Nov. 26, 2003
Toronto, Ont. – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting Service has listed Notre Dame hockey players Wes O’Neill (Fr., Essex, Ont.) and David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) among its top 40 U.S. college players in its preliminary rankings for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft to be held at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., next June 25-27.
O’Neill and Brown are among 14 players from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) on the 40-main list.
O’Neill, a 6-4, 207-pound defenseman is ranked third among all skaters behind North Dakota’s Drew Stafford and Boston College’s Adam Pineault, is the highest rated CCHA player and the top-ranked defenseman. In 11 games for the Irish this season, O’Neill has two goals and two assists for four points and is tied for second on the team with a +3 plus/minus rating. Born on March 3, 1986, O’Neill will have to “opt-in” to be selected in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Brown, a 5-11, 188-pound goaltender is ranked second among collegiate goaltenders behind Michigan’s Al Montoya. Brown has gotten his first collegiate season off to a fast start with a 4-2-2 overall record, a 1.73 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. He is currently on a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) that includes three consecutive shutouts between 10/18 and 10/31. During his six-game run, Brown owns a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. He was selected as the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national rookie of the month in October and has been selected as the CCHA rookie of the week twice this season. His consecutive shutout minute’s streak of 193:27 is a Notre Dame record as are his three shutouts in one season.
Among the 40 players ranked by Central Scouting, 14 are from the CCHA, 12 from Hockey East, seven from the ECAC and seven from the WCHA.