Name: Seth Ambroz
Weight: 202 lbs.
10-11 team: Omaha Lancers(USHL)
10-11 stats: 56 games played, 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points
Ambroz was one of the first players to be on people's radar for this years draft. An early growth spurt made Ambroz one of the most dominating players in his age group, and helped him make the roster of the Omaha Lancers of the USHL as a 15-year-old, where he had a very successful rookie season. After an increase in scoring in his second season, his offensive production plateaued this past season. Ambroz is a big, goal-scoring power forward, that plays with good meanness.
Ambroz had initially planned to graduate high school a year early to play for the University of Minnesota in his draft year, but wasn't able to get his academic requirements in time. Instead, he'll join the Golden Gophers next fall.
Links of Interest:
Seth Ambroz Draft Blog-NHL.com
USHL Player Feature- USHL.com- April 2009
Only 16, Ambroz Already Attracting Attention-NHL.com- September 2009
Expect Ambroz to Earn First Round Nod in '11-NHL.com-September 2010
September 24, 2007: "Seth Ambroz, Forward, Russell Stover U16-It seems like he’s grown quite a bit since last year. He looked pretty good for being a year younger than everyone else."
August 19, 2008: 2. Seth Ambroz-Ambroz led the camp in scoring and physically dominated over everyone. He did an excellent job of finishing when he got scoring opportunities. He looked very good, and should be a solid college player regardless, but there have also been instances in the past where a player dominated at the Select 15s because he hit an early growth spurt and was bigger than everyone else, but faded back to the rest of the pack once everyone caught up in size.
Ambroz has seen his stock drop quite a bit from potential top ten pick on some people's lists to pretty much out of the first round on most people's lists. There's a couple reasons for this. First, he drew a lot of attention early on because he was one of the only underage players playing Tier I junior hockey in the world, and often times, the experts making top ten draft lists years in advance of a draft would be hard-pressed to name 20 players in that draft class. It's not the most scientific process.
The other reason is that Ambroz developed physically at such a age. He was so big and strong that he was able to play like a very good 18-year-old in the USHL at age 15. Playing like a very good 18-year-old is impressive as at that age. Not as much when he's actually 18.
Taken on its own, a draft eligible player that is 6'2", not afraid to fight, and scored 24 goals in the USHL last year would seem like a slam dunk first round pick. Max Pacioretty scored 21 goals in the USHL in his draft year and was taken 22nd overall in his draft year. (Pacioretty had way more assists, but didn't bring the physical element Ambroz does) The big difference between the two is that Ambroz put up similar numbers in the previous years, whereas Pacioretty was practically unheard of at the beginning of his draft year.
Is that fair? I've always compared the journey from amateur hockey to the NHL as a marathon, and the NHL Draft is just a checkpoint. Two players may be at the same point on draft day, but if one player is chugging along at the same speed, while the other is just starting to kick it into a higher gear, it's pretty clear which player is the better selection.
Ambroz is an extremely talented player, and more than likely will play in the NHL at some point, but I don't think anyone believes there's a ton of untapped potential in him to develop into the type of player that can be a star in the league. Ambroz will most likely end up as a solid second round pick.