It was another exciting year of NCAA hockey, and as the season comes to a close let's take a look at some of the free agents the Dallas Stars may be interested in signing.
Andrew Calof - Center, Princeton University:
Calof has had a great career at Princeton University after not getting drafted. He burst right onto the season his freshman year with 33 points in 32 games and hasn't looked back since - he's finishing with 123 points in 117 games. That's tremendous for a small, undrafted winger. At 5-foot-10, his size is a bit of a turn off, and may keep many potential teams away from him, but the Stars might profit a lot from signing him. This Stars team is built for speed, and will be one of the faster teams in the league for years to come.
Calof is really fast, like Andrew Cogliano fast, and would fit in perfectly with the makeup of the Stars now. He would probably need time to develop in the AHL, but if you take the long view, it might be very beneficial to have someone with that kind of skill set developing for the future, especially since most of the forwards in the Stars' system aren't exactly known for being great skaters.
Christian Folin - Defence, University of Massachusetts - Lowell: (UPDATE: Signed With Minnesota)
Folin (6-3) is a big kid, and he plays really big. While he's been offensively productive in college, his biggest asset as a future pro is his size and defensive ability. He covers a lot of area in his own zone and can play with a mean streak which has been lacking on the Stars' blue line for a few years now, and he has excellent mobility for a guy his size.
The Stars have been stockpiling big d-men for a few years ago, and guys like Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Jyrki Jokipakka all look like they could have a good impact in the NHL in the next couple of years, but it wouldn't hurt to add a little bit of insurance, and Folin would provide just that. He may be closer to being NHL ready than Nemeth or Jokipakka, so he could provide a good stop-gap, and as Razor loved to point out when Oleksiak was called up, you can't teach size.
Chris McCarthy - C/LW, University of Vermont: (UPDATE: Signed with New York Rangers)
Chris McCarthy has really stepped up his game. After reportedly receiving offers from NHL teams last season he decided to stay in school and get his degree, and also improve his play. After a very good 31 point season in 2012-13, McCarthy came back and scored 42 points this season. 11 points is a huge jump in the NCAA, where it's very hard to score at even a one point per game pace. McCarthy's got good size and a great all around game, but he's a playmaker first. Ben Kerr at last word on sports had this to say about the Vermont Catamount:
McCarthy is an outstanding playmaker who can control the game with the puck on his stick. He can really slow the game down and find the perfect opportunity to make a pass to a teammate. He also has an excellent shot. McCarthy is a good two-player who has been an important penalty killer for Vermont for several years. Coaches and teammates rave about his off-ice leadership abilities.
That's a great endorsement of a college player. It bodes very well for his transition to the NHL that he can both control the game offensively and shut it down on the defensive side. Outstanding leadership qualities at such a young age will also serve him very well in the future. With the Stars looking for more offense and more secondary scoring, it may be a good idea to add a solid defensive forward who has great offensive instincts as well.