The regular season has already come and gone for the Canadiens prospects currently playing in the NCAA, with a playoff run about to get started in less then a week. For the 2005-2006 season, the Canadiens had four prospects in the NCAA with all of them playing in the ECAC conference on three different teams and all four on different school levels with Jon Gleed (Cornell) being the lone senior this year. This year was a breakout season for Ryan O’Byrne (Cornell) but a late season injury came at a bad time for his team Cornell, who were looking to win yet another conference title after doing so for three of the last four years, but could not hang on their lead and lost the title by one point. The good news is that J T Wyman (Dartmouth) was able to help his team take away the ECAC title from Cornell, with some very solid play this season. It was the first ECAC title for Dartmouth in 26 years.
Jon Gleed- Senior- LD. The senior defensemen will hope to see his team go far in the playoffs to finish out his NCAA career on a high note. The 22 year old defensive defensemen wears the A and is considered as one of the leaders of the team and a fixture on the top PK unit. Not known for his offensive production, Gleed was able to set a career high in assists this year, despite missing a chunk of the season due to injuries. In 22 games he wasn’t able to score a goal but did record six assists, which also ties his career high in points. Cornell has earned a first round bye for the upcoming playoffs, so they will be out of action for two weeks.
Ryan O’Byrne- Junior- RD. The junior defensemen turned heads this year with his stellar play in both ends of the rink, taking over as the team’s top defensemen and one of their most valuable players. The hulking blueliner brings an impressive package of size and physical abilities, with a 6’5 220 lb frame it’s rare to see such a big guy skate so well with such good speed. O’Byrne has had trouble staying out of the penalty box and his decision making /reaction time has been his main weaknesses, but the third year player made very good strides to improve in those areas. Up until his late season injury he was considered to be one of the top defensemen in the conference and a major reason for the success Cornell had. But a check from behind into the boards cost him three of the last four weeks of the season, which saw his team drop out first place only to lose the ECAC title by one point. One thing’s for sure, the Canadiens management must be very happy with the progression he’s made this year and the question arises will they try and sign him this summer to get him in Hamilton one year sooner. Ryan at this point is expected to be in the lineup when Cornell starts their playoff run, and they will need him if they have any thoughts of making a Frozen Four appearance. O’Byrne had 11 points in 22 games, after getting 12 points in 64 career games prior to this season.
J T Wyman- Sophomore- RW. The second year winger entered the season playing on the second line but through the season did get to see some time on the top line. The 19 year old enjoyed a very solid season so far this year getting 20 points in 28 games after putting up 11 points during his freshman year. He is fifth on the team in goals and sixth in points with one power play goal. Wyman is a big kid that plays more of a power game, he will take the body and he seems to have decent offensive skills. Dartmouth enjoyed a great season for their program as they were the CO-ECAC title winners, ending up in a tie with Colgate. Dartmouth will also have a first round bye, so they get next weekend off while they await their playoff series.
Philippe Paquet- Freshman- LD. Paquet saw a regular shift with Clarkson on the bottom pairing and even saw some time on the special teams. The 18 year old has good size and skates well, while putting up a decent amount of points for a true freshman, with six in 33 games. One area he will need to work on is trying to stay out of the box, as he leads his team in pims with 89. He’s already got triple the amount of points Ryan O’Byrne had during his freshman year, plus he’s a year younger then when O’Byrne played in his rookie season with Cornell. Clarkson finished the regular season in eight place, so they will get home ice advantage against ninth place Princeton, who they will face off against in less then one week for a three game series.