The Beanpot Special: The Top Prospects in College Hockey: Part 1

February 7, 2018

It’s that time of year again where 4 of the best Division 1 hockey programs go at it for the coveted Beanpot. The annual tournament showcases some of hockey’s future stars from Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and Harvard University. The Beanpot is a great opportunity to see the star’s of tomorrow but it’s not just the Beanpot that will showcase college’s top stars this year. The Pyeongchang Olympics will also have a few prospects but in this article I’m dubbing “the 3 part Beanpot Special”, we will look at all the best prospects in NCAA hockey.

 

Forwards

 

Troy Terry

Troy Terry is a Junior at the University of Denver. A native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Terry was drafted in the 5th round, 148th overall, in the 2015 NHL draft by the Anaheim Ducks. Troy was drafted by the Indiana Ice 44th overall, 3rd round, in the USHL Futures Draft. He played 1 game in the 2013-14 season before transferring to the United States National Development Camp where he played with Auston Matthews, Clayton Keller, Matthew Tkachuk, and Charlie Mcavoy to name a few. Terry played 25 games in his only season in the USHL and posted 6 goals and 14 points. After his year with the USNDP, he committed to the University of Denver where as a freshman, he scored 9 goals and 22 points in 42 games. He returned as a sophomore and stood out, doubling his point total from his freshman year. He finished with 22 goals and 45 total points in just 35 games as well as being named to the All-Frozen Four Team. During that season, Terry left the Pioneers for a short time and joined Team USA at the 2017 World Junior Championship where he had 7 points in 7 games. At the WJC, Terry became known throughout the USA hockey community by being the shootout hero in the gold medal game versus Canada. From that point on, people had Terry in their sights. He continued his college dominance with the Pioneers by winning a National Championship, and so far in the 2017-18 season has 30 points in 26 games where he appears to be improving largely on his playmaking ability. On January 1st, 2018, Troy Terry was officially named to the 2018 US Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team and just 2 weeks later, he was named a Hobey Baker nominee, given to college hockey’s best player. Troy Terry was originally NHL Central Scouting’s #107 Ranked North American skate and now he is one of hockey’s top prospects and potential Hobey Baker finalist. We wish Troy the best of luck in the Olympics and the rest of the NCAA season.

 

Casey Mittlestadt

Casey Mittlestadt was born in 1998 in Edina, Minnesota. Mittlestadt decided on the less popular route to the NHL by playing high school hockey for the Eden Prairie Eagles. The 19 year old had 170 career points in 75 games with the Eagles. While he did choose the high school route, Casey did play 2 games with the US National Development Team in the USHL where he had 2 goals. The 6’1, 185 pound center was selected by the Green Bay Gamblers in the 5th round of the 2014 USHL Futures Draft. After his senior year of high school in 2017, Casey ended up playing 24 games with the Gamblers and put up 30 points. Following his short time in the USHL, Casey Mittlestadt attended the NHL combine where he drew massive attention, mostly because he failed to do a single pull-up. Casey was ranked as the #3 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and went 8th Overall to the Buffalo Sabres. Post-Draft, Casey decided to go the college route and committed to the school he grew up a fan of, the University of Minnesota. Mittlestadt, currently a freshman at Minnesota, has 8 goals and 22 points in 26 college games. During the season, he was selected as a member of the USA World Junior Championship Team. Casey went into the WJC making major headlines as one of the best players in the tournament and he proved that by putting up 11 points in 7 games. He helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal and was chosen as a member of the All-WJC Team. That's not all he got there though, Casey was awarded the Tournament MVP. The 19 year old is showing terrific strides in his development and is one of the early favorites for the 2018-19 Calder Trophy, should he make the jump to the NHL.

 

Adam Gaudette

Adam Gaudette was born and raised in Taunton, Massachusetts. He played his youth hockey in Boston at Thayer academy, where in his first two years, he put up 6 points in 26 games. In Year 3 with Thayer, Gaudette broke out with 67 points in 27 games. Adam committed to Northeastern University but opted to play in the USHL first. The 6’1 2-Way forward was selected in the 7th round of the 2014 USHL Futures Draft by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Still committed to playing college hockey, Gaudette posted 30 points in 50 games in 1 season with Cedar Rapids. After a solid rookie year where he had 13 goals, Gaudette was eligible for the 2015 NHL draft and solidified himself as a late round pick. NHL Central Scouting ranked Gaudette as the #108 best North American Skater. He finally heard his named called with the 149th pick in the 5th round by the Vancouver Canucks. Following 1 season in the United States Hockey League, Adam Gaudette took the ice with the Northeastern Huskies. In his freshman year, Adam potted 12 goals and 30 points in 41 games. He continued to grow as he put up 52 points in 37 games. Heading into his junior year, Pierre Mcquire touted him as “the Steal of the 2015 Draft”. He really took that name and further proved it as the 21 year old sits a top the NCAA point leaders and is the heavy favorite to win the Hobey Baker. So far in the 2017-18 season, Gaudette has 39 points in 26 games as he lines with fellow Hobey Baker nominee, Dylan Sikura. Gaudette hasn’t surprised anyone this year but certainly has over the past few years. Gaudette looks to be a big part in what could be a very strong contender in Vancouver for years to come. 

 

Dylan Sikura

Dylan Sikura is 22 year old from Aurora, Ontario. He grew up playing the South Central Coyotes Midget AAA program. Sikura was drafted in the 14th round of the 2011 OHL draft but elected to join the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL. As a member of the Aurora Tigers, Sikura played 3 seasons with the Tigers. In 131 OJHL games, Dylan put up 110 points, 64 of those coming in his final season with the club. Following his 41 game season in which he posted the 64 points, Sikura was picked by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 6th round of the 2014 draft. Like many late round draft picks, he elected not to sign with the team and committed to Northeastern University. As a freshman at NU, Sikura scored 5 goals totaled 7 points in 25 games. His sophomore year was quite an improvement as he solidified himself in the lineup. He played 39 games that season and was on the score sheet 28 times. His junior year in 2016-17 was an even bigger jump from the previous year. Sikura became a star for the Huskies as he doubled his point production from the 2015-16. In 38 games, the play-maker became a very reliable offensive producer with 57 points, 21 of them coming as a goal. In his junior year, Sikura lines with Adam Gaudette but it wasn’t until the 2017-18 season when their line became a nationwide phenomenon. So far in 23 games, Sikura has 35 points, good enough for 8th in the nation. Dylan also represented Team Canada at the Spengler Cup but failed to make a terrific impact, even though they did win Gold. In early January, Dylan Sikura was named one of MANY Hobey Baker nominees, alongside teammate Adam Guadette. Following the end of this season, Sikura will have the option to sign with the Hawks and possibly make an immediate impact, or he could wait the extra couple of months and become a free agent, much like Will Butcher did last season. With a troubling Hawks season, that could push Sikura away, however his older brother Tyler IS a member of the Rockford Icehogs, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate. Over the next few months, it will be interesting to see how the Senior Husky develops and what his decision will be. As a Hawks fan, I surely hope to see him sign and finish the end of the season. Dylan didn’t make Team Canada for the Olympics, but he is eligible to continue playing with the Huskies and pursue a National Championship. Northeastern is currently ranked #11 in the Nation. Although not projected, they will try to squeeze into the Frozen Four with the help of Sikura and Gaudette.

 

Henrik Borgström

Henrik Borgström is one of the few non Canadian/American players currently playing in the NCAA. The native of Finland played his U16 hockey for Jokerit in the Finnish Jr. C  league alongside Olli Joulevi. Borgström played 10 games and has 8 points. He played his 2 years of U18 with HIFK in the Junior B league and had 57 points in 51 games. He also played one year of Junior A with the U20 HIFK program where he had 55 points in 40 games. Borgström was drafted 23rd overall in the 2016 NHL draft by the Florida Panthers and 50th overall by Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the 2016 KHL draft. Following that eventful 2016 summer, Henrik moved across the world to North America to play Division 1 NCAA hockey. He enrolled at the University of Denver and was a HUGE part of their 2017 National Championship. As a freshman, Borgström had 53 points (22 goals) in 37 games with the Pioneers. In late December 2016 and early January 2017, the then 19 year old took a short leave of absence to join Team Finland at the 2017 World Junior Championship. With the Fins, he failed to produce a single point in 6 games. Henrik returned to DU and not only brought home a National Title, but also won the NCHC Rookie of the Year. He repeatedly received big honors as he was selected to the NCHC All-Freshman team and NCAA West First Team All-Americans. He returned to Denver for his sophomore year opposed to signing with the Panthers. So far in the 2017-18 season, Borgström has 36 points in 25 games, 4th in the NCAA. At 6’3, 185 lbs, Henrik has terrific size for a 2-way center. Another Fin with quick hands, a solid shot with a quick release, Borgström could fight for a spot with the Panthers next year.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

 

Chase Pearson

 

Chase Pearson is an interesting player when it comes to NHL interest. His father, Scott, was drafted 6th overall by the Maple Leafs in 1988. He played 292 NHL games with 98 total points and 217 games with 120 points in the IHL. Pearson was born in Atlanta, Georgia and played his youth hockey for the Atlanta Fire in the NAPHL 16U. With the Fire, Chase was coached by his dad. After posting 24 points in 22 games, Chase became eligible for both the OHL draft and the USHL draft. Chase was drafted by the Youngstown Phantoms in the 5th round at 69th overall in the USHL draft and in the 4th round at 79th overall by the Oshawa Generals in the OHL draft.

 

In 2013, Chase left Atlanta and went to Cornwall, his dad’s hometown, to play for the Colts of the Central Canadian Hockey League. In 1 CCHL season, he played 39 games and had 23 points. Pearson then decided to make the jump to the USHL and signed onto play with the Youngstown Phantoms. He helped finish out the 2014 USHL season by drawing into the Phantoms lineup twice but didn’t have a point. In the 2014-15 season, Chase once again joined the Phantoms alongside current Winnipeg Jet, Kyle Connor. He played 57 games and had 26 points. Also in that season, Pearson’s 2-way play style led to 96 penalty minutes. His season in the USHL ultimately led to his OHL rights being traded from Oshawa to the Windsor Spitfires on January 9th, 2015. Pearson became eligible for the 2015 NHL draft and was ranked #123rd among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting. At the draft, Pearson’s name was called by the Detroit Red Wings in the 5th round at 140th overall. This selection made Chase the 3rd ever Georgia born player to be drafted into the NHL but the 1st that actually grew up and played their youth hockey in Georgia. The 2nd generation player then returned to Youngstown and was picked as an alternate captain. In his 2nd full year with the Phantoms, he played 55 games and had 50 points. The 50 points was good enough for 2nd on the team, only behind Cam Morris, the 40th pick in the 2016 draft. After the 2016 season, Pearson committed to the University of Maine where he would team with fellow Georgian, Mitch Fossier. Pearson’s freshman year was solid as in his 36 games, he potted 14 goals as a part of 22 point rookie year. Chase’s 2017-18 sophomore year was even better as he was named the Captain of the Black Bears. With the C on his sweater, he has put up 24 points in 27 games, except this time around his stats are much more balanced as he only has 6 goals. The Red Wings prospect shows lots of promise as a two way forward and could very well become a staple in the Detroit lineup in a few years.

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