Prospect Ramblings: Touring around the NCAA, AHL (March 12)

Mark Allan



Clarkson junior defenseman James de Haas topped all NCAA Division 1 men’s hockey Stars of the Week.

The Canadian native from Mississauga, Ont., led the Golden Knights to a sweep of Princeton in the first round of the ECAC hockey playoffs by scoring twice in overtime. Friday night, de Haas scored just one minute into double OT for a 3-2 victory. Saturday, he scored with less than three minutes left in the first overtime period for another 3-2 win. Those were his first two winners of the season, and he now has 16 points, including five goals.

Check out all the Stars of the Week.

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The latest Plays of the Week from the NCAA’s Division 1 men’s hockey action feature an assortment of goals including OT winners, nifty stickwork and acrobatic scores.

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The hotly contested and much-anticipated Frozen Four championship bracket will be announced March 20.

Sixteen Division 1 squads will be chosen from 59 schools that have men’s hockey programs. The teams that prevail in four regional playoffs will qualify for the 69th annual Frozen Four on April 7 and 9 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.

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Seth Griffith of the Providence Bruins continues to chase AHL scoring leader and fellow bruin Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears.

Griffith, a 23-year-old right winger, is just a point off the league scoring lead, helped by four goals and an assist March 9 against Adirondack. Building on a four-goal, seven-assist performance in last season’s AHL playoffs, Boston’s 2012 fifth-round draft pick is playing for a contract. The short but stocky Griffith is on the final season of his entry-level deal.

You might remember him for this spectacular, eye-opening individual effort in November 2014.


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AHL scoring leaders include four rookies in the top 20, led by Mikko Rantanen of the San Antonio Rampage with 21 goals and 50 points in 41 games. A rangy forward with size and elite playmaking skill, Rantanen is the Colorado Avalanche’s top prospect.

Fellow AHL neophyte Riley Barber of Hershey sits 15th with 46 points in 58 games. The power forward right winger played three seasons for Ohio’s Miami University.

Smallish winger Matt Lorito, tied with Barber for 15th in AHL scoring, is playing for an NHL contract. After playing for Brown University in the ECAC, he signed an amateur tryout agreement with the AHL’s Albany Devils, the minor-league affiliate of the New Jersey Devils.

Texas Rangers’ second-line center Jason Dickinson completes the AHL top-20 scorers a point behind Barber and Lorito albeit in more games. A second first-round pick of the Dallas Stars behind Valeri Nichushkin in 2013, Dickinson is taking longer to reach the NHL although the Stars are being patient as his two-way style matures.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Garin Bjorklund 5.5 5.5
Hunter Shepard 8.0 4.0
Mitchell Gibson 7.0 5.5
Clay Stevenson 8.0 7.0
Stepan Gorbunov 4.0 4.5
Matvei Shuravin 5.0 6.5
Justin Poirier 8.0 6.0
Noel Fransen 7.0 5.0
Alexander Daryin 5.0 2.0
Carson Bantle 4.0 3.5