Michigan’s Mike Komisarek and Ohio State’s R.J. Umberger are the top two rated skaters among U.S. college players eligible for this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
This year’s crop will have a hard time living up to last year’s, when a record seven collegiate or college-bound players were selected in the first round, including the top two — Wisconsin’s Dany Heatley, and the history-making No. 1 overall selection of BU goalie Rick DiPietro by the New York Islanders.
The 2001 NHL Entry Draft will take place June 23-24 at National Car Rental Center in Sunrise, Fla.
The Central Scouting list features the top 180 skaters in North America, top 30 North American goaltenders, as well as the top 129 European players and top seven European goaltenders. The complete list is available on the Entry Draft section of NHL.com.
Other likely first-round selections are David Steckel of Ohio State — rated No. 16 by Central Scouting — Chuck Kobasew (20) of Boston College, and Minnesota State-Mankato forward Tim Jackman (21). Edward Caron (29) is the highest-ranked North American college-bound forward who isn’t already enrolled. The Phillips-Exeter center will attend New Hampshire in the fall.
Other prominent forwards are Michigan’s Mike Cammalleri (40) and Colorado College’s Colin Stuart (52).
The highest-ranked college or college-bound goalie is Jason Bacashihua, who committed to Michigan in the fall. Bacashihua will only be 18, howver, by the Sept. 1, 2001 cutoff date, and would have to opt-in to the draft in order to be selected. Doing so, would disqualify him from any NCAA eligibility, so he is unlikely to do so.
Boston University’s Sean Fields was ranked No. 19 among North American goalies, followed by Findlay’s Kevin Fines (23).