Thursday, May 03, 2007

Drafts, Lies, and Videotape

USHR.com has a good story in advance of the Quebec draft about top prospects who are inclined to take the NCAA route. As has become an open secret, these pre-draft ruminations about going the college route dates back to the 1970s and the Ontario draft, where stars like Dave Simpson dictated that they would report to only certain teams.

Turning to this year's Quebec draft, the early announcements of NCAA interest are coming fast and furious. Some are legitimate, such as Danny Biega, whose brothers already have shown the seriousness of their intention. Similarly, Louis Leblanc, Biega's teammate at Lac St.Louis, has made tours of top NCAA programs such as Princeton and Brown, as well as BC, BU, Clarkson and Vermont. I've also heard that Francis Drolet might be interested in the prep route. Unfortunately, having seen Angelo Esposito truly game the system, these claims must be taken with a grain of salt.

Finally, there are a couple of kids from the Maritimes expressing interest in heading south for prep school. Matt Brown and Steven Anthony are featured in the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

Both Brown and Anthony said they have not yet decided if they will play major junior hockey because they both have opportunities to go to an American prep school instead. Brown is being heavily recruited by Northwood School in Lake Placid, N.Y. and said he is "leaning that way right now" because it would put him on track for a possible scholarship to an NCAA university.

"Right now I’m considering Northwood School very intently. I’m looking at that pretty closely right now," said the well-spoken Grade 10 student. "I’m pretty focused on school. That’s important to me. But I don’t know how it’s going to go for sure right now."

Anthony said he is looking closely at going the American route because it would allow him to continue playing baseball. He is an outstanding pitcher and catcher and going that way would give him more time to decide which sport he likes most.

"I’m accepted to a prep school down in the States called Lawrence Academy and I’d still get to play baseball," Anthony said. "I’ve had some college offers … for hockey but they said I could probably play baseball as well. It’s still a really serious (option) for me."

But Anthony and Brown both emphasized that they are not expressing some phoney interest in going the NCAA route just to manipulate who drafts them.

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