This is from research I did for a story that appeared in the May issue of California Rubber Hockey Magazine.
The Bible of hockey has spoken, and it spoke favorably of California’s prospects for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Three players with ties to the state are among the top 54 prospects in The Hockey News’ annual Draft Preview issue, which hit newstands and mailboxes this past week.
The three are forwards Emerson Etem (Long Beach), Beau Bennett (Gardena) and Jason Zucker (LA Selects).
Etem is the publication’s 17th-ranked prospect, Bennett its 35th and Zucker its 54th.
Etem was the eighth ranked North American skater by the NHL Central Scouting Service in its final rankings after leading all Western Hockey League rookies with 37 goals (and 65 points) in 72 games for Medicine Hat. The 6-foot, 194-pound right wing played with LA Hockey’s ’92 birth year teams as well as the Jr. Ice Dogs.
Bennett led the BCHL in scoring as a rookie with 120 points (41 goals, 79 assists) in 56 games for Penticton. He was ranked 32nd by CSS. The 6-1, 180-pounder played for the Selects and the LA Jr. Kings.
Zucker was ranked 51st by CSS after helping Team USA win the World Jr. Championship. He spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 5-10, 175-pound is from Las Vegas, but spent a couple of seasons playing for LA Hockey.
Here is a look at some other draft-eligible prospects from California:
C Jake Fallon (former LAHC player), Indiana of USHL
CSS Rank: 68
Key stats: The 5-10, 180-pounder split time between USNTDP U-18 team and Indiana this season
D Taylor Aronson (Placentia), Portland of the WHL
CSS Rank: 88
Key stats: The 6-1, 197-pounder had 31 points in 71 games to go with a plus-13 after a minor career with the Jr. Kings, California Wave, California Stars and Ontario Senators
D Brandon Underwood (San Marcos), Kamloops of WHL
CSS Rank: 196
Key stats: The 6-3, 210-pound former LA Jr. King and California Wave player had five points, but 128 PIMs
Others to watch
G Adam Brown (Yorba Linda), Kelowna of the WHL
Key stats: The 5-10, 165-pound stopper put together a 31-18-1-4 record with a .905 save percentage in his first full season as a starter. His six shutouts were third in the WHL, as were his 59 games played, and his 31 wins were sixth most.
F Cory Kane (Irvine), Vernon of BCHL
Key stats: The 6-3, 190-pounder had a career-high 55 points (22-33) in 60 games … has committed to Ferris State
D Matthew Konan (Tustin), Medicine Hat of WHL
Key stats: The 6-3, 182-pound blueliner had a career-high 20 points (5-15) and an impressive plus-24
C Tyler Maxwell (Manhattan Beach), Everett of WHL
Key stats: The 5-9, 179-pounder broke out with 69 points (33-36) in 72 games in his second WHL season
F Shane Sooth (Canyon Country), Texas of the NAHL
Key Stats: The 6-foot, 187-pounder finished the season with 8 points (2-6) in 12 NAHL games.