By Eldon MacDonald
42. Adam Clendening - “Mr. Quarterback” - D - USA
Vitals: Size - 5’11”, 190 lb.; shoots right; Born: 26-Oct-92 - Niagara falls, NY
Team: Boston University, Hockey East
2010-11 Stats: 39-5-21-26-80-(+8)
35 - ISS per TSN
36 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
36 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
39 - Bob MacKenzie's January 2011 NHL Scouts Poll
39 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
42 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
42 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
49 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
49 - The Hockey News per TSN
56 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (45th North American skater)
60 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
63 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
36 - Chicago Black Hawks
2007-2008 - Toronto Marlboros Midget AAA - 50 points in 60 games
2008-2009 - U18 Gold Medal on Team USA
2010-2011 - U18 Gold Medal on Team USA + tournament all star team and tied for the team lead in points at 10.
So, Adam Clendening came into the season with some major buzz but like most first year university players, the buzz died down. And yes, he was a late cut from the USA U20 squad but he did lead Boston University with a plus 8 (tied with Sahir Gill and Chris Connolly) and helped them to the Hockey East quarterfinals against Northeastern and was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team. So Adam had a good year but he didn’t get the buzz if he played Major Junior or internationally. Will this lack of buzz hurt him in the draft? I think the answer is likely to be yes because otherwise he would likely be talked about as a sure fire first rounder instead of a consensus second round pick.
For me, Adam Clendening is close to Robbie Russo (this year’s Team USA U18 Captain and power play quarterback) in size and skills. I have Adam rated a little higher because he has a better shot and slightly better overall offensive skills plus a more honed defensive skill set. He is a PMD (puck moving defenseman) and power play quarterback who is a top notch skater but could use a few more miles per hour at top speed to be considered elite in this department. He combines high-end skills for passing (think tapers), shooting, puck handling, vision, hockey sense along with a competiveness and confidence that you want on your back-end when the game is on the line. The only real negative is his average size and the fact that he can occasionally be overpowered but like a lot of others of average size, he was the will and the smarts to overcome these shortcomings. If you are looking for a Kevin Shattenkirk (and who isn’t), Adam Clendening may be your man.