The New Jersey Devils will have 3 prospects participating in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament. The first round starts on March 28.
Steve Santini will lead the charge for #2 Boston College as they will take on Denver in the first round. The winner of that game will take on the winner of UMass-Lowell and Minnesota State-Mankato.
Steve Santini was acquired by the Devils in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft at the 42nd overall pick.
Steve was selected to represent Team USA in 2014 World Junior Championships and has 2 goals and 8 assists in 32 games with Boston College this season. In the tournament he tallied 1 goal in 5 games.
The Devils have huge hopes for the freshman and certainly have a lot of time for him to hone his craft. Hockey’s Future lists him at a C probability of success. Here’s what they had to say in their Talent Analysis:
Santini is a smart, efficient defensive defenseman that will chew up large minutes throughout a contest. His four-way mobility allows him to stick with the play from end to end. Along with his 6’2, 207 pound frame and quality hockey sense, he can eliminate opposing forwards from the action. He excels in his own zone, displaying great awareness, patience, and responsibility on and off the puck. While his defensive skills are exemplary, his offensive skills are currently minimal at best.
On the other side of the bracket, North Dakota will be taking on #4 Wisconsin.
Derek Rodwell is playing in his last games with the North Dakota Sioux this season. In his senior year, Rodwell has 5 goals and 5 assists in 30 games. Like Santini, Rodwell has also been given a C probability of success.
Solidly built and still growing into his frame, Rodwell’s forte is his strong skating and willingness to get involved physically. He buzzes around the ice with an abundance of energy and can be quite difficult to play against. Those skills also allow for him to be an effective fore-checker. He does possess some offensive skill, albeit it is somewhat limited. He’s the type of player that thrives going to the net hard and battling for loose pucks and rebounds.
Rodwell was chosen in the 2009 NHL Draft in the 5th round, 144th overall.
Going against him will be Joe Faust of the Wisconsin Badgers. Faust is also entering his senior season with the Badgers and looks to continue his good season. So far, he has 2 goals and 12 assists in 36 games with the team.
Faust is not a flashy player. In fact, it is not unusual to lose track of him on the ice. That is a positive sign for the Minnesota native, who has grown into the role of a shutdown defenseman. After scoring one goal last year, he has chipped in more on offense two goals, 12 assists, and a plus-11 rating. While he plays the body a lot, physicality is not a big part of his game. In fact, he has three minor penalties all season. As his skating has improved, Faust’s defense has greatly benefited, allowing him to keep up with players, limiting their time and space.
The winner of the Wisconsin-North Dakota game will go on to face the winner of the Ferris State-Colgate game.
Stats courtesy of Elite Prospects and Hockey’s Future.