College Hockey's Impact Players

The season's not over yet, and there is plenty of hockey left to be played (thank God), but we know that most people will look at a player's total points on the season when judging talent.  Believe it or not, there is so much more to that.

I went through the standings and statistics of every college hockey team in order to find some players that stand out.  Some of them you may have already heard of, like Johnny Gaudreau, Ryan Walters, Greg Carey, but what about some of the other players who happen to be putting up very good numbers in other categories that aren't necessarily points?

We know about all about the University of Nebraska Omaha's Ryan Walters.  Hobey Baker front-runner, overal point leader, and an impressive power-play goal tally.  Especially as a junior, this kid will continue to grow and maybe perhaps win college hockey's prestigious Hobey Baker award.  Who knows, Ryan might also help his team make a frozen four appearence this year, a team that has never had that opportunity.  A statistic about Ryan you may not know is his plus/minus ratio.  Walters is currently +20, meaning he's been out on the ice 20 times more when the Red-Mavs have scored in comparison to when they've been scored on.  Not only does this stat lead all of NCAA hockey, but it is one of the most impressive to have.

Photo: USCHO

Here are some of the other impact forwards that have performed well so far this season:

Yr.
Pos
Team
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts./G
PPG
SHG
GWG
(+/-)
FW
FO%
BLK
Ryan Walters
Jr.
F
Nebraska Omaha
26
15
24
39
1.50
4
0
1
+20
21
43.8%
5
Johnny Gaudreau
So.
F
Boston College
20
12
19
31
1.55
2
0
6
+15
5
62.5%
8
Corban Knight
Sr.
F
North Dakota
25
13
23
35
1.40
2
0
2
+12
376
57.9%
18
Greg Carey
Jr.
F
St. Lawrence
24
16
18
34
1.42
6
0
2
+2
4
40.0%
3
Erik Haula
Jr.
F
Minnesota
23
11
20
31
1.35
3
0
1
+8
172
52.3%
8
Danny Kristo
Sr.
F
North Dakota
24
15
18
33
1.38
4
1
3
+8
2
22.2%
9
Cason Hohmann
So.
F
Boston University
23
6
17
23
1.00
2
0
2
+17
226
52.7%
18
Kevin Goumas
Jr.
F
New Hampshire
23
10
20
30
1.30
2
0
2
+16
87
49.4%
7
Pat Mullane
Sr.
F
Boston College
23
11
17
28
1.22
0
0
1
+14
249
56.3%
15
Jeremy Langlois
Sr.
F
Quinnipiac
23
11
12
23
1.00
1
1
1
+18
191
47.6%
9
Drew Leblanc
Sr.
F
St. Cloud State
26
7
28
35
1.35
1
0
2
+13
214
50.2%
11
Austin Czarnik
So.
F
Miami Ohio
26
9
17
26
1.00
1
3
2
+16
238
42.7%
24


For a defender, the rules on judging a player change.  Not all defensemen are going to be point-producing machines.  Although it doesn't hurt anything to have a goal from the blue line every now and then, but one of their main jobs is to keep the little rubber puck out of then net.  Bentley's Steve Weinstein has been able to successfully balance both the offensive and defensive aspects of being an all-around defenseman.  Weinstein is only a sophomore but putting up some exceptional statistics.  On the offensive side of things, Steve has scored 6 goals and fed teammates for 16 assists averaging just under 1 point-per-game.  On the defensive side of things, Weinstein has managed to hold a +16 rating while laying down to block 19 shots from other teams.  He also has been dominating on Bentley's special teams scoring 5 power play goals and even notching a shorthanded tally.  A good start for a sophomore who has a 2 more years (maybe) to improve.

Photo: BentleyFalcons.com

Here are the other successful defenseman in the NCAA in my opinion:

Yr.
Pos
Team
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts./G
PPG
SHG
GWG
(+/-)
FW
FO%
BLK
Steve Weinstein
So.
D
Bentley
23
6
16
22
0.96
5
1
0
+16
*
*
19
Nate Schmidt
Jr.
D
Minnesota
26
6
19
25
0.96
3
0
1
+13
*
*
23
Andre Sustr
Jr.
D
Nebraska Omaha
26
6
12
18
0.69
3
0
1
+13
*
*
49
Bryce Aneloski
Sr.
D
Nebraska Omaha
25
4
11
15
0.60
0
1
1
+15
*
*
27
Alexx Privitera
So.
D
Boston University
20
2
10
12
0.60
2
0
0
+2
*
*
70
Mike Boivin
Sr.
D
Colorado College
26
11
10
21
0.81
5
1
0
+2
*
*
11
Mike Dalhuisen
Sr.
D
Quinnipiac
24
7
4
11
0.46
0
0
0
+16
*
*
16


I like to also throw together a list of rookies that have competed well, as it is never easy to be thrown into a whole new level of hockey and be expected to perform night after night.  For newcomers I like Minnesota Duluth's Tony Cameranesi (yes call it homerism) and Miami Ohio's Riley Barber.  Cameranesi was thrown into the mix after the Bulldogs had lost well over half of their scoring from the year before, most importantly noting Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly.  So 9 freshman were thrown into the mix and expected to perform as the Bulldogs had made the NCAA tournament 3 of the last 4 years.  With expectations of the team lowered due to the young age, Tony has eagerly stepped up by scoring 10 goals, 5 which were powerplay goals (the most in the NCAA for freshman) while averaging just under a point-per-game, also taking faceoffs for the Dogs and winning 193 so far this year.

Riley on the other hand has put up some dominating numbers as well.  Most coaches and knowledgable college hockey fans understand that the maturity of incoming freshman is lower then that off a player who may have been skating at the NCAA level for awhile.  This maturity directly impacts a player's statistics.  But Barber has decided to play his game a little differently.  With a +16 rating and tied for the high amount of points for rookies, Riley is anything but hesitant at his young age.

As for defensemen rookies go, there wasn't exactly a ton to choose from, but the ones I did find have made valuable assets to their teams.  I like Matt Blomquist out of Bentley because for one, he's +10.  He knows how to skate with the puck and eliminate costly turnovers.  Now that is one skill to have in itself, but Blomquist also has the highest amount of points and point-per-game average among rookie d's.  Another dominating defenseman is Jacob Trouba of Michigan.  I know arguments could be made against this, but with 8 goals and 17 points, Trouba is an offensive cannon from the blue line.  He's -5 plus/minus rating could be due to a variety of reasons, I mean it doesn't help he's skating for a team that is 8-16-2 and holding strong to 10th in the CCHA.

Photo: HockeysFuture.com

Here are the other freshman who have made helpful impacts:

Yr.
Pos
Team
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts./G
PPG
SHG
GWG
(+/-)
FW
FO%
BLK
Andrew Gladiuk
Fr.
F
Bentley
22
12
14
26
1.18
4
1
4
+1
173
50.3%
4
Tony Cameranesi
Fr.
F
Minnesota Duluth
24
10
12
22
0.92
5
0
1
+2
193
44.2%
5
Kalle Kossila
Fr.
F
St. Cloud State
24
11
12
23
0.96
4
0
1
+16
10
47.6%
4
Riley Barber
Fr.
F
Miami Ohio
24
9
17
26
1.08
2
1
2
+11
16
44.4%
4
Jonny Brodzinki
Fr.
F
St. Cloud State
26
11
9
20
0.77
0
0
1
+20
3
37.5%
8
Yr.
Pos
Team
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts./G
PPG
SHG
GWG
(+/-)
FW
FO%
BLK
Matt Blomquist
Fr.
D
Bentley
23
3
14
17
0.74
2
0
0
+10
*
*
33
Jacob Trouba
Fr.
D
Michigan
23
8
9
17
0.74
5
0
1
-5
*
*
28
Michael Matheson
Fr.
D
Boston College
21
4
10
14
0.67
2
0
1
+11
*
*
25
Matthew Caito
Fr.
D
Miami Ohio
26
3
10
13
0.50
2
0
0
+10
*
*
50


I'm going to tell you right now, I could never be a goalie.  The amount of stress and anxieties this guys must endure during the game has got to be astronomical.  Now along with a good goalie comes good defense, but great goalies begin to emerge when a good defense makes mistakes and turns the puck over, or penalties force great goalies to make it seem like it was even strength all along.

Now a goaltender's statistics can change dramatically throughout the duration of the year.  The amount of variables that affect a tendy's play is literally difficult to even think of them all.  The difference ice surfaces play an impact on how the puck bounces, previous injuries and lack of stretching can effect movement and rotation, lack of sleep or stress can add to reaction time, bad defenders or penalty prone players can cause man-advantages, or even one could simply be having on off day.

Miami Ohio's Ryan McKay simply seems to be immune to most of these variables.  One could argue that the amount of games he has played have been very minimal, allowing for a greater chance at impressive stats, but McKay has played against Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Lake Superior where his statistics could have easily gone the other way.  It's hard to argue with a goaltender save 96.3% of shots and averaging under a goal per game.


Here's the rest of my top goaltenders so far:

Yr.
Team
GP
Mins.
GAA
Save %
SO
Ryan McKay
Fr.
Miami Ohio
10
553
0.98
0.963
2
Brady Hjelle
Sr.
Ohio State
20
1199
1.60
0.946
3
Carsen Chubak
Jr.
Niagara
23
1374
1.75
0.944
5
Eric Hartzell
Sr.
Quinnipiac
23
1358
1.46
0.934
4
Anthony Borelli
Sr.
Brown
12
657
1.64
0.941
1
Adam Wilcox
Fr.
Minnesota
25
1480
1.70
0.926
3
Stephon Williams
Fr.
Minnesota State
22
1286
1.82
0.927
4
Jason Kasdorf
Fr.
RPI
10
548
1.75
0.935
0
Matt Grogan
Sr.
U. Conn
10
541
1.89
0.941
0


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