Baer. Posted December 16, 2015 Share Posted December 16, 2015 Written by Bob McKenzie Most of the college teams are on their Christmas break, but NHL teams have, for the most part, identified the players worthy of their attention. It’s far from an exact science. One team’s top target is another team’s “are you kidding me?” That said, and bearing in mind this is far from a scientific poll, it would appear Minnesota State University junior defenceman Casey Nelson is generating more interest than most. Nelson is a 23-year-old, 6-foot-2, 182-pound right-shot blueliner from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc. “Decent size, good skater, moves the puck, definitely has a chance,” one NHL scout said. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=90050 Nelson has three goals and 12 points in 19 games played this season. He attended Philadelphia’s prospect camp last summer. Beyond Nelson, a pair of smallish goal-scoring wingers and a goaltender led the way in a highly informal/random poll of scouts. University of North Dakota senior Drake Caggiula probably could have signed an NHL contract after last season – I wrote about him here – but the Toronto-area prospect (grew up in Pickering, moved to Whitby) opted to return for his final college season. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound, 21-year-old has 13 goals and 27 points in 19 games. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=97396 University of New Hampshire sophomore winger Andrew Poturalski, a Buffalo-area product, has been on fire for the Wildcats this season, scoring 14 goals and 30 points in 15 games. He’s 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. Scouts seem divided on whether he has that special quality – usually speed – that allows a smaller player to survive and thrive in the NHL, but he’s still getting lots of attention. Poturalski turns 22 on Jan. 14. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=109632 The goalie most in the college UFA spotlight this season is Yale junior Alex Lyon, a 6-foot-1 Minnesotan who is 6-3-2 with a .932 save percentage in 11 games. It will be interesting to see if he opts to turn pro at season’s end. Since he’s already 24, if he were to stay at Yale and graduate, he’d be a 25-year-old free agent in 2017, which means he’d be too old to sign an entry-level contract in the NHL. Which is to suggest there are no compensation limitations once out of the entry-level phase. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=114768 A handful of other collegians received multiple mentions as targets from NHL scouts. They include: - University of North Dakota junior defenceman Troy Stecher from Richmond, B.C. At 5-11 and 191 pounds, with three goals and 13 points in 20 games, scouts are hoping the 21-year-old Stecher could develop like Jared Spurgeon. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=59042 - Union college junior forward Mike Vecchione, who had 19 goals and 50 points in 39 games last season for the Dutchmen but is off to a slower start this season with five goals and 11 points in 14 games. Vecchione, who is 5-10, 195 and turns 23 in February, attended (his hometown) Boston’s summer prospect camp. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=98845 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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