CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Inside College Hockey has recognized the Harvard men’s hockey Class of 2015 as one of the top recruiting classes in the NCAA and named four individual freshmen among the best at their positions in its 2011 recruiting rankings.
The Crimson sports arguably the nation’s deepest freshman class, as only Miami’s top-ranked class matches Harvard’s four players recognized in the INCH individual rankings and only Minnesota and North Dakota equal the Crimson’s five incoming National Hockey League draftees. INCH lists Harvard’s overall class, which features nine players, is ranked 12th nationally by INCH. The class was previously ranked fourth by Red Line Report.
Steve Michalek is INCH’s pick for the nation’s No. 2 freshman goaltender. The Glastonbury, Conn., native led the United States to a silver-medal performance at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka and was invited to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in summer 2011.
Two Crimson defensemen are ranked among INCH’s top 20 freshmen on the blue line. Patrick McNally, captain of last year’s New England-champion Milton Academy squad, is ranked 14th. Max Everson, a 2010-11 Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist, comes in at No. 17.
Czech Republic native Petr Placek is the No. 20 forward in the INCH freshman rankings. The former Hotchkiss School captain was ranked as high as No. 54 on the NHL Central Scouting list before being picked by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
McNally was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in 2010 NHL Entry Draft, a year before the Toronto Maple Leafs chose Everson, the Minnesota Wild picked Michalek and the San Jose Sharks selected Colin Blackwell. Along with previous draftees Danny Biega (Carolina Hurricanes), Alex Fallstrom (Boston Bruins) and Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning), the Crimson has eight NHL picks on its 2011-12 roster, the ninth-highest total in the NCAA.