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2015 Top NCAA Free Agents

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Which free agents interest you?  And who do you think your favorite NHL team might sign?

 

 

Troy Stecher (defenseman, North Dakota, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds): A teammate of senior forward Michael Parks, a Flyers' 2010 draftee whose rights are still held by the organization, sophomore defenseman Stecher has emerged as perhaps the most highly sought collegiate free agent this season. Although undersized, he has excellent mobility and first-pass ability. Stecher also shows good competitiveness in the defensive zone.

 
Drake Caggiula (center/left winger, North Dakota, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds): A highly skilled forward, the 20-year-old junior has come on strong as the 2014-15 season has progressed. He is creative with the puck and good around the net. He also has a knack for irritating opposing players, as is quite often the case with smaller players who find success.
 
Ahti Oksanen (left wing, Boston University, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds): The 22-year-old Finn is a converted defenseman who has had a big offensive season as a junior. At times, he has played with likely top-two 2015 NHL draft pick Jack Eichel. For the season, Oksanen has posted 23 goals and 34 points in as many games in his first year as a forward. Recently, he played defense for the first time this season. The biggest knock on Oksanen's game is his skating. 
 
Evan Rodrigues (wing, Boston University, 5-foot-10, 175 pounds): As a senior, the 21-year-old has seen his offensive numbers jump while playing frequently with the likes of Eichel and Danny O'Regan. He's collected 36 assists among his career-high 54 points. Rodrigues makes good plays with the puck and is an above-average skater.
 
Matt O'Connor (goaltender, Boston University, 6-foot-5, 201 pounds) : Most every NHL team these days looks for size as well as athleticism from goaltending prospects, and 23-year-old BU junior O'Connor fits the bill in both regards. He's had a strong collegiate career on good teams and is reportedly being sought by multiple NHL clubs. As with virtually every young goaltender, O'Connor is still a work in progress in his development. He gets away with some preventable rebounds at the collegiate level that would probably end up in the net in the pros. He still needs refinement in reading plays. However, he appears ready to make the next step.
 
Casey Bailey (wing, Penn State, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds): The 23-year-old Alaskan junior forward has been a late-bloomer, coming up through the BCHL and USHL before arriving at Penn State. He has a knack for getting to scoring areas and is a good finisher who is not at all shy about pulling the trigger when he has an opportunity to shoot. For the season, Bailey has 22 goals and 40 points. He is a better skater than Oksanen and does not have the benefit of playing with the same caliber of linemates as the big Finn (although Penn State's hockey program is the real deal in its own right).
 
Hampus Gustafsson (center, Merrimack, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds): I have never seen the 21-year-old Swede play but the word on him is that he has two-way upside and some grit to his game as well as good size. In 38 games this season, the sophomore posted 11 goals and 25 points.
 
Brian Christie (center, Merrimack, 6-foot-2, 181 pounds): A familiar name to followers of the hockey scene in the greater Delaware Valley, the West Chester native and Junior Flyers product has had a breakthrough junior season at Merrimack after gestating in the NAHL and working his way up to a bigger role throughout his collegiate career to date. He has posted 10 goals and 23 points in 36 games.
 
Austin Czarnik (center, Miami Ohio, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds): Many of the same things that can be said of Martel can also be said of 22-year-old senior forward Czarnik. He skates well and is highly creative with the puck on his stick. Czarnik, originally a USA National Team Development Program product, is an excellent stickhandler and one of the best playmakers in the collegiate game.
 
Kenney Morrison (defense, Western Michigan, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds): The 23-year-old junior is another player who took a winding path to potential NHL interest, rising up through the BCHL and USHL before his collegiate career. There was some interest in him last season as well -- most notably from the Edmonton Oilers -- but he elected to return for his junior year and has made the most of it. A combination of good size and mobility with a booming righthanded shot from the point are his biggest assets.
 
Oleg Yevenko (Defense, UMass Amherst, 6-foot-7, 229 pounds): The hulking 24-year-old Belarusian, who represented his country at the 2014 IIHF World Championships, is a pure project player who plays a style that is somewhat similar to Flyers' recently acquired defenseman Radko Gudas. Yevenko took part in the Boston Bruins development camp last summer but returned to college for his senior season. Yevenko, who played junior hockey in Germany and spent two seasons in the USHL before starting his collegiate career, is not afraid to throw his weight around. Yevenko has a heavy shot but is pretty much exclusively a defensive defenseman. 
 
Tom Parisi (defense, Providence, 6-foot-0, 195 pounds): The 21-year-old Long Island native has emerged as a reliable puck mover who defends well in his own zone and can occasionally jump into the play offensively. The junior spent a year with the USNTDP prior to matriculating at Providence. He frequently plays against opponents' top lines at the collegiate level.
 
Nick Saracino (center/left wing, Providence, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds): A double-digit goal scorer even in his freshman season, the 23-year-old St. Louis native is a USHL product who has always excelled on the offensive side of the puck and battled through injuries early in his development. He attended the New Jersey Devils' development camp a couple summer ago and has worked on bettering his overall game.
 
Grayson Downing (center, New Hampshire, 6-foot-0, 185 pounds): The 22-year-old senior forward has been a consistent offensive performer throughout his collegiate career and has peaked at the right time in his senior season. Downing has a quick shot release and can draw the defense toward him and dish to an open teammate for scoring chances. 
 
Mike Vecchione (center, Union, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds): Union lost a lot of key personnel, including Shayne Gostisbehere, after winning the Frozen Four championship last year. Twenty-two year old sophomore Vecchione stepped up to help fill some of the void, posting 19 goals and 50 points in 39 games while excelling in the faceoff circle. He has shown plus speed and good two-way awareness for a young forward. He also has experience playing wing. Vecchione took ECAC player of the week honors in back-to-back weeks early this season.
 
Derek Pratt (defense, UConn, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds): The 21-year-old freshman defenseman is a no-frills defender with a good frame, solid first-pass ability and good mobility with a physical edge. Further seasoning would not hurt but the former Waterloo Black Hawks blueliner is a name to watch.
 
Dylan Margonari (left wing, Minnesota State-Mankato, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds): The 23-year-old western Pennsylvania native is a burgeoning power forward. He is at is his most effective when he gets to the net and has been adding strength to his frame. As a junior this season, the former USHL (Youngstown Phantoms) winger posted a collegiate career-high 14 goals and 18 points in 32 games.
 
Matthew Zay (center, Mercyhurst, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds): A Long Island native who played briefly for the Pembroke Lumber Kings (the same Ontario Junior A club where Dainius Zubrus was discovered by NHL scouts back in the mid-1990s), the 24-year-old senior plays a structured game and competes hard. He is not the fastest or most naturally gifted player but made himself into a very productive collegiate player (although his junior offensive stats outpaced his senior season). 
 
Drew Brevig (defenseman, Ohio State, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds): A team leader who moved up from defense to the top forward line when the squad was riddled with injuries, Brevig is a natural defenseman who, through sheer hard work has come to play a fundamentally sound game -- reliable first pass, positionally reliable, poised under forechecking pressure and deceptive closing ability as well as an active defensive stick. Brevig himself wound up missing six games this season due to injury. Several NHL clubs have taken notice of the sophomore blueliner. The Minnesota native attended the development camps of both the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals last summer.
 
Kyle Baun (right winger, Colgate, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds): A powerfully built righthanded shooter, Baun is the grandson of longtime NHL player Bobby Baun, who played over 950 games in the league primarily with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings from the late 1950s to early 1970s. Baun has learned how to use his size effectively around the net and competes in the trenches. The junior scored 14 goals in 36 games.
 
C.J. Motte (goaltender, Ferris State, 6-foot-0, 176 pounds): A little bit undersized by today's standards of seeking bigger and bigger goaltenders, 23-year-old Ferris senior netminder Motte has been a workhorse in his collegiate career. He consistently performed at a high level for Ferris State, especially during his junior (Hobey Baker Award finalist) and senior seasons. Note: Another standout collegiate goaltender, graduating Northeastern senior Clay Witt, recently signed an Amateur Try Out (ATO) contract for the rest of the AHL season with the Adirondack Flames but has not been signed by any NHL team to an entry-level deal.

 

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Ok...now for my serious answer I'd take....

Ahti Oksanen (left wing, Boston University, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds): The 22-year-old Finn is a converted defenseman who has had a big offensive season as a junior. At times, he has played with likely top-two 2015 NHL draft pick Jack Eichel. For the season, Oksanen has posted 23 goals and 34 points in as many games in his first year as a forward. Recently, he played defense for the first time this season. The biggest knock on Oksanen's game is his skating.

...just because Flyers need LW depth and he could easliy start on the Phantoms if not by the start earned his way on the BIG club then be a 1st option call up on the wing when need be. He is suppose to be sound in both ends which i like...so his offense may pick up.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent Casey Bailey to a two-year entry-level contract.  Bailey is expected to get some time with the Leafs before the season is over. 

 

Nice signing by the Leafs.

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 Hampus Gustaffson.....what are the odds we have 2 NHL players named Hampus...ha ha!

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Kyle Baun (right winger, Colgate, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds): A powerfully built righthanded shooter, Baun is the grandson of longtime NHL player Bobby Baun, who played over 950 games in the league primarily with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings from the late 1950s to early 1970s. Baun has learned how to uze effectively around the net and competes in the trenches. The junior scored 14 goals in 36 games.

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Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 2m2 minutes ago

Baun's deal with CHI is two-year entry level. Will burn 1st year now by playing game(s) this season.

Edited by OccamsRazor

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Bob McKenzie        ✔ @TSNBobMcKenzie
BU free agent goalie Matt O'Connor has visited OTT, EDM and VAN. He will visit NYR on Tues or Wed, likely make a decision by the weekend.

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@OccamsRazor  Yep...O'Connor is getting better everyday...is 6'5 with great agility....literally a crime he was missed in the draft...now he reaps the rewards. If Edmonton does not back up the Brinks truck, they are fools.

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@OccamsRazor  Yep...O'Connor is getting better everyday...is 6'5 with great agility....literally a crime he was missed in the draft...now he reaps the rewards. If Edmonton does not back up the Brinks truck, they are fools.

 

 

The max deal he can get in a 2 year ELC paying about 925K.....it's all any team can sign him to....so yes the Oilers should be the front runner who else they have in net??? Scrivens??

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@OccamsRazor  I thought you could include reachable bonus clauses in addition to the ELC....I thought was how EDM lured Schultz...along with guaranteed playing time.

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@OccamsRazor  I thought you could include reachable bonus clauses in addition to the ELC....I thought was how EDM lured Schultz...along with guaranteed playing time.

 

 

Yeah i'm not sure....you maybe right...i don't claim to be an expert i do know he can only sign a 2 year deal due to his age.

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Isn't this the goalie who made blatant errors in the quarters, semis and final game.... Ultimately costing the terriers the national championship?

I don't know his entire body of work but no thanks. Providence goalie was way better than him

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@Claude Monet  He did have some BIG lapses during key situations....there is no doubt about that. I think scouts are looking at the whole body of work...and his size and quickness are off the charts...we are so lacking in goalie prospects, I'd make a play for him....

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@Claude Monet He did have some BIG lapses during key situations....there is no doubt about that. I think scouts are looking at the whole body of work...and his size and quickness are off the charts...we are so lacking in goalie prospects, I'd make a play for him....

Isn't that what they said about Checkmonek? Lol.

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@Claude Monet  He did have some BIG lapses during key situations....there is no doubt about that. I think scouts are looking at the whole body of work...and his size and quickness are off the charts...we are so lacking in goalie prospects, I'd make a play for him....

 

 

Are you talking about Matt O'Connor? He signed with Ottawa.

 

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Are you talking about Matt O'Connor? He signed with Ottawa.

 

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I had no idea, Ottawa got a nice tender there....at least he has some nice skills, how the total package works out..is anyone's guess.

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Didn't he pretty much lose BU the championship?

 

OConnor.gif

 

I know he was pretty well regarded, but damn if that's not going to haunt him for a while...

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@AJgoal  Yeah, it was a huge lapse at a horrible time, but the guy has nice skill and size....the Sens made a nice depth move here.

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The 2015 NHL free agent class suddenly got a lot more interesting on Saturday afternoon.

It was then that news broke that 21 year-old defenseman Mike Reilly will be officially decommitting from his current NCAA team, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, to turn pro and test the market as an unrestricted free agent.

 

There’s a lot to like about what Reilly brings to the ice. A smart, highly-skilled offensive blueliner, Reilly was a standout during his time with the Golden Gophers, leading his entire team in points in his final college season with 42 in just 39 games. Despite his young age he made the Team USA roster at this year’s World Championship, playing all 10 games and winning a bronze medal with the team on Sunday. He also helped his team take gold back at the 2013 World Juniors.

There’s little doubt whatsoever that there is going to be a long list of suitors for his services, and that he’s going to make one lucky NHL team very happy.

 

Defenseman Mike Reilly, a fourth-round pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011, has officially left the University of Minnesota, forgoing his senior season. However, instead of signing with the Jackets, Reilly has notified the team he will explore the market as an unrestricted free agent according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

Reilly is taking advantage of a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that gives NHL teams a window to sign their drafted prospects within a four years. As long as that player remains a college student, the team that drafted him retains his rights. When that player either graduates from college or files the paperwork to leave the university before graduation, that team has 30 days from the date they graduate or leave school to exclusively negotiate with the player.

Reilly’s 30-day clock has started according to McKenzie, but having already notified the Blue Jackets he’s going the free agent route, it appears the negotiating window is irrelevant. Other teams cannot sign Reilly until August, however.

 

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The 2015 NHL free agent class suddenly got a lot more interesting on Saturday afternoon.

It was then that news broke that 21 year-old defenseman Mike Reilly will be officially decommitting from his current NCAA team, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, to turn pro and test the market as an unrestricted free agent.

There’s a lot to like about what Reilly brings to the ice. A smart, highly-skilled offensive blueliner, Reilly was a standout during his time with the Golden Gophers, leading his entire team in points in his final college season with 42 in just 39 games. Despite his young age he made the Team USA roster at this year’s World Championship, playing all 10 games and winning a bronze medal with the team on Sunday. He also helped his team take gold back at the 2013 World Juniors.

There’s little doubt whatsoever that there is going to be a long list of suitors for his services, and that he’s going to make one lucky NHL team very happy.

Defenseman Mike Reilly, a fourth-round pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011, has officially left the University of Minnesota, forgoing his senior season. However, instead of signing with the Jackets, Reilly has notified the team he will explore the market as an unrestricted free agent according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

Reilly is taking advantage of a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that gives NHL teams a window to sign their drafted prospects within a four years. As long as that player remains a college student, the team that drafted him retains his rights. When that player either graduates from college or files the paperwork to leave the university before graduation, that team has 30 days from the date they graduate or leave school to exclusively negotiate with the player.

Reilly’s 30-day clock has started according to McKenzie, but having already notified the Blue Jackets he’s going the free agent route, it appears the negotiating window is irrelevant. Other teams cannot sign Reilly until August, however.

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Interesting. So do you think he told the Jackets that he was going to finish College (so they didn't have to sign him right away) and then pulled a switcheroo so he could go the FA route?

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Interesting. So do you think he told the Jackets that he was going to finish College (so they didn't have to sign him right away) and then pulled a switcheroo so he could go the FA route?

 

 

I can't really say for sure if i did i'd be guessing but he could have...you never know but either way had they offered he still could have refused to sign that is their choice not a lot teams can do about that.

 

It was his leverage to use and teams do the same to the prospect when they can so fair is fair i guess. But who know he could of just had a change of mind.

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Has anyone heard of where/if Tom Parisi has signed with anyone???

 

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Or Hampus Gustafsson a LW??

 

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Or goalie Clay Witt??----nevermind he is signed with the Flames.

 

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Daniel Ciampini-----signed with the Sharks.

 

I'd like to see the Flyers sign some of these guys to beef the prospect pool up some more. As far as i know they are all still available.

Edited by OccamsRazor

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The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent Casey Bailey to a two-year entry-level contract.  Bailey is expected to get some time with the Leafs before the season is over. 

 

Nice signing by the Leafs.

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent Casey Bailey to a two-year entry-level contract.  Bailey is expected to get some time with the Leafs before the season is over. 

 

Nice signing by the Leafs.

I like this guy.

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      @OccamsRazor  I thought you could include reachable bonus clauses in addition to the ELC....I thought was how EDM lured Schultz...along with guaranteed playing time.

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