Thursday, May 13, 2010

USHL Futures Draft Coverage- Forwards

I have been contacted by to write up some profiles on players that may be drafted into the USHL this year in the USHL Futures 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 Futures 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!

Due to the size of this post, I've split it. To read the rest of the post, please click read more at the "bottom" of the post. Enjoy!

Gavin Stoick (Colorado Thunderbirds U16) will lead off the Futures Draft Coverage. Stoick led the Thunderbirds in scoring this year with 28 points in 38 games played. Of those 28 points, 15 points were goals and 13 were assists. Stoick helped out on the powerplay adding two tallies on the PP during the season. Stoick also played while the Thunderbirds were shorthanded, getting a goal with a man down. He also racked up 27 PIMs on the year. Stoick is very big for a player of the midget minor level, standing at 6'2"/ 200 pounds. He is still uncommitted for college, but BU, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, and Michigan are very interested in him. With that list of colleges, it's obvious that Stoick is very smart and more than likely shows those smarts out on the ice. I would compare Stoick to Indiana's leading scorer Bryon Paulazzo. Stoick will definitely be drafted in this year's Futures Draft and could even end up on a USHL roster next year if the situation presents itself.

Zach Stepan (Shattuck St. Mary's U16) is an average sized forward out of the great hockey program Shattuck Saint Mary's. Stepan put up some good numbers at Shattuck this year showing off his offensive talent. He averaged over a point a game this season. In 40 games played, Stepan racked up 19 goals and 23 assists for a grand total of 42 points on the year. The 6'0", 162 lb forward out of Faribault, Minnesota also received 20 penalty minutes all year. Stepan is obviously very talented and also very disciplined which is very attractive to very many teams. Too many very's there? Well expect to hear a lot more very's to describe Stepan. I would compare Stepan to fellow Wisconsin recruit Ryan Walters. Stepan is most likely to going to go to Wisconsin, where his cousin Derek plays. I would also expect Stepan to be drafted on Monday.

Riley Barber (Compuware U16) performed very well in midget minor hockey last year. He is widely regarded as one of the best '94 U.S. born forwards. He is a very good skater with good speed apparently, and has very good hands that make him a good passer. The last info I have on Barber from July of 2009 says that he was 5'10"/168. I would assume that he has grown quite a bit since then, and if you have his current size, please feel free comment on this post. Barber posted some great stats as mentioned before, getting 38 points in 38 games this past season. Of those 38 points, 16 were goals and 22 were assists. He also added 2 powerplay goals on the season and 28 PIMs this year. Barber also performed well when it counted most, getting 5 points in 5 playoff games and 5 points in 6 games of the MAHA State Hockey Tournament. I would compare Barber to Chicago forward Andrei Kuchin. Expect to see Riley Barber drafted on Monday.

AJ Coleman (Pittsburgh Hornets U16)  is the guy with the best stats so far in this post. In 70 games played this past season, and got an astonishing 87 points, an amazing number for midget minor hockey. He is obviously a a very talented playmaker, getting 53 of those 87 points on assists. But that said, he still added 34 goals to his overall point total, which is a very good number. Coleman also only had 22 penalty in those 70 games which shows that he is very disciplined. The forward from Moon Township, Pennsylvania has gotten some college hockey attention, and has already got an offer from the Robert Morris hockey program at just 15 years old. Michigan and Ohio State have also shown interest in the 5'10"/175 playmaker. I would compare Coleman to, get ready, Tri City Storm star Jaden Schwartz. Expect for Coleman's name to be called on Monday during the USHL Futures Draft.

Ray Pigozzi (Chicago Mission U16) missed some games this season with a knee injury, causing him only to be able to play in 20 games with the Chicago Mission's midget minor squad. Even though he only appeared in 20 games, he made the most of those games gaining 30 points. Pigozzi had 11 goals and 19 assists showing his passing ability. The thing that stood out to me most on Pigozzi's stat sheet however, was the 24 penalty minutes he racked up in 20 games. This shows me that Pigozzi has a physical aspect to his game as well, which probably has quite a few USHL teams drooling over having Pigozzi join their team next year. Pigozzi has average size for a player coming into the USHL, standing at 5'11", 165 pounds. He also has a few colleges looking at him. Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire are all interested in Pigozzi, and all three of those team were in the NCAA Hockey Tournament last season. I would compare Pigozzi to Chicago Steel scorer Tyler Barnes. Expect to see Ray Pigozzi get drafted on Monday's Futures Draft.

Nate Arentz (Lakeville North HS) is a forward out of the widely watched Minnesota High School hockey system. Arentz plays for the Lakeville North Panthers where he put together a very nice season. In 30 games played this past season, Arentz put up 31 points. He showed his scoring ability, scoring 20 goals and 11 assists. Just like Pigozzi, his penalty minutes stand out a lot to me. In 30 games, Arentz only had 6 PIMs which shows that Arentz is not only a great scorer, but he is very disciplined. I don't have current a size for Arentz, but in July 2009, Arentz was 5'10"/155. Just like Riley Barber above, he's probably grown since then, so I can't really give you an accurate size measurement. I would compare Arentz to Green Bay Gamblers forward Reed Seckel. Keep an eye out for Nate Arentz as a future USHL player.

Gage Torrel (Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake HS) is another forward from Minnesota High School hockey. Torrel played 26 games for the Monticello Stars this past season. Torrel showed his offensive talent in those 26 games, putting up 26 goals and 19 assists for 45 total points. Averaging a goal a game in Minnesota High School Hockey is no easy task, and you have to be a very talented scorer to do so. Torrel has average size, coming in at 5'10", 170 pounds. Torrel is currently flying under the radar in terms of college hockey as it appears no teams are interested in him at the moment. Expect that to change in the next few years. I would compare Torrel to Waterloo Blackhawks star JT Brown, based on his scoring ability and size. I would expect to see Gage Torrel in the USHL within the next few years.

Cody Payne (Mississauga Reps) is a guy that I don't have any statistical info on. If you can contribute to this, please comment. I can tell you that he has very good size, standing at 6'2", 195 pounds as a 16 year old. I would expect to see him in the USHL soon.

Matthew Lane (Mississauga Reps) is another guy from the Reps who I have no statistical data for. He is 5'9" and 160 pounds and is 16. If you have any stats for either of these players, please comment.  

AJ Michaelson (Apple Valley HS) is the last forward from Minnesota High School hockey that I'll be writing on. Michaelson is a guy that averages over a point a game. In 24 games played last season, he got 35 points. Of those 35, 19 were goals and 16 were assists. That just shows that he has great scoring talent. Michaelson has also proved a valuable player when it counts most: the playoffs. In Apple Valley's section playoffs, Michaelson had 9 points in 3 games, including a hat trick in February 25th's game against Hastings. When the Apple Valley Eagles made it to the state playoffs, Michaelson didn't have any impact however. Apple Valley beat Blaine in the first round, but then lost to Edina to get into the third place game. But in that third place game against Hill-Murray, Michaelson scored a goal in the 6-3 loss. I would compare him to Sioux Falls forward Matt Lindblad. I would expect to see Michaelson in the USHL soon.

 Alex Galchenyuk (Chicago Young Americans U16) posted incredible numbers in midget minor hockey this past season. The forward out of Chicago, Illinois played in 38 games for the Chicago Young Americans midget minor squad. In those 38 games, Galchenyuk collected an amazing 87 points. He had 44 goals, and 43 assists. That is a ridiculous amount of points in 38 games. Galchenyuk stands at 6'1"/180 which is pretty good size for a player coming into the USHL. He has a couple of colleges looking at him, with good reason. Wisconsin and Yale are both interested in getting Galchenyuk. I would compare Galchenyuk to Jaden Schwartz, who will be drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft this summer. I can't imagine Galchenyuk won't be drafted in the first round of Monday's Futures Draft.

 Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds U16) will be the last forward I profile for the Futures Draft. The forward from Aurora, Colorado collected 26 points in 38 games played this past season. He was very balanced in his points, getting 13 goals and 13 assists. With those 26 points, he was second on the Thunderbirds in scoring. The place where Hawkinson really excelled was on the powerplay. Six of his 13 goals came on the powerplay. He has average size, standing at 5'11", 175 pounds. Hawkinson obviously has smarts which has resulted in getting interest from Boston University, Cornell, Denver, Harvard, Northeastern, and Yale. I would compare Hawkinson to Patrick Divjak, a forward from the Waterloo Blackhawks. I would definitely say that we will be seeing Hawkinson in the USHL very soon.

Please leave comments, I would love to hear them!


  1. Galchenyuk was the first overall pick in the OHL entry draft last month. It's rumored he will play there.

  2. Thanks for the info, but until it becomes official, I think I'll keep him on this list.

  3. Zach Stepan was out for much of the past season with mono and pneumonia, but still managed to put up the points. He was drafted last week in the OHL by the Oshowa Generals.

  4. Yes, a lot of these players have been drafted into the OHL, but it happens every year where players are drafted into the USHL during the Futures Draft but never play a USHL game. So, until these players are for sure going to play OHL hockey, I'll keep them on here. Colleges and junior teams are trying hard to keep players in America.

  5. Cody Payne was also drafted in the OHL by the Generals.

  6. Yes...I agree. I know Stepan is not going to the OHL - he wants to play college hockey

  7. Yeah, if the player wants to play college hockey, they will stay in the US. If they want to go play OHL, they will go. I highly doubt most of these players will go undrafted on Monday.

  8. Great picks... I've seen most of the them play over the years and agree... these are top notch boys. Can't wait to see how it turns out next week. Great site! Look forward to seeing the defensemen you choose...

  9. Thanks, and thanks for reading! Defensemen will most likely be done tomorrow if you come back. Goalies will be on Saturday, and then I'll be preparing for the Futures Draft and the coverage of the draft I'm doing over at on Monday.

  10. Ryan Walters Wisconsin recruit?, he hasn't recommitted following his decommit to MN.

    Chicago Steel scorer Tyler Barnes? he played for Waterloo.


  11. Lane and Payne are both going to the NTDP...

    Galchenyuk signed with Sarnia. If you're selected first overall in the O, the deal is usually in place before the draft.

    Definitely a great list though. A lot of these guys were at the NTDP camp. I think the 1994's are as deep or deeper than the 1992's so it will be a lot of fun to watch these guys come up through the ranks.

  12. I guess the Anonymous poster at 7:56am stated what I was going to say in regards to Galchenyuk. If you're the first overall pick in the OHL, you're going to play there. Sarnia wouldn't have drafted him if he wasn't interested in playing there. I suppose a USHL GM could waste a futures pick on him, but I'd be surprised if it happened.

  13. Anonymous at 7:33, Walters is being recruited by Wisco. Also, an innocent mistake on my part, Tyler Barnes did play for Waterloo and not Chicago.

    Anonymous at 7:56 and Yeti, he did sign with Sarnia and I must have missed it. Anonymous, also thanks for compliment on the list, and yes the '94s are very deep and the 2012 NHL Draft will be on of the best in years.

  14. Have you heard of the 95 D man Anthony DeAngelo heard he 's the real deal

  15. Have u heard if MSU, Mankato has interest in any of these kids? Also do u know who they have offered? Thanks

  16. You know, you could do something different in the hockey world. Every Joe Sixpack looks at points on a sheet and thinks he knows the game. Start with something ingenious. Like, maybe the guy with 30 points has played 300 minutes, and produces a point every 10 minutes. Another guy has 10 points and plays 50 minutes.

    Who's the offensive star, math man? Not to throw you completely for a loop, but maybe half the goals were from a guy parking on first power play team for 54 games.

    Hockey needs a little more thinking; you can help. Ever heard of two way play? I don't see anyone here drooling over plus/minus scores--it's too complicated for most of us. This site is pure same-old-same-old. "Dave's showing his amazing scoring touch, netting two goals in the Ivan Blatzky Tournament last weekend, and adding an assist." "Steve's rangy 6'3" frame is really paying off, as he dishes out the hits blah blah."

    Sheesh, people. Let's start using our brains. Your the guy who never sees Adam Oates or Brian Rafalski 'cause they weren't on your game summary sheet. Go watch some hockey.

  17. To Anonymous May 15, 12:02,

    It's so easy to sit back and criticize other peoples work. Here's a novel idea... why don't YOU do the work, find out what the plus/minus is for all of these players or who's played more minutes than the next guy, and YOU contribute to the discussion. Together we can create a quality product... try not to get worked up that other people aren't contributing up to YOUR standards. Do the work AND contribute!

    That's all I have to say about that...

  18. Any other Compuware U16's highly thought of, seems like there should be a couple of others going US Hockey League

  19. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I must correct you, anonymous @12:02, on a few things. You must not have read the blog too much, as I don't normally write profiles on guys that aren't in the USHL. I watch hockey a lot, as a matter of fact, and I like to think that I know quite a bit about it. I haven't seen any of these future USHLers play, as is clearly stated in the intro to the post. If you would like to discuss the matter more fully, please feel free to email me at Thanks for reading.

  20. TMAVS, the forwards in this post have not recieved any interest from Mankato.

    Anonymous @1:38, Compuware does have some good players and we should see some in the USHL next year.

  21. FYI...
    USNTDP officially committed. Here's the current list of players:

    Forwards (x10):

    Cameron Darcy
    Thomas Di Pauli
    Ryan Hartman
    Stefan Matteau
    Quentin Shore
    Brendan Silk
    Henrik Samuelsson
    Frankie Vatrano
    Nicolas Kerdiles
    Niklas Olsson

    Defense (x6):

    Connor Carrick
    Brady Skjei
    Patrick Sieloff
    Dakota Mermis
    Seth Jones
    Jacob Trouba

    Goalies (x1):

    Jared Rutledge

  22. I saw that as well. USNTDP has some depth and we should see quite abit of their team taken in the 2012 NHL Draft.

  23. Walters committed to Nebraska-Omaha today.

  24. What about Tyler Pham? He is committed to DU and a hell of a hockey player...

  25. Alex Galchenyuk's family has already announced and began their move to the city of Sarnia. He is signed, sealed and delivered in terms of being an OHL player..

    With Brandon Hope not being selected, while in turn reporting to Sarnia's mini camp would suggest that Brandon Hope will not appear in the OHL unless the Sarnia Sting work out an agreement with a USHL team for him to play the 2010-2011 season there. As he may not be ready for regular OHL action yet.

  26. I get that you have not seen most of these players. What you have continued here is the typical blog nonsense where old information and false hype are perpetuated much like is seen in The Scouting News. Be careful how you describe 16 year-olds. This isn't pro hockey and these wonderful kids have years to develop without adding the adversity of your "frank" descriptions to their challenges.

  27. Have to agree with the last comment. Why is asking you to "write up some profiles" when you admit that you don't know anything about these players that you are discussing. I pick up on the many contradictory remarks concerning future potential. Go back and read the comparison between Pigozzi and Arentz for example.

    I am especially unimpressed with comments such as "He is a very good skater with good speed apparently, and has very good hands that make him a good passer." It is positive - but you very obviously have no idea who you are talking about.

    By needlessly jumping to conclusions and posting information that is not well thought out, you lessen the value of your content. Furthermore, anyone can republish the USNTDP 40 Camp list. The USNTDP folks have made their choice - you could do something of value and learn about what else is out there (if it's your intention to write about it). An accurate report on that would be valuable to interested readers.

    There are many well established players out there who have outperformed many of your choices on this page in terms of goals, points, work ethic, +/-, etc (for some time now). Additionally, the missing players have great reputations among USHL head coaches and GMs. Where are you getting your player profile information from - paid agents? Your picks, like the picks of most "expert" bloggers, appear to be a compilation of old conventional wisdom and outdated information rather than a reflection of what is really going on out there. Why bother?

  28. Well to the past two anonymous comments, you obviously have not done any reasearch before coming on my blog and bashing my writing behind an anonymous posting name. Writing on future USHL players is not what I do. I watch USHL hockey every single week and if you would have read my blog before starting trouble, you would know that I write exxclusively on players already in the USHL. So, thanks for reading, and if you would like to contact and discuss this matter more, please feel free to email me at, although I have a feeling you won't.

  29. John Urbaic, a 95 skater, has been out for a lot of the season with a broken player, but scouts are seeing this as an oppurtuinty to try and aqcuire him. he is strong and talented and if given an oppurtunity could excel in the USHL. He is also in OHL territory so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Keep an eye on him in 2011 2012 when he comes back.


Keep it clean, and don't attack individual players.