When players from previous draft classes go un-picked they become automatically unrestricted free agents. However when talented skaters gets passed over it becomes clear that they have something to prove and that can be considered rare.

Teams from around the NHL will begin their search around the March/April window and try to snag those free agents to restock a franchise(s) with depleted cupboards. In this report will highlight the five best available college free agents.

The player pool in this years free agent class is a decent but these prospects will not become an immediate impact to any hockey club.

Searching for that special player in this category can be challenge nevertheless that can however be a game changer down the road with experience and thus help a team take that next step.

Below is a list current players that can be the best available in this years college free agent class.

Zach Aston-Reese, Left Wing, Northeastern

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Zach comes from Staten Island, NY and was born on August 10, 1994. He weights in at 190 pounds and is listed at 6’0”.

Aston-Reese is currently in his senior year with Northeastern University and has recorded in 32 games on the season with 56 points at 27 goals and 29 assists. His is seeing record highs during his senior campaign with the Huskies.

The scouts see Zach continuing to work on his two-way play on the ice. In addition Aston-Reese has worked on his developing his shot that will enable him to become a scorer at the next stage in his hockey career.

Daniel Brickley, Defenseman, Minnesota State

Topeka RoadRunners defenseman Daniel Brickley, who also played in the NAPHL during the 2012-13 season, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for MSU-Mankato (Photo by NAHL.com)

Brickley comes from Sandy,UT and was born on March 30, 1995. Daniel is listed at 6’3” and weights in at 205 pounds.

Entering his second season with Minnesota State the defenseman has registered 27 points at 19 assists and 8 goals.

With projections saying that he’ll ink on the dotted line with the Buffalo Sabres organization Brickley is still working on his game particularly on the defensive side of the ice. His asset is that he can be aggressive in looking for an opening that enables him pitch in on the scoring.

Mike Vecchione, Center, Union

Campus Angle: Mike Vecchione, Malden Catholic/Union College hockey – (Photo by The Boston Globe)

Vecchione hails from Saugus, MA and was born on February 25, 1995 and comes in at 194 pounds and is listed at 5’10”.

Like Aston-Reese, Vecchione is currently in his senior year with The Dutchmen. With Union Mike has produced 54 points with 30 assists and 24 goals to his credit.

Early indicators has Vecchione as being a speedy two-way forward that has good puck possession and the ability to pass. He also a good finisher which is a payoff with teams looking for a player that doesn’t take any shift lightly. In face off situations he is known to be that go-to player.

Neal Pionk, Defenseman, Minnesota Duluth

t011516 — Clint Austin — austinUMDPUX0116c4 — Neal Pionk (4) of Minnesota Duluth controls the puck during Friday’s game against St. Cloud State at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. St. Cloud State defeated Minnesota Duluth 3-1. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Neal Pionk is from Hermantown, MN and born on July 29, 1995 with a weight of 181 pounds and is listed at 5’11”.

In his Sophomore season with The Bulldogs Pionk has 7 goals and 19 assists which is a career high in both categories at Minnesota Dulth.

The experts have Pionk rated at a good two-way defenesemen with great skating sense and the ability to get out of jam on the ice. His bags of tricks also include his speed and can handle his himself at his position very well.

Blake Winiecki, Center, St. Cloud State

Matt Christians (Photo by SB Nation College Hockey)

Black Winiecki comes from Lakeville, MN and was born on January 10, 1994. The Lakeville product is listed at 194 pounds and is 6’1”.

Playing in his Junior with St. Cloud State Winiecki has produced 22 points with 11 goals and assists.

The heavy forward plays a grinding style game something that team looking for a depth forward to play on their third line. His assets that include are face-off’s, defensive minded centerman, and can be that go to guy in creating havoc to opposing team netminder.

We will have to wait and see who these players get signed for this coming spring.





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