In celebration of last year’s Beanpot Tournament between Northeastern, Harvard, Boston University, and Boston College, I covered some of the best drafted players that played Division 1 college hockey. In honor of the 2019 Beanpot tournament, I wanted to look back at the 15 players that I dubbed to be the top drafted college players. In part 1, we’ll return to the forwards.
Troy Terry is widely remembered as the hero of the 2017 World Juniors, but the 21-year-old spent 3 years with the Denver Pioneers, winning a National Championship as a Sophomore. Terry was a 5th round pick in 2015, and quickly made a name for himself as a top prospect in a really solid pool of Anaheim Ducks draftees. After his junior year, he signed his entry level deal with the Ducks, ending his college career with an impressive 115 points in 115 games. He unfortunately got cut after 7 games in the 2018-19 season and was sent down to the San Diego Gulls. Through 36 games in the AHL, he had 39 points, eventually earning himself a callup back to the Ducks. Upon his return, he scored his 1st NHL goal, but his team is riding a terrible streak of games following the Allstar break.
Casey Middlestadt spent his draft year +1 as a member of his childhood team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. As a freshman, he finished with 30 points in 34 games, being selected to the Big 10 All-Rookie Team, winning the 2018 WJC Best Forward Award. The 2017 8th Overall Pick signed his ELC and played the Sabres last 6 games of the 2017-18 season, potting a goal and 5 points total. However, his rookie year has not seen the same production. Through 53 games, the 20-year-old has 7 goals and 18 points. His production has seen a downfall compared to the small sample size we saw back in April, but a large part is due to the consistency coming from Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner. He’s only 20, and is often forgotten about because of Rasmus Dahlin, but Casey will continue to make strides in his growth. He currently projects out to have only about 30 points, give or take a few, but will ultimately help the Sabres out with a potential playoff push.
Another 5th round pick, Gaudette signed with the Vancouver Canucks after 3 years with the Northeastern Huskies. He was sent down to Utica early, but only stayed for 11 games as he was a Point-Per-Game. He’s played in 32 of the Canucks games this season and has 7 points. The reigning Hobey Baker Award winner hasn’t been terrible but has been a bit underwhelming from some of the expectations. The Canucks emerging star Elias Pettersson is taking most of the spotlight, as Gaudette has spent most of his NHL time as a bottom 6 forward. Still early in his career, he has plenty of potential and will continue to get better. He’ll likely project as a number 2 center behind Elias Pettersson.
The Blackhawks have a potential top 6 forward in Dylan Sikura, who signed after his senior year at Northeastern alongside Adam Gaudette. Coming off of 54-point season in college, the former 6th round pick has spent most of his rookie year in the minors after a tough training camp. He has been putting up decent numbers with the Rockford Icehogs, being called up once before. Sikura had a short 11 game stint with the Blackhawks contributing 3 assists, including 1 during the Hawks lost to the Bruins in the Winter Classic, but was ultimately sent back down. In 38 AHL games, the 23-year-old has 28 points and hopes to see another call up as the Hawks attempt to fight for a wildcard spot.
As a freshman, Henrik won the NCAA National Championship and finished his 2 year college career with 95 points in 77 games. Another forward that the Denver Pioneers lost to the NHL this year, Borgstrom signed with the Florida Panthers. The 23rd pick in 2016, Borgstrom spent 2 years at Denver before signing his ELC. So far in year 1, he has split time with both the Springfield Thunderbirds and Panthers. He had 22 points in 24 games with Springfield and is currently with the big club. He has 5 goals and 8 points in 22 games this year and hopes to keep contributing to the Panthers through the rest of the year.
Pearson was our honorable mention last year. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Chase remained at the University of Maine for his junior season where last season, he was 2nd on the team with 27 points, only behind fellow Georgian Mitch Fossier. The son of former NHLer Scott Pearson, he has 24 points in 26 games as a Co-Captain of the Black Bears. The Red Wings got a really underrated prospect in the 5th round of the 2015 draft and could elect to sign the two-way forward after the NCAA season.