My first couple posts back when I started this blog were my rankings for the 2005 recruits. It's still a little early to really judge these guys, I thought it'd be interesting to take a look back and see how terrible my predictions were. In my defense, I was just getting started with this. I feel a lot more confident with the 2006 recruits, and even more confident with the 2007 and 2008 guys since I've had so many opportunities to see some of these guys play. Anyway, let's see how awful this was.
1. Phil Kessel- UMn
Duh. A good pick, but also a very easy one. I don't know of anyone that didn't have him first.
2. Jonathan Toews- UND
Another good pick, and another safe pick. Toews was outstanding this year, especially at the end.
3. Andrew Cogliano- UM
Cogliano wasn't bad this year, but he certainly wasn't a first line player. He didn't really live up to the hype.
4. Blake Wheeler- UMn
Same as Cogliano. Good, but not as good as I had him pegged for. Almost half of his points came against teams from Alaska.
5. Jack Skille- UW
13 goals is a pretty good freshmen year. I was pretty impressed with the way he played this season. I'd move him ahead of Cogliano and Wheeler.
6. Chad Rau- CC
30 points is pretty good for a freshmen. He was pretty effective for the Tigers. I think I had this one about right.
7. Tom Gorowsky- UW
Yeesh. Gorowsky played 18 games and only had 2 assists. He didnt' see much ice in the games he played. I totally blew this one. I think he'll be a decent player once he starts getting more ice time though.
8. Justin Abdelkader- MSU
For as excellent as everyone said he played this year, he only averaged a point every two games. He contributed a lot defensively though. I think this was a solid pick.
9. Ryan Stoa- UMn
He had a pretty decent year once he got moved to the first line with Potulny and Irmen.
10. Michael Gergen- UMD
I liked the way he played, but he was only the third highest freshmen scorer on his team. He was probably too high.
11. Brock Trotter- DU
An awful cut to the leg in a game made him miss most of the season. Can't really judge him yet.
12. Dan Reidel- FSU
Pretty good this year. He missed some time due to illness, which hurt his point totals, but he still finished ok. I'd this pick was pretty close to right.
13. Matt Watkins- UND
Not a great freshmen year. Only 9 points. I had him too high.
14. Brian Gifford- DU
Played in the USHL this year.
15. Andrew Kozek- UND
I definitely got shaky near the end of the list. Kozek was decent for a freshmen, but didn't really stand out.
16. Phil Axtell- MTU
Played in the USHL this year.
17. Andreas Vlassapoulous- CC
Only played in 1 game due to injury.
18. Mason Raymond- UMD
Great year this year. He was easily one of the five best freshmen in the west this year.
19 Jared Boll- UMD
Played pretty well in the OHL this season.
20. Justin Mercier- MU
Not a huge standout, but for the 20th guy on the list, not an awful pick.
So what about......
Clearly the most glaring omission. I think he was the best freshmen in college hockey this season.
Played on a line with Justin Abdelkader and outscored him by a few points. Very effective this season.
Erik Condra-Notre Dame
Scored a lot of powerplay points for a struggling offense.
He was the North Dakota freshmen forward I should have picked.
1.Jack Johnson- UM
An easy one. JJ was pretty dominant from the blueline this season.
2. Brian Lee- UND
You could make an argument that he was ranked a little too high, but he was good this year. I love the way he runs the powerplay.
3. R.J. Anderson- UMn
He wasn't awful, but I think I had him too high.
4. Matt Niskanen- UMD
He deserved to be second or third. I really like the way he plays. He's going to be a great player.
5. Tyler Eckford- UAF
He had a pretty good year. I think I had this one about right.
6. Chris Zarb- FSU
Zarb struggled down the stretch. I had him a little higher than I should have.
7. Taylor Chorney- UND
Eh, you could maybe argue that he should be lower, but not much.
8. Zach Jones- UND
I was very impressed with Jones this year. I'd move him up to 4th or 5th on this list.
9. Mark Mitera- UM
Solid and dependable. Not really a standout, but a very valuable defenseman. He's about in the right spot.
10. T.J. Fast- DU
Fast wasn't that impressive this season, but he wasn't bad either. I wouldn't put him any higher, but this wasn't a terrible selection.
So what about......
You put him on the list in place of a couple of guys.
1. Jeff Frazee- UMn
Sweet Jebus what an awful pick. My only solace is that if I had correctly predicted how bad he'd be, I'd have never heard the end of it from Minnesota fans.
2. Shane Connelly- UW
Not much better. UW coach Bill Howard tried to change the way Connelly played goal, and it would have been better if he didn't see the ice this year while he adjusted his style. He got pressed into service though and really struggled.
3. Jimmy Spratt- BGSU
0 for 3. 4.35 GAA and .855 save percentage is pretty much all you need to know. He couldn't hold onto the starter spot at BGSU.
4. Jeff Lerg- MSU
My list wouldn't have looked so bad if I had started here. Lerg was probably the best freshmen goalie this season.
5. Dan Tormey- MSUM
A wildcard pick by me that turned out to be right. Tormey won the starting job a month into the season and held onto it the rest of the season. He was very good this year.
So what about.....
Tough call between him and Lerg for best freshmen goalie.
One of the only freshmen goalies that was a dependable starter for his team.