"He's a big, athletic kid with room to grow," said Jim Gravel, who scored 51 goals and totaled 101 points in his career under former head coach Charlie Basch. "Kevin's also got really good skating ability, which is why I think the SCSU coaches were so interested."
The Huskies' coaching staff is prohibited by NCAA regulations from making any public comment on recruits until they've signed a letter of intent.
"My points don't show it, but I like to jump up in the play," said Kevin Gravel, who won't turn 17 until March 6. "I'm a defense-first kind of guy, but I think I can add something in a lot of areas."
Kevin Gravel is a big defensive defenseman from Kingsford, Michigan, right on the border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. He was a top player for Marquette, Michigan's AAA programs, and as a 16-year-old, earned an invitation to the US NTDP tryout camp. He didn't make the team, but ended up playing against the U17 team the following year while playing with the Marquette Rangers of the NAHL. His impressive play in the NAHL helped earn him a spot with Sioux City in the USHL, where he played last season.
Gravel received serious interest from numerous schools including Northern Michigan, and Michigan State, but chose to commit to St. Cloud State in the WCHA, where his father Jim played college hockey. Gravel will likely join the Huskies next season, but could defer his college enrollment and play another year in the USHL.
Gravel's style of play is purely defensive. He had a very little offensive output with the Musketeers, but his smooth skating and punishing defensive play made him one of the more respected defenders in the league, and earned him invitations to represent the United States at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, the 2009 World Jr. A Challenge, and to play in the USHL All-Star game.
Kevin is a big kid at 6'4"/175, and knows how to use his size well. If he gets a hit lined up, watch out. The D-man from Kingsford, Missouri has a scholarship lined up with St. Cloud University. Kevin's size alone makes him a great prospect for the NHL draft but his defensive ability certainly helps his case. He can shut down odd-man rushes by himself by stepping up and taking the body which is why he's so high on my list. Kevin is a great defensive player that with his size could jump right into the pros.
He's rated the #4 USHL prospect. Not bad for a late round pick, maybe a little like a better skating Aaron Miller from the sounds of things. Prospect camp should shed some light on these late round guys.
8. Kevin Gravel, D – Sioux City Musketeers (USHL): A lanky 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Gravel certainly has some work to do on his build, but at least he has the NHL frame to hang it on. A defensive defenseman with athleticism on his side (not to mention a killer wingspan), Gravel will hone his skills at St. Cloud State next year and there’s no telling what his NHL ceiling may be. Drafted 148th overall by Los Angeles in 2010.