The NCAA announced the seeding for it's 2012 Men's Ice Hockey Championship with rumored future All-Star Chris Kreider, and his Boston College Eagles getting the top overall seed, and the #1 seed in the North East Regional taking place March 24th and 25th in Worcester Mass. The Eagles take on #4 Air Force while on the other side of that regions bracket #2 Minnesota-Duluth takes on #3 Maine. While the Eagles should have little problem with Air Force (although I'm pretty sure Michigan thought the same thing a few years back), winning Sunday could prove a bit trickier. The Eagles had mixed results against the Black Bears in Hockey East play, and Bulldogs were the top team in the nation for much of the season.
Regardless of WHO makes it out of the North East Region, what's more interesting is the player on the teams who won't. The Black Bears boast NCAA leading scorer Spencer Abbott, who was undrafted and will become a UFA when his college season is over. The UMD Bulldogs have the NCAA's second leading scorer, Jack Connolly and the NCAA's fifth leading scorer Travis Oleksuk, who are both undrafted and will be UFA's as well. All these players have put up numbers on par with, or better then, Kreider throughout their careers. Abbott has done it in the same conference, while Connolly and Oleksuk have done it in arguably a better conference, so it's not a case of numbers being inflated.
The prospect of Kreider joining the Rangers at the end of his college season is something that's been brought up on here countless times, to the point where it's even become more of a WHEN then an IF when people talk about Kreider's arrival. Personally, I'm not convinced that a college scorer is the answer to NHL offense problems, but if college scoring is what we need, then it seems there will be plenty of it available in Worcester next weekend, and all it will take to land it is a checkbook, something we know Slats has.