Head of the class
After some serious collaboration with pro scouts, college coaches and other experts, insidehockey.com has released its list of the top recruits heading to the NCAA this season. Heading up the list of the Top 20 forwards was the Canadiens’ very own first-round selection from this June’s draft, Harvard freshman Louis Leblanc. The Kirkland native joins the Crimson following a stellar year with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers, notching 28 goals and adding 31 helpers. In addition to topping the site’s list of the NCAA’s best incoming forwards, Leblanc also cracked Inside College Hockey’s preseason All-Rookie team.
This is the seventh edition of the Inside College Hockey rankings and Leblanc finds himself in some pretty elite company at the top of those charts. Other top forwards from years past include Coyotes center Kyle Turris, Islanders winger Kyle Okposo, Leafs center Phil Kessel and Devils pivot Travis Zajac.
While Leblanc topped the list, a few other Habs prospects also found their way into the exclusive Top 20. Coming in at No. 6 is North Dakota Fighting Sioux forward Mike Cichy. Drafted 199th overall in Montreal this June, Cichy caught the eye of scouts everywhere by leading the Indiana Ice to the USHL championship last year. Leblanc’s former Lancers teammate – and Cichy’s current Fighting Sioux teammate – the Habs’ 2008 first-rounder Danny Kristo, rounds out the Montreal representation on the list at No. 8.
The Canadiens’ strong crop of recruits may be hitting the books hard these days, but from the looks of the rankings, they’re already passing Hockey 101 with flying colors.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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