Hockey is officially underway. It might not be the Golden Knights but the NCAA is doing their job to help fill the void until the big boys return to play.
In celebration of the start of the 2020-21 college hockey season, Sports Illustrated profiled the top 100 NCAA players to watch. The Golden Knights were represented by five of their own prospects in SI’s list.
At #24 was Vegas’ newest 1st round prospect Brendan Brisson (Michigan), 2018 draft pick Brandon Kruse (Bowling Green) was listed at #25, and another 2018 pick Peter Diliberatore (Quinnipiac) ranked #31. Defensive prospect Layton Ahac (Ohio State) came in at #43, and lastly, goaltender Isiah Saville (Nebraska-Omaha) was slotted in at #54 by Sports Illustrated.
For some of the Golden Knights prospects, this is a big NCAA season. Junior Peter Diliberatore has his eyes on capturing Quinnipiac‘s second school title, while Layton Ahac and Brendan Brisson chase a Frozen Four title for their Big Ten schools. All three universities are ranked in the nation’s top 15 teams.
Brandon Kruse is entering his senior year with the Falcons. Kruse has had an outstanding four-season career at Bowling Green, winning WHAC All-Academic and Scholar-Athlete awards for two years running. Kruse is also one of 73 players in school history to have amassed over 100 points in their career. A member of the 100+ points Falcon player is George McPhee. McPhee compiled a massive 267 points while at Bowling Green including 80 points in his Hobey Baker award wining year.
🏒 With Max Johnson and Brandon Kruse now having at least 100 career points each, the Falcons are the only team in the nation with two active 100 point scorers on the roster
— Bowling Green Hockey (@BGFalconHockey) November 19, 2020
Frosh forward Brendan Brisson is already making highlight reels at Michigan. In his first collegiate series, Brisson added two assists in the Wolverines two-game sweep of the Arizona State Sun Devils. He’s an absolute weapon on the power play, living in the circle and ripping one-timers. The 19-year-old seeks to match current Golden Knight and former Wolverine Max Pacioretty’s freshman and only season in Ann Arbor. In 2007-08, Pacioretty tallied 39 points (15 Goals, 24 Assists) in 37 games leading his team to the national semifinals.
It’s not NHL hockey but it’s exciting hockey nevertheless, and full of talented prospects. With the tie-ins to the Golden Knights, local fans have the chance to get more acquainted with the future.
Here’s how to keep up with Vegas’ NCAA prospects:
Brendan Brisson: @brendan_brisson
Michigan Hockey: @umichhockey
Brandon Kruse: @bkruser_18
Bowling Green Hockey: @BGFalconHockey
Peter Diliberatore: @PDiliberatore
Quinnipiac Hockey: @QU_MIH
Layton Ahac: @Ahac14
Ohio State Hockey: @OhioStateMHKY,
Isiah Saville: @ijsaville31
Nebraska-Omaha Hockey: @OmahaHKY