Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

[Discussion] Canucks, Five Undrafted NCAA Free Agents to Consider


Recommended Posts

 

You can never have enough talented players in the system. Here, for your perusal, are  five undrafted NCAA free agents who are generating significant interest from NHL teams this spring:

 

1. LD Connor Mackey - Junior, Minnesota State (Mankato)

6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 34 GP, 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points

Exactly 28 of the NHL’s 31 teams have expressed interest in Mackey since he set foot on Mankato’s campus. He was highly sought after last season but returned for his junior campaign and set some ground rules: no contact from NHL teams after Christmas so he could focus completely on the season. Seven NHL teams personally met with Mackey before Christmas, two others have joined the fray since, and all nine are willing to offer Mackey a chance to immediately step into the NHL this season and burn the first year off his entry-level contract. Mackey, 23, has NHL bloodlines - his father, David, played 126 games - and he’s expected to set a new college career high in points as a big blueliner who can skate.

2. G John Lethemon - Senior, Michigan State

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 31 GP, 2.10 GAA, .937 SV%

Lethemon would probably scoff at the notion that he is a “late bloomer.” The 6-foot-2 netminder has started nearly half of the Spartans’ games each of his four seasons in East Lansing. There were NHL teams – including the Winnipeg Jets – that had interest in spending a late-round pick on Lethemon back when he was draft eligible. Plus, goaltenders routinely take the longest to develop. But it’s this season – with his consistency and the third-best save percentage in the country – that has really caught the eye of NHL teams. He cemented his status as the premiere free agent goalie when he outduelled the other candidate, Penn State’s Peyton Jones, in a 48-save shutout in Happy Valley in November. There are six or seven clubs with serious interest. For Lethemon, it will all be about the best fit as opposed to just upfront dollars because he has his eyes set on a long and fruitful pro career - a mirror of his time at Michigan State.

3. LD Brinson Pasichnuk - Senior, Arizona State

5-foot-10, 208 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 36 GP, 11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points

The waiting has been the hardest part for Pasichnuk. Since the Sun Devils are an independent, they don’t have a conference tournament and automatic bid. The team has been sitting around since Feb. 22 waiting to find out whether their season will continue in the NCAA tournament. Pasichnuk is an undersized, but thickly built offensive genius who is third among all defenceman in the nation in scoring this year. The co-captain and power play quarterback, seemingly on the ice half the game with fellow undrafted free agent Josh Maniscalco, is very likely to step into the NHL this season. After 20 teams displayed varied interest, the Bonnyville, Alta., native is believed to be down to three suitors. All three are willing to have him burn the year on his entry-level deal this season. Now the hope is that the wait, almost like an NHL training camp for Pasichnuk, will not cost him some meaningful pro games.

4. LW Drew O’Connor - Sophomore, Dartmouth

6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Age: 21

Stats: 29 GP, 21 goals, 11 assists, 32 points

The ECAC’s Co-Player of the Year has sprouted into a can’t-miss find. O’Connor was just 5-foot-8 at age 18, a big reason he wasn’t on NHL radars in his draft year, but has grown to 6-foot-3 while playing for the appropriately named for the Big Green. NHL teams have flocked to watch O’Connor, who they see as a legitimate NHL power forward prospect with a nose for the net. His 38 goals (in 68 games) are the third most in the country over the last two seasons – with a 16 per cent shooting percentage this season – but his overall game has grown as much as his body. There is definitely no shortage of NHL interest in O’Connor, but there is no guarantee the sophomore will decide to leave school early.

5. RW Mitchell Chaffee - Junior, Massachusetts

6 feet, 200 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 30 GP, 16 goals, 13 assists, 29 points

If Cale Makar was UMass’ engine on their Frozen Four run last year, Chaffee was one of the key cogs offensively. He took home the Herb Gallagher Award as best forward as voted by the New England College Hockey Writers, won the Hockey East scoring title, and was named a first-team All-American. Those accolades don’t come by accident, even if they didn’t bring quite as much name recognition. This season, Chaffee’s total point production has dipped a bit with the departure of some significant talent from the team, but he’s on track to set a new career high in goals. Scouts see Chaffee as a talented skater whose game has matured, and one who could well find his way to the NHL. The Michigan native and two-time Hockey East All-Academic team player will have plenty of options available if he decides to depart Amherst after three years.

Also under consideration: C Josh Dunne (Clarkson), C Patrick Khodorenko (Michigan State), C Will Graber (Dartmouth), LD Matt Kiersted (North Dakota), LW Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State/Mankato), LD Colton Poolman (North Dakota), RD Josh Maniscalco (Arizona State).

Link

  • Thanks 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Seeker1 said:

 

You can never have enough talented players in the system. Here, for your perusal, are  five undrafted NCAA free agents who are generating significant interest from NHL teams this spring:

 

1. LD Connor Mackey - Junior, Minnesota State (Mankato)

6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 34 GP, 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points

Exactly 28 of the NHL’s 31 teams have expressed interest in Mackey since he set foot on Mankato’s campus. He was highly sought after last season but returned for his junior campaign and set some ground rules: no contact from NHL teams after Christmas so he could focus completely on the season. Seven NHL teams personally met with Mackey before Christmas, two others have joined the fray since, and all nine are willing to offer Mackey a chance to immediately step into the NHL this season and burn the first year off his entry-level contract. Mackey, 23, has NHL bloodlines - his father, David, played 126 games - and he’s expected to set a new college career high in points as a big blueliner who can skate.

2. G John Lethemon - Senior, Michigan State

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 31 GP, 2.10 GAA, .937 SV%

Lethemon would probably scoff at the notion that he is a “late bloomer.” The 6-foot-2 netminder has started nearly half of the Spartans’ games each of his four seasons in East Lansing. There were NHL teams – including the Winnipeg Jets – that had interest in spending a late-round pick on Lethemon back when he was draft eligible. Plus, goaltenders routinely take the longest to develop. But it’s this season – with his consistency and the third-best save percentage in the country – that has really caught the eye of NHL teams. He cemented his status as the premiere free agent goalie when he outduelled the other candidate, Penn State’s Peyton Jones, in a 48-save shutout in Happy Valley in November. There are six or seven clubs with serious interest. For Lethemon, it will all be about the best fit as opposed to just upfront dollars because he has his eyes set on a long and fruitful pro career - a mirror of his time at Michigan State.

3. LD Brinson Pasichnuk - Senior, Arizona State

5-foot-10, 208 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 36 GP, 11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points

The waiting has been the hardest part for Pasichnuk. Since the Sun Devils are an independent, they don’t have a conference tournament and automatic bid. The team has been sitting around since Feb. 22 waiting to find out whether their season will continue in the NCAA tournament. Pasichnuk is an undersized, but thickly built offensive genius who is third among all defenceman in the nation in scoring this year. The co-captain and power play quarterback, seemingly on the ice half the game with fellow undrafted free agent Josh Maniscalco, is very likely to step into the NHL this season. After 20 teams displayed varied interest, the Bonnyville, Alta., native is believed to be down to three suitors. All three are willing to have him burn the year on his entry-level deal this season. Now the hope is that the wait, almost like an NHL training camp for Pasichnuk, will not cost him some meaningful pro games.

4. LW Drew O’Connor - Sophomore, Dartmouth

6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Age: 21

Stats: 29 GP, 21 goals, 11 assists, 32 points

The ECAC’s Co-Player of the Year has sprouted into a can’t-miss find. O’Connor was just 5-foot-8 at age 18, a big reason he wasn’t on NHL radars in his draft year, but has grown to 6-foot-3 while playing for the appropriately named for the Big Green. NHL teams have flocked to watch O’Connor, who they see as a legitimate NHL power forward prospect with a nose for the net. His 38 goals (in 68 games) are the third most in the country over the last two seasons – with a 16 per cent shooting percentage this season – but his overall game has grown as much as his body. There is definitely no shortage of NHL interest in O’Connor, but there is no guarantee the sophomore will decide to leave school early.

5. RW Mitchell Chaffee - Junior, Massachusetts

6 feet, 200 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 30 GP, 16 goals, 13 assists, 29 points

If Cale Makar was UMass’ engine on their Frozen Four run last year, Chaffee was one of the key cogs offensively. He took home the Herb Gallagher Award as best forward as voted by the New England College Hockey Writers, won the Hockey East scoring title, and was named a first-team All-American. Those accolades don’t come by accident, even if they didn’t bring quite as much name recognition. This season, Chaffee’s total point production has dipped a bit with the departure of some significant talent from the team, but he’s on track to set a new career high in goals. Scouts see Chaffee as a talented skater whose game has matured, and one who could well find his way to the NHL. The Michigan native and two-time Hockey East All-Academic team player will have plenty of options available if he decides to depart Amherst after three years.

Also under consideration: C Josh Dunne (Clarkson), C Patrick Khodorenko (Michigan State), C Will Graber (Dartmouth), LD Matt Kiersted (North Dakota), LW Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State/Mankato), LD Colton Poolman (North Dakota), RD Josh Maniscalco (Arizona State).

Link

#2 please! We need more depth in goal.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could see Jim going for some of that C depth in the 'under consideration' group. Its going to be hard to attract the top tier guys since we don't have open spots the way we used to and other teams have to dangle. 

  • Cheers 1
  • Vintage 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I could see Jim going for some of that C depth in the 'under consideration' group. Its going to be hard to attract the top tier guys since we don't have open spots the way we used to and other teams have to dangle. 

We have plenty of possible open positions on the back end . Myers and Hughes are the only two that don't seem to be going anywhere soon. Everybody else is definitely open to be replaced. Tanev's is a UFA this summer,  edler the next.  

 

If they went for anyone off this list, their first choice would no doubt be one of the D.

Edited by cuporbust
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Seeker1 said:

 

You can never have enough talented players in the system. Here, for your perusal, are  five undrafted NCAA free agents who are generating significant interest from NHL teams this spring:

 

1. LD Connor Mackey - Junior, Minnesota State (Mankato)

6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 34 GP, 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points

Exactly 28 of the NHL’s 31 teams have expressed interest in Mackey since he set foot on Mankato’s campus. He was highly sought after last season but returned for his junior campaign and set some ground rules: no contact from NHL teams after Christmas so he could focus completely on the season. Seven NHL teams personally met with Mackey before Christmas, two others have joined the fray since, and all nine are willing to offer Mackey a chance to immediately step into the NHL this season and burn the first year off his entry-level contract. Mackey, 23, has NHL bloodlines - his father, David, played 126 games - and he’s expected to set a new college career high in points as a big blueliner who can skate.

2. G John Lethemon - Senior, Michigan State

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Age: 23

Stats: 31 GP, 2.10 GAA, .937 SV%

Lethemon would probably scoff at the notion that he is a “late bloomer.” The 6-foot-2 netminder has started nearly half of the Spartans’ games each of his four seasons in East Lansing. There were NHL teams – including the Winnipeg Jets – that had interest in spending a late-round pick on Lethemon back when he was draft eligible. Plus, goaltenders routinely take the longest to develop. But it’s this season – with his consistency and the third-best save percentage in the country – that has really caught the eye of NHL teams. He cemented his status as the premiere free agent goalie when he outduelled the other candidate, Penn State’s Peyton Jones, in a 48-save shutout in Happy Valley in November. There are six or seven clubs with serious interest. For Lethemon, it will all be about the best fit as opposed to just upfront dollars because he has his eyes set on a long and fruitful pro career - a mirror of his time at Michigan State.

3. LD Brinson Pasichnuk - Senior, Arizona State

5-foot-10, 208 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 36 GP, 11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points

The waiting has been the hardest part for Pasichnuk. Since the Sun Devils are an independent, they don’t have a conference tournament and automatic bid. The team has been sitting around since Feb. 22 waiting to find out whether their season will continue in the NCAA tournament. Pasichnuk is an undersized, but thickly built offensive genius who is third among all defenceman in the nation in scoring this year. The co-captain and power play quarterback, seemingly on the ice half the game with fellow undrafted free agent Josh Maniscalco, is very likely to step into the NHL this season. After 20 teams displayed varied interest, the Bonnyville, Alta., native is believed to be down to three suitors. All three are willing to have him burn the year on his entry-level deal this season. Now the hope is that the wait, almost like an NHL training camp for Pasichnuk, will not cost him some meaningful pro games.

4. LW Drew O’Connor - Sophomore, Dartmouth

6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Age: 21

Stats: 29 GP, 21 goals, 11 assists, 32 points

The ECAC’s Co-Player of the Year has sprouted into a can’t-miss find. O’Connor was just 5-foot-8 at age 18, a big reason he wasn’t on NHL radars in his draft year, but has grown to 6-foot-3 while playing for the appropriately named for the Big Green. NHL teams have flocked to watch O’Connor, who they see as a legitimate NHL power forward prospect with a nose for the net. His 38 goals (in 68 games) are the third most in the country over the last two seasons – with a 16 per cent shooting percentage this season – but his overall game has grown as much as his body. There is definitely no shortage of NHL interest in O’Connor, but there is no guarantee the sophomore will decide to leave school early.

5. RW Mitchell Chaffee - Junior, Massachusetts

6 feet, 200 pounds

Age: 22

Stats: 30 GP, 16 goals, 13 assists, 29 points

If Cale Makar was UMass’ engine on their Frozen Four run last year, Chaffee was one of the key cogs offensively. He took home the Herb Gallagher Award as best forward as voted by the New England College Hockey Writers, won the Hockey East scoring title, and was named a first-team All-American. Those accolades don’t come by accident, even if they didn’t bring quite as much name recognition. This season, Chaffee’s total point production has dipped a bit with the departure of some significant talent from the team, but he’s on track to set a new career high in goals. Scouts see Chaffee as a talented skater whose game has matured, and one who could well find his way to the NHL. The Michigan native and two-time Hockey East All-Academic team player will have plenty of options available if he decides to depart Amherst after three years.

Also under consideration: C Josh Dunne (Clarkson), C Patrick Khodorenko (Michigan State), C Will Graber (Dartmouth), LD Matt Kiersted (North Dakota), LW Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State/Mankato), LD Colton Poolman (North Dakota), RD Josh Maniscalco (Arizona State).

Link

I would say Brinson is the biggest price of the 5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, cuporbust said:

We have plenty of possible open positions on the back end . Myers and Hughes are the only two that don't seem to be going anywhere soon. Everybody else is definitely open to be replaced. Tanev's is a UFA this summer,  edler the next.  

 

If they went for anyone off this list, their first choice would no doubt be one of the D.

I hope so cuporbust!  

We may not be the most appealing club to join because we have fringe NHLers that would be competition for the would-be-signee in Juolevi, Brisebois, Chatfield and Rafferty, but a closer inspection shows that if you're good enough for the NHL, you can leapfrog a lot of those guys and be within a year of being an NHLer on a young up and coming team.  

We have a great track record with the college players so I expect that we will sign at least one guy this year, although it might be someone completely out of the left field. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brinson would be a good defensive prospect for the Canucks to look into. He fits a skill set the Canucks need to fill. I don't see the Canucks being in the running for Lethemon, Mackey, O'Connor, or Chaffee. I can see Lethemon going to Winnipeg, MacKey going to Detroit, O'Connor doing an extra year in the NCAA, and Chaffee going elsewhere.

 

The NCAA guys I'm really intrigued by are: Johnny Walker (Arizona State), James Sanchez (Arizona State), Jordan Kawaguchi (North Dakota), and Odeen Tufto (Quinnipac). Kawaguchi and Tufto are C's. Sanchez and Walker are wingers. Walker is an Arizona born and bred player playing for Arizona State and so I can see him signing with the Coyotes, becoming a nice feel good story for the team. Sanchez is having a breakthrough NCAA season and could return for his senior year.

 

But for NCAA players, the Canucks should target a C or two and that's where I feel like Kawaguchi and Tufto could be sly pick ups. Tufto especially as he is an Assist machine. Either player could slot in as the 1C in Utica next year.

 

Chances of the Canucks signing a NCAA winger are slim with Lockwood likely to get a contract before the end of the month.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

I could see Jim going for some of that C depth in the 'under consideration' group. Its going to be hard to attract the top tier guys since we don't have open spots the way we used to and other teams have to dangle. 

That's a good point.  These guys want to play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another Listing --- 2020 NCAA Free Agent NHL Watch List—Forwards

As NCAA hockey has gradually moved towards older players, the NHL has taken more and more notice of some of the late-bloomers that may have been overlooked when they were younger, but have developed into players that could contribute at the professional level. Dozens of NCAA players annually are signed as free agents to NHL contracts after the season.

Here’s a look at some of the forwards that should be on NHL radars, and will be watched throughout the season as potential NHL free agent signings:

Roman Ahcan-Soph.-Wisconsin ‘99

I already wrote about Ahcan’s excellent start to the season here. Size was a big limiting factor when he was Draft eligible, but since then, he has proven he can play the type of fast, physical game that one needs to succeed at the pro level. He’s not a traditional NHL prospect, but fits the mold of a Karson Kuhlman, whose speed and grit have earned him NHL time with the Boston Bruins.

Corey Andonovski-Soph.-Princeton ‘99

Andonovski had a quiet rookie season last year for Princeton playing behind two of the top free agents in college hockey in Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner, but looks primed for a breakout season in his second year. He was a fringe NHL Draft prospect in his first year of eligibility in 2017, making Central Scouting’s draft rankings, but ultimately went unpicked.

Since then, Andonovski has continued to fill out physically, becoming a better skater and showing good hockey sense and scoring touch around the net.

Cal Burke-Sr.-Notre Dame ‘97

Burke has always been a player that excelled at doing the little things to make his team better that didn’t always get noticed. Now, as a senior, he is finally starting to get some of the credit he deserves as he leads Notre Dame in scoring, and is captaining an Irish team that looks to be one of the best in the country. He doesn’t project as much of a scorer at the pro level, but is a very mature, responsible player that should play his role well. He attended Washington’s prospect development camp last summer.

Mitchell Chaffee-Jr.-UMass ‘98

One of the major figures in UMass’ dramatic turnaround over the past three years, Chaffee was among the leading scorers for the Minutemen in each of first two years, and projects to be their leading scorer again this year, possibly even improving on his sophomore scoring total, despite no longer playing with Cale Makar. He’s likely to earn first team All-Hockey East honors for the second straight year in a league packed with good NHL prospects.

Chaffee isn’t overly tall, but extremely strong and a good skater. His strength and toughness make him difficult to defend against and could make him an effective pro.

Casey Dornbach-Soph.-Harvard ‘97

Dornbach really blossomed as a prospect in his final year of junior hockey and has developed into a premier playmaking forward in college hockey. His ability to handle the puck and distribute it to teammates is elite and should earn him some looks from NHL teams.

Josh Dunne-F-Clarkson ‘97

There’s a favorable comparison to be made between Dunne and his teammate last season, Nico Sturm, who was one of the top free agents available in college hockey. Dunne is a big power forward that protects the puck well, plays hard one both ends of the ice, and has developed into a very reliable two-way center in his time at Clarkson.

Nick Halloran-Sr.-Colorado College ‘97

Halloran came into last season as one of the top free agents available, drawing interest from a number of teams. But a chronic hip injury slowed him down, and ultimately ended his season early when he opted to have surgery to repair it—his second surgery after having the opposite hip repaired previously. Now back for his senior year, Halloran looks more like the player that had scouts interested two years ago. He drives the offense on Colorado College’s top line, using his hockey sense and playmaking ability to lead his team in assists.

Max Johnson-Jr.-Bowling Green ‘98

Johnson is a strong, skilled power forward, that excels in making plays in the dirty areas around the net, while also having the skating ability to play a 200-foot game. He’s off to a slower start statistically this season after a career year as a sophomore, but at his best, his combination of grit and skill is very intriguing.

Alex Limoges-Jr.-Penn State ‘97

Limoges’ offensive production sometimes gets overlooked because he plays in the wide open Penn State offense, but his skating ability and the way he handles the puck is good enough that it would play anywhere. He’s had a slow start to the season and unlikely to reach the 50-point mark like he did last season, but is still a talented player with a lot of offensive upside.

Ludwig Stenlund-Soph.-Niagara ‘97

Stenlund isn’t likely to draw a lot of national attention because he is playing on one of the worst teams in college hockey this season. But he had an outstanding freshman season scoring 42 points in 41 games, and having a hand in about one out of every three goals scored by Niagara. He’s a big forward that could be a nice scoring threat if surrounded with a little more help. His strong rookie campaign earned him an invite to New York Islanders development camp last summer.

Parker Tuomie-Sr.-Minnesota State ‘95

Having already turned 24 years old, Tuomie barely qualifies as a prospect at this point, but he’s been a very effective NCAA player for four years now, playing a strong, fast 200-foot game that should translate well to the pro level.

Johnny Walker-Jr.-Arizona State ‘96

Walker has carried Arizona State’s offense for the past two seasons, but it is his willingness to play with a physical edge that will most likely get him a look in the NHL. Walker is a pest that is excellent at getting under the skin of the opposition, while still being skilled enough that he could justify a spot in an NHL line-up.

 
 
 
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...