Saturday.


Theoretically, top prospects like Cam Fowler, Kenny Ryan, Beau Schmitz, Sam Calabrese, Matt Duchene, and Brad Smith won't be extremely high picks that will get signed since they have already made commitments to colleges, but I'm sure that there are teams out there working hard to advise them against sticking with their commitment. I still think Duchene is the biggest threat since he's been living in Canada, though there are definitely things working in Michigan State's favor, including the fact that he'll likely be joining the Spartans in 2008.

Article on Notre Dame recruit Cam Fowler likely bypassing the OHL.

The stock of Ferris State recruit Beau Schmitz has really risen over the past year, and despite being a defenseman that is less than 6 feet tall, he's become very highly desired by the OHL. It'd be a shame if Ferris State lost him, because he's an outstanding player.

Zach Tatrn-Erie could be a team that is very interested in securing him. The Otters draft first overall, and while they might not take him with the first pick, they could take him early in the draft and get him to sign. His USHL profile was pretty non-committal either way in terms of NCAA vs. OHL.

Brandon Maxwell- He's originally from Florida, but has been playing hockey in the middle of Ontario, and will likely draw a ton of interest from the OHL. He recently committed to the NTDP program, but there are rumors that Kitchener and London are very interested in him, and will try to get him to sign.

Andrew Agozzino-His brother played in the OHL, but his cousin, Mike Cammalleri played college hockey and did quite well for himself.


Luke Moffatt is said to have the talent to go first overall in the draft, though I get the impression that he just might choose the NCAA route, which would be great for college hockey. If he falls even a couple spots in the draft, I think that would be a good sign.

Two other big prospects on the west coast, Matt Nieto and Shane Sooth, along with Moffatt, skipped a recent WHL camp in California. That might be a good sign for college hockey, though a more cynical view would be that they are just using the threat of not reporting to leverage a better deal in the WHL.

Another player that could have gone extremely high in this year's draft is Notre Dame Midget forward Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz scored a ton of points this season, but he seems very intent on going the NCAA route. His brother, Rylan, is already committed to Colorado College.

A player that has already been drafted, but is definitely worth keeping an eye on is Langley(BCHL) forward Taylor Stefishen. Stefishen is a '90 birthdate that had an outstanding year for Langley and is one of the top prospects in the BCHL. At the beginning of last year, a Prince George newspaper reported that Stefishen told the Prince George Cougars, who drafted Stefishen, that he would report to their camp next year, but later in the season, Stefishen said he was most interested in getting a college scholarship and playing college hockey.


I was going to skip this draft because I don't know a ton about Quebec. THe QMJHL won't hold their draft until June 2nd. Here's a look at their Central Scouting draft list. They keep all of the Americans seperate, since most likely wouldn't report.

Steven Anthony is 3rd on their list, which is interesting since I've seen people who have right behind John Tavares in the 2009 NHL draft. Anthony has apparently shown some interest in some Eastern schools, but I'd be shocked if the Q let him get away. One of the kids ahead of him on the draft list is Louis Leblanc, who Chris Heisenberg at least lists as a potential college player. I'd guess that if he's ranked that highly, he'll probably end up in Quebec, but he has been offered scholarships from Clarkson and Vermont according to USHR.

At 8th on the list is one of Leblanc's teammates, defenseman Danny Biega. His brother Alex plays for Harvard, and his other brother, Michael, is committed to Harvard for next season.