Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Early Departures?

Andy Baggot has a Badger Beat post about early departures so why not chime in.

Overall, I think the # of early departures will continue to go down as the seasons go on. Following the NHL labor dispute, I think there was a great need for players to fill the minors, and now there just isn’t as much room or need. I’ve discussed this w/ several Badger fans who have come to a similar conclusion themselves. One year players will start staying in college an extra year, two year players will see a junior year, and three year players will graduate before moving on to a pro career. Nothing concrete here, just a theory.

In Baggot’s post, he thinks that WCHA POY and Hobey Finalist Jamie McBain and winger John Mitchell are the most likely candidates to leave early. He thinks Ryan McDonagh, Blake Geoffrion, Cody Goloubef and Brendan Smith will be back. 3 months ago I would have said no way McD and Boom^2 return, but now I’m not so sure.

Here are my estimations on early departures. The % I give is the chance they will leave early. I’ll go by position.

Goalie

Scott Gudmandson – 0%

Defensemen

Jamie McBain – 99%
Ryan McDonagh – 50%
Brendan Smith – 30%
Cody Goloubef – 20%
Jake Gardiner – 10%
Craig Johnson – 0%
Ryan Little – 0%
Eric Springer – 0%

As NHL draft picks, McD, Smith, Goloubef and Gardiner have to be given a decent %. You never know what an organization is thinking w/ these kids. McD might be rumored to come back, but I say the chances are as good he leaves for the Canadiens. Smith was talking about his NHL career during his first semester freshman year, though I’d think the Red Wings want to see more improvement on defense before pulling out the checkbook.

Forwards

John Mitchell – 67%
Blake Geoffrion – 50%
Podge Turnbull – 20%
Chris Hickey – 20%
Derek Stepan – 15%
Jordy Murray – 2%
Patrick Johnson – 1%
Andy Bohmbach – 1%
Michael Davies – 0%
Ben Grotting – 0%
Sean Dolan – 0%
Matt Thurber – 0%
Aaron Bendickson – 0%
Ben Street – 0%
Tom Bardis – 0%

If Mitchell gets a nice offer, he would be dumb not to take it. He has come so far in the past two seasons, and a pro career is w/ in his grasp. My opinion on Geoffrion is the same as McDonagh. Says he is back, but Robbie Earl said that too. Turnbull and Hickey are both NHL picks who didn’t get much playing time this season. Will Turnbull crack the lineup consistently next season w/ Craig Smith, Derek Lee and possibly Mark Zengerle coming in? Personally I don’t think Hickey received enough ice time this season, I liked what I saw when he did play. Jordy Murray very well could hear his name called in this June’s NHL Draft, probably in the later rounds. I don’t think Patrick Johnson would ever leave early, but he was a draft pick and the Bohmber had a great junior year.

Everyone else should be back, unless they transfer or “something”.

As for other WCHA teams, here are some possible early departure candidates:

North Dakota – Chay Genoway (Jr), Chris VandeVelde (Jr)
Denver – Tyler Bozak (So), Patrick Wiercioch (Fr)
CC – Richard Bachman (So), Brian Connelly – already gone
minnesota – Ryan Stoa (Jr), Jordan Schroeder (Fr)
St. Cloud – Ryan Lasch (Jr), Garrett Roe (So), Garrett Raboin (Jr)
Duluth – Alex Stalock (Jr), Justin Fontaine (So)
Mankato – Kael Moullierat (Jr), Kurt Davis (So)
UAA – Paul Crowder (Jr), Tommy Grant (So)
Tech – Well……

What do you think? Feel free to leave some comments below.