Only one player in the top 50 of the NHL Central Scouting Service's Final Rankings saw his stock rise more than St. Lawrence defenseman Gavin Bayreuther. The Holderness Academy alum and former Cedar Rapids RoughRider enjoyed a remarkable climb in his freshman season for the Saints.
Bayreuther climbed 67 spots from 115 to 48 between the mid-term and final release from Central Scouting, a testament to the player he is and his ability to shine on the big stage in ECAC Hockey.
Bayreuther, a Canaan, NH native, had nine goals and 27 assists in his rookie season in Canton. 23 of his 36 points came on the power play for Greg Carvel's club.
"Gavin has a tremendous shot. He's outstanding for a freshman defenseman," Carvel told SBNation following his team's win over Quinnipiac in February.
Many point to his offensive numbers as the reason for his rise, but for those who have seen him play, the biggest reason his stock went up so much was his improvement in his own zone. Bayreuther has always been able to put up big offensive numbers for a blue liner, whether it be in prep school, USHL or college.
Carvel, a former NHL scout and assistant coach, and his staff was able to develop Bayreuther's defensive game throughout the season. He was the only defenseman who dressed regularly for the Saints to finish the season with a plus/minus in the positive category (+1).
Bayreuther is the type of player who will continue to get better as he works his way through the college game. He is not a quick fix for an NHL organization, but he is the type of player that could compare favorably to a Torey Krug if he stays in school a few more seasons.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 48
Hometown: Canaan, NH
2013-14 Team: St. Lawrence (NCAA)
2014-15 Team: St. Lawrence (NCAA)
Strengths: High skill set from the blue line, has a great shot and the ability to see up ice and create offense in transition
Weaknesses: Play in own zone has come along way, but still work to do, needs to work on gap control
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.