Jake Walman is another name to keep an eye on in this draft. The Toronto, Ontario native was the top prospect in the Ontario Junior Hockey League this past winter for a reason.
The Toronto Jr. Canadien defenseman has improved leaps and bounds over the past two years, but has continuously impressed scouts, moving from 60th in the mid-term to 47 in the final rankings put out by Central Scouting.
There is not much to dislike about the Providence College recruit. Nate Leaman is getting a well-seasoned blue liner who controls the game well in all three zones. He is a great athlete who has good footwork and quickness in tight quarters.
Walman, who had seven goals and 26 assists this season in Jr. A, developed nicely under the tutelage of head coach Mario Cicchillo. Walman does a nice a job of taking charge and not letting the play work past him. His physicality and strength are improving, but he will surely continue to get bigger and stronger in the weight room at Providence.
Former NHL enforcer Claude Lemieux was his coach in midget hockey with the Toronto Red Wings and North York Rangers. Lemieux's son Brendan, ranked 28th among North American skaters, was also on the team.
Walman has a good hockey IQ and does a nice job with gap control. He will be joining a Providence team in the fall that will be a preseason favorite to win Hockey East and possibly make some noise nationally. The Friars are led by standout goaltender Jon Gillies, a Calgary Flames prospect.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 47
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
2013-14 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL)
2014-15 Team: Providence (NCAA)
Strengths: Terrific footwork, agility and athleticism, good vision in transition, plays well both ways
Weakness: Still needs to add some muscle, but his physical game has improved
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.