By Eldon MacDonald
50. Robbie Russo - “Captain America” - D - USA
Vitals: Size - 5’11”, 191 lb.; Shoots right; Born 15-Feb-93 - Westmint, Il
Team: USA U18, USHL
2010-11 Stats: 52-3-19-22-23 + U18 6-1-7-8-4-(+5)
25 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
36 - ISS per TSN
36 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
47 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
50 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
50 - The Hockey News per TSN
55 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
58 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
69 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (55th North American skater)
HM - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts (HM’s = 61 to 85)
95 - New York Islanders
Captain America (USA NDP U18 Team Captain, Robbie Russo) led his team to the gold medal at the U18’s. He did it by leading the power play and controlling the pace of the game when five on five and was named of Team USA’s three best players along with JT Miller and John Gibson. These feats will not look too shabby on his resume when he presents it to potential employers at the combine in June.
What type of player is Robbie Russo??? Well, he is a PMD (puck moving defenseman) in the vein of Brian Rafalski or Tomas Kaberle. While he is not particularly fast and does not have a booming shot, he does have the vision to read the plays that enable him to control the pace of the game and the elite puck distribution skills and mobility to make things happen.
Where will Robbie Russo go in the draft??? In my view, he will fight it out with Adam Clendening for the first average-sized PMD taken in the second round. NHL Central Scouting has him at about 69, Future Considerations has him at 58 in their final rankings and I have him at 50. Next year, you can follow him at the University of Notre Dame.