This is part 10 of my Prospect File series where I update you guys’ on Hockey’s Future’s Top 20 Anaheim Ducks prospects. This will be a daily series that will hopefully end before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. I will also be doing a series on possible players the Ducks will take with their first round pick. Part 9 was on winger Max Friberg. So, next up in part 10 is #11 on HF’s Top 20, center Steven Whitney.
Eligible to be drafted since 2009, Steven Whitney went undrafted and unsigned until the Anaheim Ducks picked him up in April. He recently finished a very strong collegiate career at the NCAA powerhouse of Boston College. He was part of a senior class that had a 22-3 combined conference tournament and NCAA tournament record, including two national championships. He won this year’s Walter Brown Award, which recognizes the best American-born college hockey player in New England, beating out Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell and teammate Johnny Gaudreau. Some notable names to also win this award are Brian Gionta, Mike Mottau (twice), Brian Leetch and Joe Mullen. Whitney is a tad undersized at 5’7″-168. That hasn’t really stopped him from doing anything that his team needed of him to win. He’s been used in every game situation and will not shy away from physical play despite his size. He is extremely gifted offensively and could excel at being a PP specialist at the next level. Whitney finished his collegiate career with 55 goals and 73 assists for 128 points in 160 games for BC. Afterwards, he joined the Admirals and scored in his AHL debut and finished with 3 goals and 1 assists in 8 games in Norfolk.
Weight: 168 lbs.
“Whitney, this year’s Walter Brown Award winner as the best American-born hockey player in New England, was a target on many team’s radars after the senior’s Boston College Eagles were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The highly-skilled forward has been a standout with BC these last two seasons and was the team’s second leading scorer behind Hockey East Player of the Year John Gaudreau (CGY). While undersized, which is the biggest concern with Whitney, he has a fantastic offensive skill set and is not shy of any sort of physical play. Whitney gets in on the forecheck quickly and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice despite only being 5’7. There is little risk in the Ducks acquisition of Whitney, if he pans out and can handle the physical nature of the AHL and NHL he has a tremendous offensive upside and could add firepower to any power play. If not, he will likely be one of the many undersized players who excel at the AHL level but make it no further. Regardless, Whitney is one of the more offensively gifted centers in the Ducks system now.”
“Steven Whitney’s leadership of this year’s BC team has been truly exceptional. Not only has he habitually come up with critical goals or assists when the game is on the line. He has also been a fixture on both the power play and the penalty kill, and he has dropped back to play defense a number of times when Coach York needed experienced help back there.”
-Tim Costello, chairman of the Gridiron Club’s Hockey Awards Committee.
Next up in the series will be center Antoine Laganiere.