Five Shattuck prospects in 2008 draft
Minnesota prep school has funnelled many top young prospects to NHL
|Five players from Shattuck-St. Mary's School are ranked among the top 210 North American skaters eligible for the 2008 draft.
The Shattuck-St. Mary's hockey era began in the early 1990s when former NHL defenceman Craig Norwich was hired to start a hockey program at the elite prep school. Norwich brought former New York Islander J.P. Parise on board a few years later. St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray (Jordan's father) also coached there. The current coach is Tom Ward.
Throughout the years, top players like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise, Drew Stafford, Brady Murray, Ty Conklin, Ryan Malone, Taylor Chorney, Jack Johnson and Matt Smaby have graced the Shattuck lineup. Many of them won national championships, but no Shattuck team accomplished what the last team did.
"This is the first Shattuck team to win back-to-back national midget championships," Ward said. "It's as good as any team we've had. I'm looking at the championship photograph of another team, the one with Kyle Okposo, Angelo Esposito and Tyler Ruegsegger, and they couldn't win two in a row. We had one team lose in the final when they tried and another in the semifinal.
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"That's what makes this team so special. The stars need to be aligned and you need luck and good goaltending. That makes this a unique group. They had a mission. They could have done other things and not stuck together as a team, but they finished out their time here and put a cap on something that no other team has been able to do.
"A lot of good players have come through these doors and these players are one up on them. I can imagine guys like David Carle, Jordy Murray and David Toews can sit around a campfire one night and give it to their older brothers pretty good."
Ward says one of the nicest bonuses of his job is spending time with Andy Murray while the Blues coach vacations near the school every summer. Both Ward and Murray were asked to provide NHL.com with insight into the five draft-eligible players.
Murray – "Derek is a smart player who has some very good offensive skills."
"Now he has a chance to be a very good college player and professional. He's a fantastic skater who reads the ice well and a kid who doesn't leave a stone unturned. He was a kid who thought it would just happen to him because he's (San Jose Sharks defenceman) Matt Carle's brother. Now he understands that's the farthest thing from the truth. Being a brother can be an albatross, but David worked hard and gave himself a chance."
Murray – "David continued to get better here. Neither Derek nor David was considered this type of draft candidate when they got to Shattuck, but they developed under Tom Ward's tutelage."
"The biggest difference is that Jon has a Type-A personality; he has his days planned out three or four years in advance. David goes by the seat of his pants, which is great. The brothers do it different ways and get to the same result. David, in time, will prove that rating wrong and be a very, very fine player."
Murray – "He's got that Toews competitiveness. David is a great kid who is hard on the puck and he has a good knack around the net."
Murray – "Kind of the leader here. He's got a big heart and put up a lot of points. He grew a lot and had a good spring. He's a guy you like to coach. He's off to the University of Wisconsin and that will be exciting for him."
Murray – "He's big and strong, but he's still learning the game."
Carle and Stepan were asked at the combine to give scouting reports on each other.
Carle – "Derek is very shifty and slick, and going against him in practice was always a challenge. He has a good shot and can score from anywhere. It's not necessarily a rocket, but he knows where to put it because he has that goal scorer's instincts. Derek is a hard worker who won't back down from anyone and will do whatever it takes to win."
Stepan – "David is a smooth defenceman who is a powerful skater. In practice, he's the guy you don't want to go one-on-one with. He just pokes the puck right off your stick and he doesn't look like he's trying. David has a hard shot and he's big and physical. He has a winning instinct and a big brother who pushes him. Both Carle and Toews have that 'fight the big brother' thing – they don't want to lose to them or anyone else. You know David Carle will play in the NHL one day. He has that drive."
Author: John McGourty | NHL.com Staff Writer