As the NCAA season moves along, several names are starting to emerge as possible free agent signings at the end of the year. Even those who went undrafted and are in their first few years at the collegiate level could decide to turn pro if a team shows enough interest, and the Vancouver Canucks could be just that team. Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 reports that the Canucks have interest in Brogan Rafferty from Quinnipiac and Max Veronneau from Princeton.
Rafferty is just a sophomore but is already 22 years old and now listed at 6’1″ 191-lbs, quite a bit bigger than his draft year. After recording 24 points as a freshman and getting noticed by scouts from all around the league, he’s put up nine in his first 25 games this season and could still be on the radar of several clubs. He’s not the splashy addition that some college free agents are, but could turn into a solid professional even if he is limited to minor league work.
Veronneau on the other hand was nominated for the Hobey Baker this season, his third at Princeton. With 25 points through 20 games, he’s continued his offensive outburst that started as a sophomore. Veronneau played in the CCHL growing up to maintain college eligibility, and has done extremely well at the Ivy league school so far.
As Vancouver continues to rebuild, adding undrafted college talent is an easy way to fill out the prospect ranks and hopefully strike gold with an overlooked talent. Players like Tyler Bozak and Conor Sheary are some of the best examples of players finding NHL success soon after leaving college, the former only attending the University of Denver for two seasons before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. While Rafferty and Veronneau aren’t the very top names in the NCAA, they’re interesting nonetheless for a club looking to inject young talent into their ranks.