2006-07 CHN Preseason All-America Team
CHN Staff Report
PHILADELPHIA With all of the top-end talent leaving college hockey this season, there is still plenty more where that came from. But it does certainly change the face of items like this: the second annual College Hockey News Preseason All-America team. The team is also top heavy with the larger schools and the West.
Of the 12 players on last year's teams, only two returned to college hockey, and only one — T.J. Hensick, a first-teamer a year ago — made this year's list. There were also 15 players on last year's "Players to Watch" list, and nine of those return, including Cory Schneider and Scott Parse, who have cracked these teams.
Below are the teams with comments from the CHN staff, and Dave Starman, the lead color analyst for College Sports Television's Game of the Week package.
F - Brian Boyle, Sr., Boston College
Starman says: Steadily improved over three years to the point where he's an elite player. His rise mirrors that of Greg Moore's at Maine, and playing one more year will take him from a great player to an elite player.
We say: Have to love a player with big NHL potential sticking around for a senior year.
F - Scott Parse, Sr., Nebraska-Omaha
Starman says: Will he continue to do what he did without Thomas? But has a great centerman in Marshall.
We say: Led the nation in plus-minus a year ago ... needs to step up goal production now that favorite setup target Bill Thomas left for the pros.
F - T.J. Oshie, So., North Dakota
Starman says: As electrifying as you'd want a freshman to be last year. Has really good hands in tight. He can do things in no space that guys usually need two feet.
We say: A lot of talent left North Dakota, which means Oshie will rise to the forefront, picking up where he left off down the stretch last year.
D - Matt Hunwick, Sr., Michigan
Starman says: The one name that keeps coming up. Very well respected. Mobile, can get in the play and still do his job defensively.
We say: Defense partner Jack Johnson has the glitz, but it was Hunwick who was the rock.
D - Kyle Klubertanz, Jr., Wisconsin
Starman says: Has really good offensive instincts. He's smart about picking his spots.
We say: An all-around stalwart on the backline during the Badgers' title run.
G - Brian Elliott, Sr., Wisconsin
Starman says: He has great economy of movement and doesn't give up many rebounds. And he's learned to fight through adversity.
We say: Proved his worth over and over again last year. Could this be the Hobey year?
F - Michel Leveille, Sr., Maine
Starman says: one of the best-kept secrets in the country.
We say: Great vision, great hands, wins faceoffs, competes and he's a great leader.
F - T.J. Hensick, Sr., Michigan
Starman says: He can break the game open when he has to.
We say: Tremendous moves, but still needs to work on his defensive game.
F - Ryan Dingle, Jr., Denver
Starman says: Had a bust out season.
We say: Put up numbers last year with Stastny and Gauthier around him, now he proves he can do it with others too.
D - Alex Goligoski, Jr., Minnesota
Starman says: High-risk, high-reward. Unbelievably skilled offensively.
We say: To win, he'll need to pay more attention defensively, but there's no question what he can do offensively.
D - Brett Motherwell, So., Boston College
Starman says: Going to be a stud. He's the next in the line of great Boston College defensemen.
We say: The best of the four BC sophomore defensemen, Jerry York will rely heavily on him to get BC back to the Frozen Four.
G - Cory Schneider, Jr., Boston College
Starman says: He's very athletic, great down low and unbelievably composed. A bad goal doesn't affect him.
We say: Speaking of relying heavily ... Has a great attitude for a goaltender.
Players to Watch
F - Nathan Davis, Jr., Miami - A 20-goal scorer a year ago, is there another level?
F - Jonathan Matsumoto, Jr., Bowling Green -
F - Tyler Burton, Jr., Colgate - The ECAC's best returning forward?
F - Andrew Gordon, Jr., St. Cloud State - Overlooked amid all the WCHA talent, but carried the SCSU offense at times.
F - Jonathan Toews, So., North Dakota - Oshie's passed him, slightly, but Toews remains a force to be reckoned with.
F - Mike Morris, Sr., Northeastern - Returning from a major injury, could be the best player in Hockey East by year's end.
F - Kirk MacDonald, Sr., RPI - Returning from cancer surgery, and looking in the best shape of his life.
D - Mitch Ganzak, Jr., Miami - Takes over the Andy Greene role as the defensive stud. He has the potential to fulfill it.
D - Jack Johnson, So., Michigan - All he has to do is stay out of the box. Somewhat of a surprise that he returned to college.
D - Chris Butler, So., Denver - A star in the making.
D - Erik Johnson, Fr., Minnesota - The No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft, could easily be an All-American at year's end.
D - Brian Lee, So., North Dakota - Fast becoming a blueline force.
G - Troy Davenport, So., Cornell - Cornell lost two top-class defensemen and former Hobey finalist goalie David McKee. So eyes are on Davenport to carry the load.
G - Bobby Goepfert, Sr., St. Cloud State - The best goalie few people know about.
G - Jeff Jakaitis, Sr., Lake Superior State - The best goalie no one knows about.
G - Jeff Lerg, So., Michigan State - The diminutive keeper had quite a ride into the NCAAs, but there's no backup plan now that former No. 1 Dominic Vicari decided to skip out.
G - Mark Dekanich, Jr., Colgate - Colgate's hopes of returning to the NCAAs rest here.
G - Billy Sauer, So., Michigan - Sauer, by and large, failed his test as Michigan's heir apparent, but he was brought in a year earlier than the team would've liked. So will he come into his own finally?
G - John Curry, Sr., Boston University - Yes, BU has no one on the CHN all-America teams, but if Curry comes up big, the Terriers have the depth and balance and talent to make big noise.