U.S. college hockey free-agent season revs up | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaU.S. college hockey free-agent season revs up

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 | 05:59 PM

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Minnesota-Duluth centre Jack Connolly (12) celebrates after scoring a goal in a college hockey game against North Dakota on Feb. 11, 2012. Connolly attended Minnesota Wild's prospect camp last summer and Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp two summers ago. Minnesota-Duluth centre Jack Connolly (12) celebrates after scoring a goal in a college hockey game against North Dakota on Feb. 11, 2012. Connolly attended Minnesota Wild's prospect camp last summer and Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp two summers ago.

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As different schools are eliminated leading up to the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum, Apr. 5-7, expect some U.S. College free-agent signings over the next few weeks. We have compiled our proverbial (Hobey) baker's dozen of U.S. College players who soon will land contracts.
The playoffs have commenced in some of the conferences in the United States College ranks and the rest will get underway either this weekend or next. That means the U.S. college free agent season for the NHL has begun.

So as different schools are eliminated leading up to the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum, Apr. 5-7, expect some signings over the next few weeks. Below is our proverbial (Hobey) baker's dozen of U.S. College players who will land contracts over the next five weeks (in alphabetical order).

Spencer Abbott, Forward

Maine

Age: 23. Height: 5-9. Weight: 170

Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.

The skinny: A Hobey Baker candidate, he is among the NCAA's top offensive producers with 56 points in 34 games ... He skates on a line with another top free-agent, Brian Flynn ... Played for the Hamilton Red Wings prior to Maine.

J.T. Brown, Forward

Minnesota-Duluth

Age: 21. Height: 5-10. Weight: 170.

Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

The skinny: Plays on a line with another top college free agent, Travis Oleksuk ... Has scored 21 goals in 34 games this year ... His father Ted was a running back for eight years (1979-1987) with the Minnesota Vikings.

Jack Connolly, Forward

Minnesota-Duluth

Age: 22. Height: 5-8, Weight: 160.

Hometown: Duluth, Minn.

The skinny: Small, but an offensive dynamo ... Attended Minnesota Wild's prospect camp last summer and Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp two summers ago ... Older brother Chris is a senior forward for Boston University.

Danny Dekeyser, Defence

Western Michigan

Age: 22. Height: 6-2. Weight: 170.

Hometown: Algonac, Mich.

The skinny: Detroit Red Wings often have been mentioned as the favourite to sign this Michigander ... He grew up a Red Wings fan and played minor hockey with the son of Detroit assistant GM Jim Nill ... Played for the 2008-09 Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL.

Brian Flynn, Forward

Maine

Age: 23. Height: 6-0. Weight: 170.

Hometown: Lynnfield, Mass.

The skinny: Is 12th on the school's all-time scoring list with 153 points (68 goals, 85 assists) in 146 games ... Is a team captain ... Plays on a line with the aforementioned Spencer Abbott.

Torey Krug, Defence

Michigan State

Age: 20. Height: 5-9. Weight: 175.

Hometown: Livonia, Mich.

The skinny: Became the first defenceman in 25 years to win the CCHA scoring title at 29 points, an honour he shared with Notre Dame's T.J. Tynan ... Small, but makes a good first pass and obviously can pile up the points.

Travis Oleksuk, Forward

Minnesota-Duluth

Age: 23. Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.

Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ont.

The skinny: Set up the U.S. college championship-winning goal for his team a year ago ... Is considered a solid two-way player ... His father Bill preceded him at Minnesota-Duluth in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Cameron Schilling, Defence

Miami (Ohio)

Age: 23. Height: 6-2. Weight: 182.

Hometown: Carmel, Indiana

The skinny: An all-around defender ... Has a good shot ... Attended prospect camps for the Blackhawks and Wild, too.

Andrej Sustr, Defence

Nebraska-Omaha

Age: 21. Height: 6-8. Weight: 200.

Hometown: Pizen, Czech Republic

The skinny: A huge player, he attended the prospects camp of the New York Rangers last summer ... Ottawa Senators are believed to have interest in this defenceman.

Matt Tennyson, Defence

Western Michigan

Age: 21. Height: 6-2. Weight: 212.

Hometown: Pleasanton, Calif. 

The skinny: NHL scouts have noticed Tennyson on trips to take look at Dekeyser ... Known for his physical play, he also possesses a booming shot that comes in handy on the power play.

Jeremy Welsh, Forward

Union

Age: 23. Height: 6-3. Weight: 200.

Hometown: Bayfield, Ont.

The skinny: Went to the Blackhawks prospect camp last summer ... A former Oakville Blades captain, he helped the Blades capture the 2007-08 provincial championship.

Mark Zengerle Forward

Wisconsin

Age: 22. Height: 5-11. Weight: 178

Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.

The skinny: Attended Toronto Maple Leafs prospect camp last summer and the Maple Leafs still have interest in the sophomore forward ... Tied for most points among all second-year players in the country ... Had second-longest scoring streak in program history at 20 games.

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