Josh Burrows (Boston Jr Bruins)
Josh Franklin (formerly of Boston Jr Bruins)
Brett Leonard (Green Mountain Glades)
Jack Downing (Omaha Lancers)
Dan Lawson (Chicago Steel and Lincoln Stars)
Kyle Medvec (Sioux City Musketeers)
All are part of the incoming class for the University of Vermont, so I'd like to know what to expect from each. I've asked about Downing here before, but if anyone saw him this season I'd appreciate the update.
I can tell you a bit about Dan Lawson. I'm a Lincoln Stars season ticket holder, so I had the opportunity to see Lawson play quite a bit.
He was traded to Lincoln from the Chicago Steel about halfway thru the season. Very good size, but doesn't play the body like you think he would. He can be physical when he wants, but I was hoping he would be a little more aggressive with his big body.
For his size, his speed his VERY deceptive. I remember watching a couple of end-to-end runs of his, and then thinking to myself..."Wow. He can really move for a big guy." Last season, the Stars had a bunch of offensive minded defensemen....so getting Lawson was supposed to help shore up our defense a bit.
In 22 games with the Stars, Lawson had 4 goals, 8 assists, and was -1. His +/- would have been a lot better, but again...our team last year was more concerned about scoring goals than playing defense. That often led to Lawson being the only defenseman back on an odd man rush. He played both on the PK and the PP, but he wasn't really much of a threat on the PP. He's definitely a player who will improve at the next level.
I don't think he'll ever be an NHL player, but he'll contribute nicely at Vermont. He's a good kid, and I wish him the best.
Lawson was one of the best players in the entire league, IMO.
Downing has size, but needs to finish better.
Medvec is tall, but extremely slow. He grew to be a player that a lot of fans in Sioux City disliked because of how slow and not physical he was. He rarely uses his body to separate someone from the puck. Never showed why he was an NHL draft pick.
I have seen Josh Franklin play a few times at Nobles and summer tournaments. Here is my scouting report:
Josh simply did not do enough last year to stand-out on an all-star caliber team but this season, it seems as if he is stepping-up and being a stronger presence on the ice .. skates well with and without the puck and has a good stride .. plays a physical game at times .. showed strength with puck when delivered a one-hand pass while holding off a defender .. plays the powerplay and shorthand.
Against Pomfret, scored on a nice hard-working goal
Against Culver, had a nice goal in tight when he snapped it up top.
* SUMMER: Has a long, smooth stride … did not seem too involved in the offense … willing to fire a long shot on net and go after the puck … with his team short-handed for long stretches of the game, he did not see much ice-time.
Overall, I think he will continue to get better with more development.