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2015 Top 100 NHL Prospects in the NCAA: #41-50

Matt Christians

Today, we enter into the final 50 players on our countdown of the top 100 NHL prospects in the NCAA this year.

Here are the previous installments of the list:






41. Jonathan MacLeod, Defenseman, Boston University (Tampa Bay Lightning)

The former USNTDP blue liner has gotten better defensively as the season has progressed. He still makes his share of freshman mistakes, but when he's on, he's very good. His gaps are strong, he wins a lot of one-on-one battles, has a good stick and he is physical. He gets called for penalties that wouldn't be called at the next level based on his his size and the tightness of how the college game is called.

42. Joey LaLeggia, Defenseman, Denver (Edmonton Oilers)

joey laleggia denver (Matt Christians) Matt Christians

(photo by Matt Christians)

LaLeggia is an offensive defenseman that has managed to hit double digits in goals scored in each of his four seasons at Denver. His size could be problematic at the next level, but he has really improved on the defensive end of the ice over the course of his career to become a more complete player.

43. Blake Coleman, Forward, Miami(New Jersey Devils)

blake coleman miami (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Coleman is a very gritty, hard-working player. He's not huge, but he plays bigger than his size with a tough, in-your-face style. He's got the speed, strength, and skill to be an excellent third or fourth line player at the pro level.

44. John Gilmour, Defenseman, Providence (Calgary Flames)

John Gilmour Matt Dewkett

(Photo by Matt Dewkett)

The Friar defenseman is currently out with a finger injury, but the Montreal native is a solid skater with the ability to distribute the puck and get the breakout going. He has three goals and six assists on the season. He does a nice job of walking the blue line and getting shots through.

45. Blake Pietila, Forward, Michigan Tech (New Jersey Devils)

Pietila is a strong two-way forward. He has great straight line speed and enough size and muscle that he's very difficult to knock off the puck. He's also shown excellent leadership abilities as captain of the resurgent Huskies. He doesn't project as a big scorer at the next level, but he'll be a solid, reliable depth player.

46. Paul LaDue, Defenseman, North Dakota(Los Angeles Kings)

paul ladue dakota (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

LaDue came to North Dakota as an older freshman last season, which allowed him to jump right into the college ranks as an effective defenseman. This year, he continues to play a much more mature game than his sophomore class rank would suggest. He's a player that North Dakota counts on in key defensive situations. He reads the ice in front of him very well both with the puck and on defense.

47. Brandon Montour, Defenseman, UMass(Anaheim Ducks)

The former USHL Player of the Year has made an immediate positive impact since joining the Minutemen for the second semester. He has three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 17 games played. Six of those points have come on the power play, but his difference has been felt in all three zones. His skating, passing and ability with the puck have made the zone exits much better. He's also helped with getting the puck into the opponent's zone for the power play. UMass was 4-11-0 before his arrival and 6-9-2 with him.

48. Zach Hyman, Forward, Michigan(Florida Panthers)

zach hyman michigan (Bill Rapai)

(photo by Bill Rapai)

After looking like a wasted draft pick for two-and-a-half years of his Michigan career, Hyman began to turn a corner midway through last season, and has parlayed that into a dominating senior season where he is one of the top scorers in the country. Hyman excels working along the boards, where he uses his frame and quick hands to control the puck and create scoring opportunities.

49. Michael Paliotta, Defenseman, Vermont(Chicago Blackhawks)

michael paliotta vermont (Matt Dewkett)

(photo by Matt Dewkett)

Paliotta's Catamounts have struggled in the second half, but he's been a big a part of the team's success the past two seasons. He's not as smooth or as quick as other defensemen known for their puck-moving skills and power play prowess, but he's effective. He has a hard shot from the point and is poised and confident with the puck when breaking it out of the zone.

50. Austin Czarnik, Forward, Miami(Free Agent)

austin czarnik miami (Matt Christians)

(photo by Matt Christians)

Czarnik's lack of size continues to be the biggest knock on his pro potential, and likely the reason he's still in college as a senior. But he has so many other assets that make him an effective player, like his quick feet, great anticipation, strong stick, and great passing ability. He's struggled to put the puck in the net this year, but has been a great distributor of the puck and manages to work his way onto the scoresheet almost every night.