Brian Ferlin — Right Wing
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla. Birthdate: June 3, 1992
Current Team: Cornell University (ECACH)
NHL Rights: Boston Bruins (2011, 4th Rd., 121st overall)
National Team Experience: 2009 U.S. Under-18 Select Team (Ivan Hlinka)
He wasn’t even supposed to be there. In August, that is. He literally wasn’t supposed to be part of the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. It was only after Brandon Saad mysteriously turned down his invitation to attend the camp that Ferlin was added to the roster. Then a funny thing happened… Ferlin played marvelously in Lake Placid. He was one of the 28 players who made it all the way to the end of camp.
Ferlin notched four points at the NJEC, which included a two-point game against Finland on Aug. 8. Ferlin’s solid World Junior camp came on the heels of a very promising Bruins development camp, which may have been the catalyst for his late inclusion in Lake Placid.
Perhaps Ferlin’s surprising summer shouldn’t have been such a surprise. After all, he was the third leading scorer in the USHL last year with 73 points, with a second-best 48 assists, while playing for the Indiana Ice. He had 89 points in 121 career USHL games, not too shabby.
Boston snapped up the second-year eligible Ferlin in the fourth round despite very little fanfare surrounding the forward heading into the draft. The Bruins were glad to get him.
Now he’s plying his trade at Cornell University and has gotten off to a hot start in his freshman season, earning back-to-back ECAC Rookie of the Week honors (Nov. 8 & 15). The big forward has eight points (3g-5a) in the Big Red’s first six games. He also leads Cornell with 14 shots on goal and is tied for the team-lead with a plus-8 rating.
Kirk Luedeke covered Ferlin last week in his Kirk’s Call blog for New England Hockey Journal and offered this scouting report:
“If you watched him really flourish in the USHL last season, the hot start is not surprising,” said one NHL scout recently when asked about Ferlin. “He’s fast, has good puck skills and I think has some underrated hockey sense. Ferlin isn’t the prettiest skater on the ice, but he generates a lot of power and can beat guys with his speed even if it looks a little funky.”
The Bruins drafted Ferlin as a power forward and that’s exactly what he’d have to be for Team USA. Ferlin has a few things going for him in terms of his candidacy for the U.S. National Junior Team. The fact that he can play power-style game and remain productive is a big plus. His size certainly doesn’t hurt. There are quite a few smaller, speedy forwards that will be in the mix for this team, but it’s important to be one of the stronger teams in Alberta. That’s why guys like Ferlin are going to get a long look for this team.
Another positive for Ferlin is that he’s a 1992-born player. Older teams and older players tend to fare a bit better at the World Junior Championship. The most physically developed team will always have an edge. Lucky for USA Hockey, the 1992-birth year is as deep a class of 19-year-olds as you could ask for.
Team USA looks like it will be fairly strong on the left side and up the middle, offensively, but there’s less prowess on the right side. Ferlin becomes more valuable for that reason. There’s going to be a place for a natural right winger that will battle along the boards and play a dependable two-way game. If Ferlin is willing to be more of a role player, he’ll probably get his shoulder tapped.
Odds are, Ferlin will be battling with fellow Bruins draftee Jared Knight for a position, though there’s a possibility both will make the club. If the Cornell standout sustains his production and competes consistently, he’d be difficult to leave home. As we get closer to selection time, I think he’s a near lock to make the initial camp roster and while I won’t slot him on the final roster just yet, it would be foolish to rule him out.
Ferlin has been under-the-radar for much of his young career. That will change soon.
More notes on Ferlin:
– Born, raised and trained in Florida.
– First Jacksonville, Fla., native to be drafted into the NHL
– Product of the Jacksonville Ice Dogs Midget program
– Played two years (2009-11) in the USHL with the Indiana Ice
– Named to the USHL All-Star Game in 2010-11
– Recorded eight points in 12 career USHL playoff games
– Ferlin’s official USA Hockey Bio
– Ferlin’s official Cornell Bio
Every week, until the U.S. National Junior Team’s pre-tournament camp roster is announced, United States of Hockey will highlight a candidate for the team. We’ll be taking a look at players from the near locks to the dark-horse candidates to the out-of-left-field possibilities.