Monday, November 05, 2007

Rising to the Challenge

Here’s a look at a few uncommitted college prospects that I think really helped increase their stock over the course of the Elite League season.

Jeff Costello, Catholic Memorial(Wis)

Most of the attention throughout the fall focused on his Team Wisconsin teammates Seth Soley and Nate Condon, who both committed to schools over the Elite League season, but Costello was almost as good as his teammates. But unlike Soley and Condon, Costello is only an 11th grader. There weren’t many inspiring Elite League performances from ’91 and ’92 birthdates in the Elite League this year, which could make Costello’s services highly-sought after by WCHA schools for 2009 or 2010.

Justin Jokinen, Cloquet

Jokinen got a little bit of attention last year, playing alongside Tyler Johnson, but this fall, he showed that he can be excellent on his own. He’s 6’3” 185 lbs., with a nice shot and good skating ability. It shouldn’t be long before he starts fielding scholarship offers.

Anthony Raiola, Minnetonka

I’ve always though Raiola was a fantastic player, and this fall, he helped cement that with 12 points, which was tied for 4th among defenseman in scoring.

Zach Lehrke, Park Rapids

Lehrke made the Select 17s this past summer as an alternate, and this year in the Elite League, he earned a reputation as a hard-working forward with pretty good skills.

Nick Nagel, Totino-Grace

Nagel was fairly unknown prior to this fall, but put up some big points in the Elite League thanks to being paired on a line with the speedy Adam Mueller. He’s a big guy with a fair amount of potential that was listed by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau as a “B” prospect.

Corey Leivermann, Mankato Western College Hockey

Leivermann has long been known as one of the best players in southern Minnesota, but with the exception of the Rochester area, being the best player in southern Minnesota is often about as big an honor as being the best football at Notre Dame. But Leivermann proved that he could play this fall by scoring a lot of points during the Elite League season and making one of the NIT all-star rosters. His skating isn’t the greatest, but he’s a hard worker and a very unselfish player that showed he has a knack for getting to the right spot at the right time to score goals.