Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Part II: The ECAC

As a conference, the ECAC had a very nice draft day, with 14 current or future players being picked by NHL teams. Teams that saw someone with their name called were Harvard, Cornell, Yale, Brown, RPI and Quinnipiac. We'll get to the Crimson in part 3 of our series but for now, let's just focus on the rest of the league. In part 1 of our series, we looked at the selections of the Crimson's non-conference opponents.

Brown - The Brown Bears had the quietest draft day of the teams above, with only one player getting selected. That was 6 foot, 195 lbs. rising sophomore Dennis Robertson, selected 173rd overall by Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Robertson was 4th on the Bears in points last season with 17.

Cornell - The Cornell Big Red had one of the best draft days in the league, garnering the first three picks to come out of the league. The Stanley Cup Champion Bruins, led by a Harvard front office, dipped into the familiar territory of an ECAC pick by selecting Big Red incoming freshman Brian Ferlin with the 121st pick of the draft. Ferlin, a Floridian, spent two years with the Indiana Ice of the USHL. The big 6'2", 201 lbs. RW put up 16 points in his rookie season in juniors, but followed that up with an impressive 25 goals, 48 assists for 73 points, including 23 points on the PP (11 PPG, 12 PPA). With that type of build and scoring touch, Ferlin strikes me as potentially being a Colin Greening type forward for the Big Red. Cornell also had the next two picks from the ECAC, with the first being Joel Lowry, selected 140th by Los Angeles. Listed at 6'1", 180 lbs., the LW will likely look to fill out his frame in the weight room. Lowry put up impressive numbers in his two seasons with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, including 24 goals and 43 assists in the past season. His brother Adam, who went the WHL route, was drafted 3rd overall and his father is Dave Lowry, assistant coach of the Calgary Flames and former NHLer. The next and final pick for Cornell was at 145th overall, as incoming Big Red forward Phillipe Hudon got drafted by the Red Wings. The Choate Prep product said in 2010 that he bases his game off of Milan Lucic (The Hockey News), meaning the power forward should have no problem fitting into Cornell's system. Hudon can play either center or wing- he has a center's mentality but his talents fit in better on the wing.

Yale - The Yale Bulldogs saw two commits get drafted into the NHL in the later rounds, though neither player is expected on campus until 2012. The first future Bulldog to go was Rob O'Gara, who was taken 151st overall by the Boston Bruins. The local blueliner, who won the New England prep championship this year with Milton Academy, already has size at 6'3" and has good skills moving the puck, though he's seen as a project for the NHL (NESN). The thought that he has another year to grow physically as well should certainly frighten the other 11 teams in the ECAC. The second commit to go was Colin Sullivan, another future Bulldog defenseman, as Sullivan was drafted 198th overall by Montreal. A local Connecticut product, Sullivan is described as a great skater (Bruins 2011 Draft Watch) despite his 6'0", 200 lbs. frame, certainly fitting the Eli blueprint.

Quinnipiac - Keeping up with their Connecticut rivals, the Bobcats also had two future players drafted in the later rounds of the Entry Draft. Incoming freshman Matthew Peca was the 2nd of their two picks, going 201st overall to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Pembroke River Kings center won the 2009-10 CJHL Rookie of the Year title in 2009-10 after scoring 47 points in 60 games. Despite playing 10 less games in 2010-11, Peca put up 72 points, scoring 26 times and adding 46 assists. Peca is diminutive at 5'9" and only 165 lbs. yet is a solid playmaker, hard worker and two way talent with speed that is problematic for defensemen (Ottawa Sun). He is also apparently not related to Michael Peca. Quinnipiac will add another NHL pick to the roster in 2012, when Josh Manson, 160th overall and an Anaheim Ducks selection, is expected to enroll. The 6'3", 205 lbs. forward-turned-defenseman played in the BCHL for Salmon Arm. After 24 points as a forward in his first year with Salmon Arm, Manson converted to the blue line and increased that total, scoring 12 goals and adding 35 assists. His father is former NHLer Dave Manson.

RPI - The 'Tute was also a well represented team at the NHL Entry Draft, with two Engineers getting drafted in the later rounds. The first was rising sophomore defenseman Patrick Koudys, who went 147th overall to the Washington Capitals. Not far after his was RPI's second selection was goaltender Jason Kasdorf, selected 157th overall by the newly reformed Winnipeg Jets, his hometown team. Originally a 2012 prospect, Kasdorf is expected to attend RPI in the fall to share the goaltending duties with Bryce Merriam after the early departure of Allen York to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kasdorf, who once played for the Winnipeg Thrashers midget AAA program, had hoped that the formerly Atlanta Thrashers and now hometown Winnipeg Jets would select him and they did. He led the Portage Terriers to the Anavet Cup. Here's a link to audio from Portage coach Blake Spiller (Portage Online).

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