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2015 Top 100 NHL Prospects in the NCAA: #51-60

Matt Christians

This is the fifth installment in our series counting down the top 100 NHL prospects playing NCAA hockey this season.

To read the previous installments:





51. Patrick McNally, Defenseman, Harvard(Vancouver Canucks)

The former Milton Academy star was an integral part of the Crimson's first half success. His injury coincided with the demise of the Harvard season. He's a one-man breakout who can distribute the puck with both his skating and his vision for lead passes. He had four goals and 12 assists in 15 games before the injury. He's sound in his own zone, has good size and a good stick.

52. Andy Welinski, Defenseman, Minnesota Duluth(Anaheim Ducks)

andy welinski duluth (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Welinski has always been known as a tough, defensive defenseman, but over the past two years at Minnesota Duluth, he has also developed more of an offensive game. He's still likely a defense-first player at the next level, but his toughness and hockey intelligence will make him a nice player.

53. Carson Soucy, Defenseman, Minnesota Duluth(Minnesota Wild)

carson soucy duluth (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Soucy is a very fun player to watch because he's one of the few players capable of laying a bone-crunching hit and making a sweet stickhandling move around an opponent in the same shift. If he can improve his skating enough to handle the speed of the NHL, he's got the skills as a big defenseman to be very effective on both ends of the ice.

54. Mark MacMillan, Forward, North Dakota(Montreal Canadiens)

mark macmillan dakota (Matt Dewkett)

(photo by Matt Dewkett)

MacMillan has always had sweet hands and good goal-scoring touch around the net, but over the course of North Dakota career, he's developed into a much stronger, tougher forward that is very tough to knock off the puck. He's a strong skater as well and is capable of playing a good 200-foot game.

55. Robbie Russo, Defenseman, Notre Dame(New York Islanders)

Photo Gallery: Russo Hat Trick Powers Irish

(photo by Matt Dewkett)

Russo came back to Notre Dame after missing the second half of last season due to academic problems and has been a leader for a young Irish team all season, recently earning the right to wear the captain's 'C'. Russo is a solid all-around player, though he likely lacks the size to be a big defensive presence at the pro level. He's added a more offensive dimension to his game this season, however, as one of the top-scoring defensemen in all of college hockey.

56. Brett Seney, Forward, Merrimack(2015 Draft Eligible)

Merrimack Completes Sweep of Quinnipiac Matt Dewkett

(Photo by Matt Dewkett)

The London, Ont. native really took Hockey East by storm over the first semester, but two separate small injuries plus opponents game planning for him has limited his impact the past month or so. He's small, but his speed is absolutely dynamic. He can absolute turn the jets on and blow by opposition. He's ranked #141 by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming draft, but he's a player that could squeak through the cracks.

57. Aidan Muir, Forward, Western Michigan(Edmonton Oilers)

aidan muir western (Matt Christians) Matt Christians

(photo by Matt Christians)

Muir is the rare blend of a power forward with a big frame that has the footspeed to be effective in open ice. He's not much of a scorer yet, but his compete-level on the defensive end and willingness to throw his body around makes him effective even if he isn't scoring.

58. CJ Franklin, Forward, Minnesota State(Winnipeg Jets)

cj franklin mankato (Matt Christians) (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

A classic late-bloomer, Franklin has continued his meteoric rise after being drafted by the Jets in his last year of draft eligibility last summer. Franklin has worked his way up to a spot on the top line for a very good Minnesota State team. Franklin is a strong skater with a great release on his shot. He's still learning to harness his incredible physical talents and become a smarter hockey player, but when he does, he could develop into an excellent player.

59. Kenney Morrison, Defense, Western Michigan(Free Agent)

kenney morrison western (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Morrison is an offensive-minded defenseman with a big shot from the point that has continued to develop on the defensive end of the ice over his college career. He could still improve on the defensive end a bit, especially in terms of using his size more effectively, but his puck-moving abilities and offensive upside make him an intriguing prospect.

60. Ryan Collins, Defenseman, Minnesota(Columbus Blue Jackets)

ryan collins minnesota (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Collins is a tall, lanky defenseman that was expected to be a bit of a project when the Blue Jackets selected him in the second round of last year's draft. That was the case when Collins showed some shakiness early in the season, but he has progressed nicely over the course of the season, earning a regular spot on a Minnesota blue line with seven other NHL Draft picks and showing flashes of using his enormous size to be a shutdown defensive defenseman.