Wednesday, September 19, 2012

McAdam, Pellah Make NHL CSS Watch List

Eamon McAdam has had quite an offseason - a silver medal at the Junior Club World Cup, the award for top goaltender from that tournament, a spot in the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey Top Prospects Game on the 29th, and now a B rating from NHL Central Scouting.

With all due respect to Max Gardiner, who was the 74th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues while committed to Minnesota, the sentiment that Penn State hasn't really had a draft selection yet is somewhat justified.

Gardiner, of course, will go down as the first NHL pick ever on a PSU roster, but at the same time, Nittany Lions fans haven't experienced the feeling of hearing someone's name called in June and having that "wait...he's one of our guys!" epiphany.

Next June 28th and 29th in Newark, NJ, and assuming the NHL hasn't completely imploded by then, Penn State will have another shot at rectifying that situation. According to the NHL's Central Scouting Service, 2013 goalie commit Eamon McAdam and 2014 defense commit Bo Pellah are now the two most likely players to become the first drafted while associated with PSU. On a CSS watch list of North American prospects released today, McAdam was rated as a "B goaltender," while Pellah was a "C list" skater.

A previous CSS watch list (PDF link) defines those ratings as follows:
A Rating -- A 'must see' player who is predicted to be a potential First or Second Round Draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft

B Rating -- A player to note if you are in the area, a potential selection in the Third to Fifth Round Draft Selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft

C Rating -- A player that Central Scouting is tracking, a potential late round selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft
Since that 2010 watch list, and according to Western College Hockey Blog, the ratings have been adjusted so that an A rating is only given to those seen as potential first-round selections.

It's noteworthy that the USHL didn't have any A goaltenders on the list, while McAdam was the only B goaltender - meaning, of course, that he's seen as the most worthy draft-eligible goalie in the U.S.' best junior league right now. Pellah was one of just six BCHL players listed.

While an obvious statement, it's worth pointing out that McAdam and Pellah will need to continue to rate well over the next nine months to stay in the NHL's good graces, because they're not the first Penn Staters to appear on a watch list. That distinction belongs to freshman defenseman Mark Yanis, who was awarded a B rating at this time last year but slid off of the radar by the time of the 2012 draft.

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