He Got Game…

NHL’s Central Scouting released this morning its final rankings of North American skaters, a list which features six Fargo Force players.

There are 29 listed players from the USHL but the number might be higher when adding players like the Force’s Jay Dickman and Indiana’s Boo Nieves (Michigan), who are now playing in the league after playing for their high schools earlier in the year.

Defenseman and team captain Brian Cooper (Nebraska-Omaha), to no surprise, was the highest-rated Force player checking in at 68th overall. The 5-10 Cooper was touted last season by Jack Barzee, now formerly of Central Scouting, as a player to watch in the USHL this season.

Cooper, 18, has scored 23 points in 54 games while leading the Force to what appears to be a fourth-place finish in the Western Conference.

Forward Austin Farley (Minnesota-Duluth) is listed at 112th overall. Farley exploded this season as he was on a pace to break every team single-season scoring record until suffering a foot injury. The injury left him out for a month. He has scored 10 points in 12 games giving him 58 points in 49 games.

Fellow Bulldog commit Alex Iafallo came in at 133rd overall. Iafallo was drafted nearly a year ago by the team and made the squad out of camp. Iafallo along with linemates, Dave Gust and Gabe Guertler (Minnesota), have formed a partnership that has given the Force a secondary offensive threat to Farley’s line. Iafallo,who has four points in four games, has scored 31 points in 56 games this season. He will play next season in Fargo before going off to college.

Defenseman Justin Wade (Notre Dame) came in at 144th overall. Wade, in his second season, has been living up to the promise of being a shutdown defenseman. He’s been one of the reasons why the Force are statistically the second-best defense in the entire USHL. Wade’s punishing checks, annoying pokechecks and stay-at-home style has made him one of the league’s best shutdown defenseman. He’s also been able to contribute on offense picking up seven points in 55 games. He’s also a plus-17 on the year. Wade will be back with the team next season before going to Notre Dame.

Five spots after Wade was forward Dominic Toninato (Minnesota-Duluth), who has played the last few weekends with the Force. Toninato played high school hockey at Duluth East this season which went 27-1 heading into the Minnesota state hockey tournament but left with a consolation tournament trophy. Toninato scored his first goal on Saturday in the Force’s 5-1 win over Sioux Falls. Toninato, who wore No. 9, will be with the Force next season.

Forward Jay Dickman, who was still listed under St. Paul Johnson, rounded out the Force’s list at 203. Dickman has five points – all assists – in 11 games with the Force but made his name in high school. Dickman scored an impressive 45 goals this season to become Class 2A’s leading goal-scorer. At 6-5, 228 pounds he has been described as a draft dark horse. Ryan Kennedy, of The Hockey News, tweeted that an NHL scout said Dickman was built like an all-state wrestler but had soft hands to go along with his game.

NTDP defenseman Jacob Trouba (Michigan) was the league’s highest rated player nine while Dubuque’s Zemgus Girgensons (Vermont) was rated at 18.

Lincoln phenom Kevin Roy (Brown), who has 100 points this season, was rated 78th.

Former Force forward Ben Johnson was rated at No. 52 on the list. Johnson had a short stint with the team playing in five games. He returned to Calumet (MI-HS) where he was Michigan’s Mr. Hockey. Johnson then left high school signing with the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL.

Johnson is one of three former Force players to play or intend on playing with a Major Junior team in the last three years. Blake Clarke, who played with the Force earlier in the year, was taken 15th overall by the Brampton Battalion on Saturday in the OHL Priority Draft.

12 thoughts on “He Got Game…

  1. I love this blog and the coverage you provide. I’m wondering why a player you’ve spoken glowingly about – Bryn Chyzyk didn’t get listed by Central Scouting. I live on the East Coast so don’t get to see any games but it certainly sounds like the kid is a player. Is it that he’s 19? Is he more of a college level player? He seems to do everything for the Force and should be listed. Thanks.

    - CH

  2. I was going to ask as well on Bryn – I thought it was maybe because he’s Canadian. Anyway, can you explain how the two year draft window works?

    • Players have a two-year window to get drafted. So take Kevin Roy from Lincoln. Roy was draft eligible last season but no one took him in the draft. He know has a second year of being draft eligible now meaning he can be taken in the draft. If no one drafts Roy, he comes a college free agent. Though in his case, he’ll be drafted. Hope that makes sense.

  3. Ryan I don’t think your correct. Chyzyk as a late birthday is available in two as opposed to three drafts. This would be his second draft of availability. Paul De Jersey the leading scorer in the BCHL is listed by Central Scouting and he’s already 20 years old.

    • Yeah, I forgot to mention the birthday aspect of it (trying to be lazy, it’s my day off). But you are right. It all falls on when a player’s birthday is when it comes to the draft. As for Bryn, I am pretty sure he’s not eligible because if he was, Marks would be raising all sorts of hell for a “Chyzyk for Draft” campaign.

  4. Forgive my ignorance but what makes a player draft eligible? Is it age or does the player declare a window?

    As for Roy, how can he only be ranked 78th with the kind of season he’s had?

    • He’s that lowly rated because of all sorts of things scouts look for such as size, speed, toughness, a specific player’s game, how pro-ready they are, how long will it take to develop, etc.

      Roy’s 100 points would make people think he’d go higher than the projected third round I keep hearing. Maybe he does. But the draft is a funny thing.

  5. Ryan, enjoy reading the blog. Helps keep this novice ushl follower in the know. I have friends that aren’t into the whole social media thing so the don’t get in on blogs like this. Any chance you will have more stories in the forum? It seems like there is not much coverage in the paper.

  6. Thanks for replying Ryan. Central Scouting has a bad habit of passing over 19 year olds (take their rankings with a grain of salt.) I live in Boston so don’t get to see any Force games but in your opinion does Chyzyk’s game translate to the pro ranks?

  7. Ryan, thanks for all your explanations. We were wondering about Chyzyk also. Good luck to the team in playoffs. Hope all the season tickets are gone for next year. People don’t realize how lucky they are to have an enjoyable team and affordable prices so the entire family can attend. Wish we were there.