The Jackets have ten prospects playing Division One hockey in the NCAA. Of the ten, six are forwards, three are blueliners and there is one goaltender. There are a couple of prospects who have the potential to be impact players, while some seem like their tenure in the organization won't go past this season.
Check after the jump for updates on the ten Columbus prospects playing in the NCAA.Jake Hansen- LW
Minnesota Golden Gophers
20 GP / 8G / 11A / 19PTS / 30PIM
- Fifth in team scoring, highest scoring senior.
- Four of his goals were scored on the powerplay.
- Scored 2-1-3 this past weekend as the team earned a split in their two game series with Michigan State.
- Had a four-assist game earlier this season against Sacred Heart.
Hansen will be graduating this year. It's very likely that he will join the Falcons on a PTO at the end of this season, and will try to earn a full-time spot in Springfield next fall. He's an offensive forward who can have an impact at the AHL level, but may be on the AHL-ECHL bus to start his pro career.
Seth Ambroz -RW
Minnesota Golden Gophers
19GP / 3G / 2A / 5PTS / 33PIM
- Second on the team in penalty minutes, not surprising given he's a power forward.
- 19 of his 33 penalty minutes came in a game against North Dakota last month.
I'm excited for Ambroz. He was projected as a first rounder in the 2011 draft, but slipped to the middle rounds, where the Jackets were all too happy to snatch him up. He's a power winger, something you didn't see as often in the NHL these days. He's only a freshman this season, after spending an extra year in the USHL last season. This gives the Jackets a few more years to develop him.
Sean Collins -C
Cornell Big Red
11GP / 3G / 2A / 5PTS / 4PIM
- Collins is an assistant captain with Cornell.
- Cornell is currently the top team in the ECAC standings.
Collins is in-tough to earn a professional contract. He's a hard-working player, but just hasn't shown enough skill to make it in the pros. He'll likely not be signed by Columbus at the end of this season.
Kevin Lynch -C
18GP / 3G / 2A / 5PTS / 22PIM
- Michigan is struggling this season, sitting 8th in the CCHA.
- Lynch leads his team in penalties taken, with 11.
- Has two multi-point games this season.
While Lynch has been known as a defensive center since his draft year, I expected more from him offensively. He had 11 goals last season, and I though there is still a large part of the season left, he may not even beat that total, let alone surpass it. I can see him staying in school next season, his senior year, to help the Wolverines get back to the top of the CCHA.
Trent Vogelhuber- RW
Miami (Ohio) Redhawks
18GP / 2G / 5A / 7PTS / 39PIM
- Second on the team in penalty minutes.
- Has the team's lone empty-net goal this season.
Vogelhuber is behind his scoring pace from last season, where he put up a combined 21 points in 39 games. Though he was a good story, being "Mr. Irrelevant", and a central Ohio product at the 2007 draft in Columbus, he will likely not be offered a contract by the Jackets at the end of this, his senior year.
T.J. Tynan- C
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
20GP / 7G / 20A / 27PTS / 14PIM
- Leads the Irish in scoring.
- Currently tied for fourth in NCAA Division 1 scoring, two points back of the leader.
- Scored the lone short-handed goal for the Irish so far this season.
- Invited to the Team USA preliminary camp for the 2012 World Juniors.
I'm excited for Tynan as much as I was for Cam Atkinson the past couple of years. Both players are undersized, but were offensive forces in the NCAA. As most of you are aware, Tynan was drafted with a pick acquired from the Ottawa Senators for Nikita Filatov. Just this morning it was reported that Filatov is back in Russia, while Tynan is a blue-chip prospect for the Jackets. A clear win for GM Scott Howson.
Will Weber- D
Miami (Ohio) Redhawks
20GP / 0G / 3A / 3PTS / 20PIM
- Co-captain of the Redhawks.
Weber is a defense-first, shutdown blueliner. This is his final season of college hockey, and will no doubt be offered a contract by the Jackets next summer. He'll rarely be on the scoresheet, but he is very effective at shutting down opposition forwards and clearing the space in front of his net.
Thomas Larkin- D
15GP / 2G / 7A / 9PTS / 20PIM
- Second on the team in blueline scoring.
- Member of the Italian National Team, will take part in the 2012 World Hockey Championship
After putting up a strong rookie season at Colgate, Larkin followed up with a somewhat disappointing sophomore season. The good thing for Colgate (and the Jackets) is that he is back to scoring at a similar points-per-game clip as he was as a rookie. I don't see a scenario where Larkin doesn't return to Colgate next season to complete his senior year, going pro the following season.
Drew Olson- D
Minnesota- Duluth Bulldogs
18GP / 1G / 2A / 3PTS / 35PIM
- Tied for the team lead in penalty minutes.
While Olson was never exactly a blue-chip prospect, he hasn't done much to become one. Part of that is playing on a deep Bulldogs team, limiting his ability to be a go-to player on defense. He's a long shot to earn a contract with the Jackets, but he does have until the end of next season to convince the Jackets to do so.
Martin Ouellette- G
Maine Black Bears
7GP / 1-3-0 Record / 3.31 GAA / 0.873 SV%
- Serves as the backup goaltender with the Black Bears.
Maine is a middle-of-the-pack team in the Hockey East conference, and Ouellette is the number two man. His numbers aren't outstanding, but then again few Maine players have great numbers. The number one goaltender is also a sophomore, so clearly he's getting outplayed. The next couple of years will tell the story of whether he is a pro goaltender.