NHL 2010 Top Draft Prospects: Cam Fowler

In the last few year’s, we’ve seen a boom in prospects coming from the United States: Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk, John Moore, Zach Bogosian, Colin Wilson, and more.

However, defenseman Cam Fowler may be the best of them all.

Already being compared to Scott Niedermeyer, Fowler was a key member of the United States’ gold medal World Junior Championship team this past year. He is an incredible playmaker and one of the fastest skaters in the Canadian League.

“He has good poise with the puck,” says one scout, “He makes smart reads on the ice, shows good anticipation, is physical when he needs to be, and has a good point shot.”

Having been brought up through the US National Developmental program, NHL teams know he has been in good hands. In his second season with the US-NTDP, he scored 40 points in 47 games, then exploded in his rookie OHL season, averaging a point per game, scoring 55 points on 47 assists for the Windsor Spitfires. He hopes to lead them to another Memorial Cup championship this year.

Fowler had originally committed to play US College Hockey at Notre Dame when he was 15, then wound up breaking that commitment for a chance to play with Taylor Hall and possibly win a Memorial Cup.

“Notre Dame was very good to me,” Fowler said, “And Coach Jackson has been like a mentor. It was just decided, after a lot of talking and analyzing with my family and advisors, that the full schedule and competition of junior hockey was the best avenue for me.”

But that hasn’t changed the scouts’ opinions of the dominant defenseman.

“Pure, pure talent,” said another scout of Fowler. “Before this season even started, I had him with Taylor Hall as the two players guaranteed to go in the first five overall picks. I think he would have benefited playing for Jackson in South Bend and it would not have had any effect on his draft ranking.”

Fowler has incredible speed, as is evident by his performance at the OHL Skills Competition and the NEXT Testing CHL Prospect game. His foot movement is dazzling and his ability to keep control of the puck while turning through defenders is unprecedented in recent draft years.

Though he is the fifth-ranked player for the draft, you can guarantee that he will be a top-tiered defender for any team for the next decade and a half.

Alan Bass is a writer for The Hockey News and THN.com. In addition to writing for Inside Hockey and Pro Hockey News, he has also worked for the Philadelphia FlyersHe is the general manager of the Muhlenberg College hockey team as well. You can contact him at BergHockey24@gmail.com .

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