Friday, February 19, 2010

College Hockey 247 Releases Top 50 Recruits

As we talked about yesterday, the new Rivals.com recruiting site College Hockey 247 was in the process of revealing its top 50 recruits for the upcoming 2010 hockey season.

First, they released the top 10 list which featured Badger incoming forward recruit Mark Zengerle at #6 overall, who was very honored to be included.

Recently they released the full list of 50 which includes another Badger, incoming forward recruit Michael Mersch from the USA NTDP U-18 squad. Mersch checks in at #40 overall.

Overall looking at the list that they put together, it's not a bad list. I can't say that I could put together a better one by any means. They polled college, and junior coaches as well as pro scouts to come up with the list, along with their staff.

The biggest problem with looking at a list like this is that this is a list of the best players coming into school, not a list of who will be the best while they are IN school. Using NHL scouts is fine but they are evaluating players to play at the professional level, and we're looking for opinions on how these players are going to do at the college level.

That's a major reason why I feel that Zengerle is going to be an absolute star at Wisconsin because he's most likely to be a 3-4 year player for the Badgers with his size/age combination, where as players like Zucker, Bjugstad, and Bennett (who are all excellent players) will only be in college for a year or two before they turn professional. But it's not like the guys who are putting together can penalize Zucker because what if he ends up staying 4 years? Nothing is guaranteed.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, the guys who put together the list did a nice job, but don't take this for gospel on who is going to be the best team because they have the most players on the list. You need to have a good mix of high end 1-2 year players and solid players who are going to be there for four seasons.

If I had a few suggestions for the list? I have a REAL tough time believing that Brock Montpetit is not one of the top 50 recruits in the country. The kid is having an absolute MONSTER season for Waterloo with 56 points through the first 43 games of the season. That is very impressive in the USHL no matter how old you are. Montpetit is only 3 months older than Notre Dame recruit Anders Lee, has out performed him this season, yet Lee is ranked #21 overall, and Brock is left off the list. I'm scratching my head at that one.

I think the same can be said for Brock's teammate at Waterloo, Badger forward Tyler Barnes. Barnes is having a very nice bounce back year in the USHL averaging over a point a game for the Black Hawks. Barnes is going to be one of those 4 year players that could be a very good point producer for the Badgers in a year or two.

I think North Dakota recruit Nick Mattson is listed a bit high on the list. His stock has fallen quite a bit since he originally committed to North Dakota while with the NTDP. He's going to be a good college player but I think his ranking might be a bit inflated. Overall I think the NTDP as a while is a bit inflated in these rankings.

I am a bit surprised to see them list North Dakota recruit Dillon Simpson on the list. Simpson is a very, very, very good 1993 born defenseman that when he committed recently, admitted that he had accelerated his studies in hopes of playing college hockey next season. It still has not been confirmed that he will be a 2010 recruit but apparently College Hockey 247 didn't care as the included him at #20 on the list. If Simpson goes to North Dakota next season, they have the potential of rostering 11 defensemen if Genoway gets a red-shirt.

I also think that Minnesota recruit Max Gardiner is too high on this list. I'm not saying this because he's going to Minnesota and his brother is a Badger. I've seen him on a few occasions and I think he's a very good player but I'm not even sure he's going to crack the lineup at Minnesota next year and College Hockey 247 has him listed as the 14th overall recruit in the country. I think that ranking is inflated because of Gardiners pro stock being a projected first round pick, not because of what he's going to do at the college level.

On the flip side as far as Minnesota is concerned, I think Mark Alt should be higher. I think he could be a key defenseman for Minnesota right off the bat. He's extremely talented and if it wasn't for talk of possibly playing football in college I would have to assume he would have been higher on this list.

I'll wrap this up with one more forward who I think is getting the shaft a bit and that is BU recruit Sahir Gill. I don't know a ton about the kid but from every account I've heard, the kid is a very impressive forward and probably should be ranked higher than 39th in the country.

Thats all I have for now. It's 5:00 AM and I haven't had my coffee yet. I'm sure I'll come up with more later.

Photo by RedHeat15


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