Redline Report Touts 2 DU Recruits For NHL Draft

(above) DU recruits Beau Bennett & Sam Brittain were mentioned as hot prospects for the NHL Draft this summer in Los Angeles

From: USA Today
by Kyle Woodlief-Former NHL Scout Nashville Predators

Just a few odds and ends we noticed in our rankings this month. First, in a continuation of the trend we've seen developing over the last six or seven years, Canada's various Jr. A loops are producing a steady stream of quality prospects.

This year's batch includes two players that will be heading to the University of Denver. Topping that group is California winger Beau Bennett, a speed demon who has been such a dominant force for Penticton in the British Columbia Hockey League that he basically has made a complete farce of the competition.

Leading the league with 41-79-120 scoring totals in 56 games, Bennett has catapulted himself into Red Line Report's first round. We certainly liked him back at the World Jr. A Challenge in November, but even we are surprised at just how quickly he has developed, and the improvements in his game over the past four months have been staggering.

Huge netminder Sam Brittain of Canmore in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. is another future Pioneer. Though he led his team to a first-round playoff upset, we expect that Canmore's season will come to an end well before the world U-18 championships get underway in Minsk next month, and we'd love to plant a bug in Hockey Canada's ear right now so they don't forget to add him to the roster. We'd love to see how he handles higher-caliber shooters on the international stage.

The other thing we noticed is that, with Bennett elevating himself to first-round status, we now have two southern California natives ranked in our first round: Bennett and Medicine Hat's Emerson Etem. That has got to be a first in Red Line's 17-year history.

Throw in Kelowna's Shane McColgan, a likely Top 10 overall pick at the 2011 draft, and California is truly becoming a hotbed of talent. What does it say about the changing face of hockey development in the United States that these three young stars represent a higher talent level than any player produced in the last five years out of a traditional hockey state such as Massachusetts?


dggoddard said...

These comments about Brittain are certainly encouraging. He was already ranked as one of the top 6 North American goaltenders heading into the Draft.

Now it seems like his stock is rising even higher.

Anonymous said...

Brittain is listed at 6'3 210'.....that really is a pretty darn big goalie. If he has the athleticism of, say, Dubie combined with that size then we may have something pretty special coming in.

444 said...

Too bad a California school hasn't shown any interest in starting a division 1 hockey program

Jeremy Weiss said...

ya @444 - would be nice to see D1 hockey go coast to coast...

Anonymous said...

Being out in California, there have been rumblings about USC and UCLA thinking about starting a D1 program just because the talent level has vastly improved (some elite club teams include the Jr. Kings and LA Selects) and club hockey in college ranks is growing in popularity. I don't have the links to where I've read these stories but every year there is something that always involves USC. I don't know if it's a private school thing or what. The NCAA tourney that was held in Anaheim (I think Alaska "hosted" the event) a few years back really brought about some exposure to the collegiate game.