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2015 Top 100 NHL Prospects in the NCAA: #61-70

Matt Christians

This is the fourth installment of our list of the top 100 NHL prospects in the NCAA this season.

Previous installments of the list can be found here:

#91-100

#81-90

#71-80

61. Brien Diffley, Defense, Boston University (2015 Draft Eligible)

brien diffley bu (Matt Dewkett)

(photo by Matt Dewkett)

This might be a little high for the Burlington, Mass. native, who really emerged on the scene just recently. He was a relatively late commit out of prep school, but his skating and ability with the puck have been what has stood out. His zone exits are very solid, but his defensive play has been in question, especially of late. He does have a good stick in the neutral zone, plays his gaps well and is aggressive. He's a late bloomer who could progress still, but the jury is still out on his defensive capabilities as a while.

62. Louie Belpedio, Defense, Miami (Minnesota Wild)

louie belpedio miami (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Belpedio is a smaller, offensive defenseman that has jumped right into a spot on the Miami power play, and had success there as a rookie. Belpedio is an agile skater and has good offensive instincts that allows him to sneak in from the point at opportunistic times for scoring opportunities. He could still be a bit more sharp on his own end of the ice, but his offensive talents make up for that, as evidenced by his excellent +/- rating.

63. Tucker Poolman, Defense, North Dakota (Winnipeg Jets)

Poolman has had to play some forward this year due to the depth of talent on North Dakota’s blue line, but he’s a defenseman by trade, and should develop into a pretty good one with a few more years at North Dakota. Poolman is big, strong, and athletic with a cannon for a slap shot. With a year of college hockey experience under his belt, and some other North Dakota defensemen moving on, Poolman should begin to take on a bigger role for North Dakota next season.

64. Adam Wilcox, Goalie, Minnesota (Tampa Bay Lightning)

adam wilcox minnesota (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

It's been a tale of two seasons for Adam Wilcox. In the first portion of the season, Wilcox looked like the calm, confident goalie Minnesota has come to rely on in the first two years of his college career. But a difficult stretch through the middle part of the season tanked his statistics and raised questions about his future. Wilcox is undersized for a pro goalie, but when he's playing well, he has the athleticism to overcome that.

65. Colton Hargrove, Forward, Western Michigan (Boston Bruins)

colton hargrove westen (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Hargrove manages to play a power forward-style game while also being light enough on his skates to have some mobility. He picks his spots well, moving to the front of the net and screening the goalie at just the right moment, rather than using brute force to battle in front of the net. He has a wicked release on his shot as well, which has made him an effective goal scorer at the NCAA level.

66. Hampus Gustafsson, Forward, Merrimack (Free Agent)

The big Swedish import has been a strong presence on the ice for the Warriors this season. When he uses his size and strength to his advantage, he can really maintain puck possession and cycle down low. He is a power forward in the true sense. He doesn't have the hands or agility to weave in and out of traffic, but he can force his way right to the scoring areas. He's also been incredibly good on face-offs for Mark Dennehy's team.

67. Eddie Wittchow, Defense, Wisconsin (Florida Panthers)

One of Wittchow's biggest assets is his ability to keep things simple. He rarely makes the big, flashy play--and he's yet to register a point in 18 games this season--but he makes a lot of easy, but effective passes that help move the puck out of his own zone. His good footwork makes him a nice one-on-one defender and he's quick enough to cover a lot of ground defending in his own zone.

68. Tom Parisi, Defense, Providence (Free Agent)

There might not be a better free agent defenseman in Hockey East than the Friar junior, who has been a steadying presence all season long for Nate Leaman's team. His +12 plus/minus leads all PC blue liners and he's chipped in three goals and added 10 assists. He's a heady player who is a fluid skater. Although he's not as flashy as some of the team's other defensemen, he keeps things simple and is solid in all three zones.

69. Jack Glover, Defense, Minnesota (Winnipeg Jets)

jack glover minnesota (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

It's been a rough transition to college hockey in Jack Glover's freshman season. There's been little patience for the typical growing pains of a true freshman defenseman on a deep Gopher blue line, which has left Glover only playing 14 games so far this season. All the tools are there for the big defender with remarkable skating ability, however. Next season will give him more opportunity to show his talents, and with another year of physical maturity and experience against the speed of college hockey, he could be an excellent player.

70. Kyle Rau, Forward, Minnesota (Florida Panthers)

kyle rau minnesota (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Rau is among the active career-scoring leaders in all of college hockey. He's small, but he relies on grit and hockey intelligence to always be around the puck and making plays. Opponents hate to play against him because he's a true pest on the ice. But it's hard to deny that skills that he has, or the tenacity that he plays with.