I have been contacted by sbnation.com to write up some profiles on players that may be drafted into the USHL this year in the USHL Entry Draft. I will be writing a profile almost every day leading up to the draft beginning with forwards, then on to defensemen, and finishing with goaltenders. These are in no particular order, as the Entry Draft is hard to predict. I haven't seen these players play either, so if you have seen them play and have something to add, please do. Enjoy!
Brian Hickey (Team Illinois) continues the USHL Draft coverage of defensemen. Hickey is your typical tough blueliner, but he has that added bonus of being able to get the puck in the net. Hickey stands at 6'0"/185 which is average height, but he has some bulk there which should help him adjust to the speed and physical aspects of the USHL. Hickey has played at the midget major level for two straight years now, which is very impressive for a 17 year old. Hickey's physical aspect has been shown, by his PIMs the past two years. In 93 games at the midget major level with Team Illinois, Hickey has racked up 117 penalty minutes. But even with all those minutes, he has proved he can be a valuable offensive player back on the blue line. This year, in 48 games, Hickey picked up 11 points, 6 of them goals, and the 5 left were assists. In his total midget major career, he has 24 points in 93 games. I would compare Hickey to Indiana Ice blueliner Nick Mattson, based on size, play style, and offensive production. Hickey has a very good chance to be your team's new shut-down defenseman.