We’ve put together games and dates to circle on your calendar along with players and teams to watch this season. Check it out every day this week. Today, Dave Dondoneau looks at scorers to watch:
Of the nation’s top 10 scorers last season, only North Dakota sophomore Brock Boeser (27 goals, 33 assists) returns.
But he’s not the only scorer to watch this season.
Boston College senior Ryan Fitzgerald tied for 14th in scoring with 47 points — 24 goals and 23 assists — along with Bentley senior Max French (23, 24), and Denver sophomore Dylan Gambrell (17, 30).
In addition to them and Boston University’s heralded incoming freshmen Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows, keep an eye on these eight — all of whom you can see on ASN this season.
AUSTIN ORTEGA | SENIOR | NEBRASKA OMAHA
Nicknamed “California Hot Sauce,” the stout senior has led the nation in game-winning goals the past two seasons. With 20 for his career, he’s just four goals away from becoming the all-time leader. With the game on the line nobody is better than Ortega with the puck.
» Watch him on ASN: Oct. 21 vs. Vermont, Dec. 2 at Wisconsin, Jan. 7 vs. North Dakota, Jan. 13 at Colorado College
TYSON JOST | FRESHMAN | NORTH DAKOTA
Jost is already being compared to UND alumni Jonathan Toews, who has led the Chicago Blackhawks to multiple Stanley Cups. He’s an end-to-end guy who loves to set up plays, so look for him and goal-scorer Brock Boeser to pair nicely.
» Watch him on ASN: Jan. 7 at Nebraska Omaha and Jan. 28 at Colorado College
DYLAN GAMBRELL | SOPHOMORE | DENVER
The only member of the Pacific Rim line not to leave for the NHL, Gambrell had 17 goals and 30 assists last season. He could be paired with …
HENRIK BORGSTRÖM | FRESHMAN | DENVER
Nicknamed “The Artist,” the Helsinki, Finland forward could go a long way to helping the Pioneers replace the firepower lost when two members of its famed Pacific Rim line left for the pros.
» Watch them on ASN: Dec. 9 vs. Minnesota Duluth, Jan. 13 at Western Michigan and Feb. 18 at Miami (Ohio)
DENNIS CHOLOWSKI | FRESHMAN | ST. CLOUD STATE
This is one first-round defenseman (20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings) who feels he has something to prove after critics called him undersized (6-1, 185 pounds). The Huskies are deep, very deep, at defense and he should have plenty of ice to roam.
» Watch him on ASN: Nov. 11 at Colorado College
RILEY TUFTE | FRESHMAN | MINNESOTA DULUTH
A rare combination of offensive skills and size (6-5, 190 pounds), Tufte was the 25th overall pick in the draft, taken by the Dallas Stars. His physical presence and scoring (78 points in his high school senior at Blaine when he won Mr. Minnesota hockey honors) could put the Bulldogs over the top.
» Watch him on ASN: Dec. 9 at Denver
COLIN WHITE | SOPHOMORE | BOSTON COLLEGE
White returned for his sophomore season after a terrific freshman campaign. The 21st overall pick (Ottawa Senators) in the 2015 draft, he headlines a still-loaded Boston College squad that ASN will televise multiple times.
» Watch him on ASN: Oct. 28 vs. Providence, Jan. 16 vs. Boston University at Boston College and Feb. 10 vs. Merrimack, Feb. 24 vs. UMass Lowell
JAKE WALMAN | JUNIOR | PROVIDENCE
If an injury had not derailed him last season Walman (above, center) may be suiting up for the St. Louis Blues, who drafted him in the third round in 2014. Walman had 13 goals and 15 assists before the injury ended his season. He’s back to prove himself and Providence will be better for it.
» Watch him on ASN: Oct. 28 at Boston College and Feb. 3 vs. Maine
ASN’S COLLEGE HOCKEY PREVIEW
• Wednesday: Who’s gonna fill their nets? Goalies to watch
• Thursday: What to watch? Can’t-miss games
• Friday: Who’s No. 1? ASN’s Elite Eight
Photo credits: North Dakota’s Brock Boeser courtesy Tyler Ingham/UND Sports; Nebraska Omaha’s Austin Ortega courtesy Mark Kuhlmann; Jake Walman courtesy Providence Athletics