June 21, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. – The 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft will take place this weekend, Fri., June 22 and Sat., June 23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Round one of the draft will be televised live on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. on Versus, TSN and the NHL Network. Rounds 2-6 will start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and be available via the NHL Network.
Several members of the Notre Dame hockey team are draft eligible – players born before September 15, 1989 and not older than 20 before Dec. 31st, 2007 – including 2006-07 freshmen Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) and Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.). The list grows as all seven players who signed national letters-of-intent in the early signing period last November are also eligible and have all been ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Thang, a CCHA all-rookie selection in his freshman season, led Notre Dame in goals (20), power-play goals (10) and game winners (6) while finishing second in scoring on the team with 41 points. A finalist for CCHA rookie of the year, Thang was the team’s rookie of the year for the 2006-07 season. A 6-0, 188-pound right shot who played on the left side for the Irish, Thang is strong at both ends of the ice and has a strong shot. He was ranked 10th among NCAA eligible players by Hockey Futures.com in their rankings of the top 20 college eligible players.
Center Kevin Deeth is eligible for this year’s National Hockey League Draft. He was ranked 14th by Hockey Futures.com among NCAA eligible players.
Hockey Futures.com also ranked Deeth 14th among NCAA eligible players. The 5-7, 166-pound center was a CCHA all-rookie selection, joining Thang and defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.). He finished third in scoring with 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points. His 22 assists were second on the team and he was +28 for the season. Strong on face offs, Deeth used his quickness to find open ice and set up his linemates. Despite his size, he showed a toughness on the ice with his willingness to go to crash the net in his offensive zone.
Neither Thang or Deeth were ranked in NHL Central Scoutings final rankings.
Incoming freshman Ian Cole, who played last season for the U.S. National Team Development Program has seen his stock rise as the NHL Draft approaches this weekend.
Leading the list of incoming freshman who have been ranked by Central Scouting are defensemen Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Teddy Ruth (Naperville, Ill.). Both played last season with the U.S. National Team Developmental Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Cole has seen his stock go up during the past season. A 6-1, 211-pound defenseman, Cole played in 49 games for the Under-18 team and had four goals and 16 assists for 20 points and 50 minutes in penalties. One of Team USA’s top three players at the Under-18 World Championships last April, the rugged, stay-at-home defenseman was ranked 81st in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings. Other organizations rankings have Cole ranked as high as ninth (Red Line Report) and some mock drafts list Cole as a first round draft choice (USA Today, Sportsnet and FoxSports.com). He is ranked 34th by Bob McKenzie in TSN’s top 60 and 26th by Max Geise in McKeen’s. Geise also lists Cole as the fifth-best “shutdown stay-at-home defenseman” available in the draft.
Defenseman Teddy Ruth is the highest ranked Notre Dame player by NHL Central Scouting as he was ranked 32nd among all North American skaters.
Ruth has also received his share of accolades in the weeks leading up to the draft. A 6-1, 199-pound defenseman, he spent most of the season in the same defensive pair with Cole on the U.S. Under-18 team. In 39 games, the right-shot defenseman scored five goals and added 11 assists for 16 points on the U.S. blue line with 64 minutes in penalties. Another tough, stay-at-home defenseman, Ruth was ranked 32nd in NHL Central Scoutings final rankings. TSN has him ranked 48th overall while the International Scouting Service (ISS) has him ranked 55th. Red Line Report lists him at 121st with McKeen’s ranking him 30th and The Hockey News at 64th. McKeen’s ranks Ruth second in his top five character players, behind fellow Irish recruit Calle Ridderwall.
A third member of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program who will join the Irish this fall is goaltender Brad Phillips (Farmington Hills, Mich.). Since goaltenders are ranked separately, the 6-2, 163-pound puck stopper is ranked ninth among 30 North American goaltenders and second among collegiate goaltenders. This season with the U.S. Under-18 team, Phillips played in 24 games and was 15-5-2 in 1,425:55 minutes played. He had a 2.33 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage while turning in two shutouts on the season.
Ben Ryan (Brighton, Mich.) is a 6-0, 195-pound center who was a standout for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), finishing third in team scoring with 22 goals and 42 assists for 64 points. He scored 10 power-play goals and added two game winners while helping Des Moines to a 29-21-10 record and a first-round playoff upset of first-place Omaha. One of three Irish recruits to play in the USHL Prospects/All-Star Game, Ryan was ranked 37th in Central Scouting’s final rankings. A strong two-way center, Ryan was ranked 70th by The Hockey News, 72nd by McKeen’s and 84th in the International Scouting Service rankings.
Following Ryan, the three remaining USHL players that signed with the Irish – Robin Bergman (Stockholm, Sweden), Calle Ridderwall (Stockholm, Sweden) and Billy Maday (Burr Ridge, Ill.) were all ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Bergman, a 6-0, 189-pound forward was 123rd overall after being 97th at the midway point of the season. He played at Cedar Rapids where he was second in goals with 26 and fourth in points with 43. His 26 goals tied him for 10th in the USHL and his 17 power-play tallies were the second-best total in the league.
Ridderwall was five spots behind Bergman at 128th in Central Scoutings final rankings while McKeen’s Geise ranked him 99th in their top 100 players and first among his top five “character” players. Ridderwall is a 5-11, 165-pound left wing with tremendous quickness and skill. He led Tri-City in scoring with 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points to finish 14th in the USHL scoring race. Fourteen of his goals came via the power play, three short-handed markers and seven game winners. His 27 goals tied him for eight in the USHL while his seven game winners were tops in the league.
Maday rounds out the group of seven players who signed in the early signing period and played for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Despite missing half of the season with a broken wrist, the 5-11, 165-pound playmaker had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 33 games. Among his 10 goals were four power-play markers and two game winners. Maday moved up in the rankings from 177 at the midpoint of the season to 158th at the end. He will defer his letter-of-intent to the 2008-09 season and return to Waterloo for the coming season.
Notre Dame Hockey Draft Facts:
â€¢ Since 1971, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey program has had 49 players drafted by the National Hockey League.
â€¢ The Irish have never had a player selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. Rob Globke `04, who was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2002 draft is the earliest Irish pick ever. He was picked in the second round, 40th overall in that draft.
â€¢ The Irish currently have two players on the 2007-08 roster that have been drafted – defenseman Kyle Lawson was selected in the seventh round, 198th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2005 draft and Erik Condra (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) was selected in the seventh round, 211th overall in the 2006 entry draft by the Ottawa Senators.
â€¢ The most players the Irish have ever had selected in the NHL Draft in one season was 1975 when seven Notre Dame players were selected. That group consisted of: Alex Pirus (Minnesota, 3rd round, 41st overall), Clark Hamilton (Detroit, 3rd round, 50th overall), Jack Brownschidle (St. Louis, 6th round, 99th overall), Paul Clarke (Montreal, 9th round, 158th overall), Kevin Nugent (Boston, 10th round, 171 overall), Len Moher (Buffalo, 10th round, 174 overall) and Roger Bourque (Montreal, 14th round, 208th overall).