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Best of the West #20: Derek Lee, Wisconsin

Derek Lee, Forward, 5-10 165 lbs., Victoria(BCHL)


Role he'll likely play: Lee fills a role that the Badgers really haven't had in recent years: a small playmaker who excels at setting up his teammates. Mike Davies is a small, offensively gifted player, but he has nearly as many goals as assists in his college career, whereas Lee is more likely to have at least 2 assists for every goal he scores. Lee could be a valuable asset, especially on the powerplay, where he has the ability to set up some of Wisconsin's big defensemen at the point.

Why he is ranked here: Lee was an outstanding player in the BCHL for three years, so his numbers declined a bit last season when he switched teams, and there are some concerns about his game translating to the next level due to his lack of size.

Why he'll be great: Lee has shown the ability, if he finds the right chemistry, to pick up a lot of assists. The fact that Wisconsin doesn't have a lot of players like him means that if he's good, he'll play a lot.

Why he might not: It's not easy to play in the WCHA at just 165 lbs. He might have to add some weight before he really stars to be effective.

Contrived Rivals-style star ranking: 3 and a half stars