The most glowing review went to 2008 second-round pick Patrick Wiercioch, who (as of Feb. 6, 2009) has scored 10 goals and 13 assists in 24 games this season for the University of Denver Pioneers. HF had this to say about the offensive defenceman:
Wiercioch’s size is impressive, standing 6’4. He still needs to fill out his 180 lb frame, but when he does, it will make the transition to the pro ranks smoother. While Wiercioch has ample size, he lacks the mean streak that is present in large defensemen such as Chris Pronger, and Zdeno Chara, but that is not Wiercioch’s game. He is a smooth, offensive-minded rearguard who can hold his own in the defensive zone.All in all, HF reviewed the development of seven players in college; Here are snippets, but read the actual article if you want more depth.
Aided by his solid skating ability, Wiercioch already looks to be a steal for the Senators. His impressive play resulted in an invite to Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp in December. While he did not make the cut for the actual tournament, the selection alone was impressive for a player who was not on the radar for many until this season.
- Eric Gryba (D): "After this season finishes, whether or not Gryba will turn pro remains to be seen. With Binghamton’s depth on the blueline, another year at Boston might be best to ensure he gets ample ice time."
- Mark Borowiecki (D): "Borowiecki is a long-term project to be sure, and will probably play at least two more seasons before the Senators sign him, if at all."
- Ben Blood (D): "Since he does not seem to excel either offensively nor defensively, and is not well rounded, Blood’s future is fuzzy at best."
- Louie Caporusso (F): "With 20 goals in 28 games, he is among the top goal scorers in the NCAA, blowing past his 12 goals in 33 games last season."
- Eric Condra (RW): "Condra is currently projected as a solid, third-line energy forward with some scoring touch. [...] Expect Condra to join Binghamton after the Fighting Irish’s season comes to an end and be signed to an NHL deal by Ottawa."
- Colin Greening (C): "At the age of 22 (23 in March) he would seem to have reached his ceiling in the NCAA, as he is unlikely to grow more as a player while competing against opponents who are up to four years his junior."