This is the ninth installment of our annual list of the Top 100 NHL prospects playing in the NCAA this year, covering spots 56--60 on the list.
60. Brian Pinho, Center, Providence(Washington Capitals)
Aside from his steady ascension up the depth chart, Pinho has elevated his overall game and has become a reliable player in all situations. The North Andover, Mass. native has 10 goals and 28 assists in 36 games, coming close to equaling his point total from his first two years in a Friars uniform.
"He’s stepped up in being a more consistent player and in his point production. He’s stepped up on the kill, on the power play and on his face-offs," Leaman complimented.
—from our full feature on Pinho, March 7th, 2017
59. Adam Huska, Goalie, Connecticut(New York Rangers)
At 6-foot-4, the 2016-17 USHL Goaltender of the Year covers a lot of the net. On Saturday night he did a good job playing big, being positionally sound, squaring up to shooters and making saves look easy.
“I’m trying to be big in net. I’m trying to skate a lot in the crease,” Huska explained.
—from our full feature on Huska, November 19th, 2016
58. Dakota Joshua, Center, Ohio State(Toronto Maple Leafs)
Joshua might have been a better fit on the Truculence-era Maple Leafs than the current high-flying offense Toronto team. He’s a tall, lanky centerman that is very strong and plays a physical game that sometimes crosses the line.
He’s a good defensive center, though slow feet sometimes cause poor puck retrieval and more time spent playing defense than necessary. On the offensive end, he’s a solid passer, and does his best work as a net-front presence on the power play.
57. Frederik Olofsson, Center, Nebraska Omaha(Chicago Blackhawks)
Olofsson provides a strong presence up the middle of the ice for the Mavericks. He’s solid fundamentally, plays good defense, and is capable as a scorer. He’s not an exciting, explosive player that creates a lot of offense, but he’s really strong on his stick and can make a play any time he gets the puck.
Olofsson seems like a perfect fit to play a checking line defensive role at the NHL level, and can perhaps continue to play center, making him even more valuable.
56. Austin Poganski, Right Wing, North Dakota(St. Louis Blues)
Poganski had to take a bigger role for North Dakota this season as an upperclassmen after North Dakota lost multiple forwards off their national championship-winning team. He didn’t improve on his offensive numbers much, perhaps one reason this year’s North Dakota team is fighting it out on the bubble of the NCAA tournament as opposed to last year’s team, which was a top-ranked team nationally.
But Poganski has showed more maturity in his game this past year. He’s a big forward that plays with a high motor and really competes for pucks. North Dakota uses him in all special teams situations. He’s capable of handling tough passes and has decent hands around the net.
The lack of scoring production this year likely limits his upside as a top-six scoring line forward at the NHL level, but his size and tough play could make him very valuable in a bottom-six role.