It's a decent, but not great, draft year for NCAA freshmen if you go by the standards of the last couple of seasons. But on the bright side, the NCAA kids most likely to land in the first three rounds of this year's draft appear to be getting stronger as the season progresses.
As a group, their play is getting better reviews at this point in the season than it received back in November. That's to be expected, since it's a big step up for late birthdays to jump from the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) or the USHL to the NCAA, where they're playing against men. Coaches will also tend to protect them somewhat -- not throwing them in the deep end from the beginning.
Here is a stock watch for some of the country's most talented collegiate hockey players:
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