Wednesday, April 24, 2013

McAdam, Williamson Make Final NHL CSS Rankings

Eamon McAdam has helped his draft stock through events like the World Junior A Challenge

Eamon McAdam, who will begin his Penn State career next season, was tabbed as the number six North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting Services in their final pre-draft rankings, released Wednesday morning.

The development is the latest indication that McAdam will become the first Penn Stater selected in the NHL Entry Draft - this year's edition will be held June 30th at Newark, NJ's Prudential Center - while affiliated with the university. If that comes to pass, he'll join soon-to-be junior forward Max Gardiner (2010, 74th overall, St. Louis Blues) and incoming junior defenseman Pat Koudys (2011, 147th overall, Washington Capitals) as Nittany Lions' draftees in 2013-2014. Transfers Gardiner (Minnesota) and Koudys (RPI) were both drafted while committed to their previous schools.

McAdam has had an up-and-down season with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, posting a 17-9-3 record, a 3.45 goals against average and an 0.896 save percentage while sharing Waterloo's crease duties with Cal Petersen, a Notre Dame commit who placed fourth in the CSS goaltender rankings. Petersen was given starting duties for the Black Hawks' first four playoff games in the USHL quarterfinals against Fargo, but was pulled from Tuesday night's game four after allowing four goals on 21 shots. McAdam was good in relief, stopping 14 of 15, and may get the start for Waterloo's winner-take-all game five with the Force Wednesday night. He's the only PSU commit remaining with a chance at winning a league championship this season.

McAdam has repeatedly been selected to high-profile scouting showcases and performed well on big stages. On January 23rd, he was named MVP of the second annual USHL/NHL Top Prospects game and received national attention for a save he made during the game on Minnesota commit Mike Brodzinski. In November of last year, he helped Team USA to a gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge, while on September 29th, he played in the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, allowing three goals on 14 shots. McAdam opened the season by being named the top goaltender at the Junior Club World Cup in Russia in August and helping the Black Hawks to a silver medal in the tournament.

With four separate lists produced by CSS (North American skaters, European skaters and goalies being the others), it's often hard to decipher how rankings translate in the real world. Here's the sixth North American goalie selected in each of the last five drafts:
  • 2012: Jake Paterson (Detroit Red Wings): 3rd round, 80th overall.
  • 2011: Laurent Brossoit (Calgary Flames): 6th round, 164th overall.
  • 2010: Sam Brittain (Florida Panthers): 4th round, 92nd overall.
  • 2009: Kieran Millan (Colorado Avalanche): 5th round, 124th overall.
  • 2008: Michael Hutchinson (Boston Bruins): 3rd round, 77th overall.
So, assuming teams have McAdam ranked similarly to CSS (which may or may not be true, an important caveat to all of this, since CSS obviously isn't the organization making the draft picks) the Perkasie, PA native can probably expect to be a mid-round pick. He's been invited to the NHL Scouting Combine May 27th through June 1st in Toronto, where he'll have a chance to improve his stock and impress teams potentially interested in owning his rights.

Mike Williamson can generate offense from anywhere on the ice without sacrificing his position

Mike Williamson, a defenseman and another 2013 PSU entrant, was also listed in the CSS final rankings, as the 183rd-ranked North American skater.

Williamson just completed his second full season with the AJHL's Spruce Grove Saints, where he helped the team to a 35-16-9 regular season record, as well as the North Division regular season and playoff championships, before falling to Brooks in the AJHL Gas Drive Cup finals.

The Leduc, Alberta native offers an impressive package of range (he's 6'3"), speed, and intelligence that may make him attractive to NHL teams but battled a series of injuries this year, which limited him to 23 regular season games. Williamson managed 11 points in those games while teaming up with fellow Nittany Lion-to-be Dylan Richard, a forward who led the team in scoring. In 2011-2012, Williamson played with both Richard and David Glen (Penn State's leading goal scorer this past season, of course) and sniped nine times in 41 games.

With the draft only scheduled to include 211 total picks, however, he'll need one of the 30 NHL teams to hold him in higher esteem than CSS if he is to be selected.

Beyond McAdam and Williamson, rising sophomore defenseman Mark Yanis and 2014 entrant Bo Pellah, a blueliner with the BCHLs Alberni Valley Bulldogs, may also be considered draft prospects, although both are longshots to be selected. Yanis, who is in his second year of eligibility, enjoyed an outstanding freshman year at PSU, was given a B rating (mid-round consideration) in CSS' preliminary rankings back in 2011, and has received draft mentions from some corners since then. Puck-moving specialist Pellah was given a C rating (late-round consideration) in the 2012 preliminaries that kicked off this CSS ranking season, but has fallen in their estimation since then.

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