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Great 8 Recap Part 2: College Prospects

This is my list of guys that I had made it a point to watch before the tournament started. I had seen these guys either mentioned on Chris Heisenberg's site as a college prospect, or I had seen them at the State tournament and they caught my eye.

Nick Canzanello-Defenseman-Rochester Mayo- If he was bigger, he would already be committed to a college and be playing college hockey next fall. He was the best defenseman I saw at the tournament. He did everything very well. He's an excellent skater, plays defense well, and scored two goals on Saturday to help his team steal a win. He'll be a solid, dependable defenseman at the college level.

Brett Peterson- Elk River- You could make a strong argument for him being the best forward at the tournament. He's a big, powerful forward that can skate pretty well, and has pretty good hands. He had at least 3 goals on the weekend, and was almost single-handedly responsible for his team pulling out a win on Friday. A year in juniors wouldn't hurt, but I don't think he'd look that out of place if he played in college hockey next season.

Nick Oslund-Burnsville-Sometimes I think it's kinda unfair in a game that has very little hitting, to have a guy who is playing in front of a ton of scouts and knows his ticket to the next level is his physical play. Oslund is a nice mix of strength and speed. He had a bunch of very nice hits, and showed some good skills. At the same time, he was on a line with Andy Sackrison, which was kept off the scoreboard. He wasn't really recognized as a college prospect until late this winter when he was named a Mr. Hockey finalist, but he'll definitely find somewhere to play in college. Teams are always going to find room for a big guy that can skate and hit.

Addison DeBoer-Spring Lake Park- He's a very fast skater, and scored a bunch of points on Friday. His skating ability is probably WCHA-level, but I think he could use a year or two of juniors to bring the rest of his game up to his skating ability. He'll be a nice addition to a college team some day though.

Brian Downing-Defenseman-Duluth East- Definitely has the size, but still looked kind of raw, like he was still growing into his body. I think he'll be a good player down the road.

Brian Arrigoni-Hill-Murray-He has all the physical skills. Great skater, great balance, good hands, nice shot. It's probably more the mental side of things he needs to improve on before a college commits to him. He tried to be too cute and fancy with his play on Friday. He's the type of player where the effort and intensity isn't always there. He's got so much talent that somebody is going to pick him up though.

Karl Gilbert-Hermantown- I saw Gilbert score a hat trick in the state tournament for Hermantown earlier this month, and he scored a goal in each of the two games I saw him this weekend. He's not really a standout player, but he's effective, and has pretty good size.

Robbie Philipp-Thief River Falls- Very thin frame, but is a good skater and a very pesky player. He's not going to be a great offensive threat, but he's the type of guy you'd want on the ice a lot.

Matt Beggs-Apple Valley-He was an all-state selection in goal. He looked decent, but didn't do anything to especially stand out.

Rob Bordson-Duluth Marshall-He was impressive in the state tournament for Marshall. This weekend he didn't really stand out that much, but was still a solid player.

Gabe Guentzel-Defenseman-Hill-Hurray-Not the most physically gifted player, but pretty good. He made a couple mistakes, but overall played a pretty smart game.

Tyler Pederson-St. Louis Park- Very big, but he didn't play all that well. He got beat a couple times, and looked a couple steps slower than the other players. Most of the skills he lacked are things that can be taught and learned through experience though, and his size is a definite asset.

Josh Bergren-Centennial-A pretty good skater, but he hasn't stood out at all in the three times I've seen him play. He's got some talent, but I think it will be tough for him at higher levels due to his size.

Joey Miller-Wayzata- I really didn't watch a lot of his team, so I can't say too much about his play. He didn't do much on the couple shifts I saw him play.

Zack Faust-White Bear Lake- He was playing with a leg injury that made it very hard for him to push off with his right leg, so you really couldn't tell too much.