Prospect Currents: 2004 Recruiting Window Opens

Decent amount of activity in the first week of recruiting for the rising juniors

The first signing day (week) in recent college hockey history has come and with it some new commitments. There are NLI signing days, which could be considered more consequential (as NLIs are binding), but this is the first time a set of top young prospects became eligible to commit simultaneously. It was also, obviously, taking place in the midst of a global pandemic which has made everything that much more interesting. Even with the lack of showcases (and hockey in general), that didn’t do anything to stop schools from making commitments, as I predicted last month.

Many of the top prospects that are rising high school juniors had already made commitments due to the rule change coming in last spring, and only a few of those remaining high-end prospects made commitments this week. I talked about some of the prospects that already look like “five star” types last month, but none of those have committed this week.

So let’s get into how it all played out.

Who won signing day/week?

I don’t think there was a clear winner. This wasn’t a crazy week with commitments being made left and right. There were quite a few on August 1st, with a few sprinkling in over the days that followed. Many schools weren’t active as far as getting commitments, though they may have been involved in recruiting players that chose other schools. There are certainly more to come in the following weeks, months and years. What we have after the first week are fifteen schools that secured new players. If I’ve missed any here, please shoot me an email or reach out on social.

From a quantity perspective, Michigan State made the biggest splash. The quality wasn’t lacking at all either — three out of their four prospects were ranked in my top 26 for this spring’s USHL draft and the fourth should have been. They’re all in-state recruits who played in-state and Michigan has the best AAA teams in the country:

04 D Tucker Shedd (Compuware) - Michigan State

04 D Dominic Elliott (Fox Motors) - Michigan State

04 F Owen Baker (Honeybaked) - Michigan State

04 F Justin Varner (Honeybaked) - Michigan State

I rated Shedd, Baker and Varner pretty similarly and any one of them could emerge as the best of the group. That goes for Elliott, too, who was only absent from my rankings because I didn’t see Fox Motors much, though he went ahead of them all in the 3rd round of the draft to Cedar Rapids. Baker and Shedd were picked by Waterloo in the 3rd and 4th rounds, while Varner went to Sioux Falls in the 4th. Baker and Varner were prolific scorers on the top 15s team in the country, dominating top teams from America and Canada alike. They may be a lot better than I give them credit for — though I do give them credit, it can be hard to evaluate a team as stacked as Honeybaked was. Baker posted 123 points on the year and Varner had 110.

Shedd is a lefty defenseman with good size out of Compuware who I really like overall while Elliott is a bit smaller, a righty who had 43 points on the year for Fox Motors.

Michigan State emerged with a very solid start to their recruiting of the 04 age group and lay the foundation for what could be some excellent classes in a few years. It reminds me of 2013-14 when they committed a set of 98s from a great Honeybaked team. Two of their top players this year were from that group: Patrick Khodorenko and Mitch Lewandowski. It’s great for the Spartans because that’s what they need to perpetuate — getting top in-state prospects with consistency — if they want to stay competitive within the Big Ten. They only have one 03 recruit (Nikita Tarasevich), so expect that staff to continue chasing talent in this age range.

Big Ten

Since we started with Michigan State, let’s keep going with the Big Ten.

04 F Andon Cerbone (Brunswick) - Michigan

The Wolverines landed what could be their biggest recruit out of prep hockey since first rounder Boo Nieves chose Ann Arbor coming out of Kent. Cerbone exploded onto the scene this year, making a lot of noise in the process. Observers felt his omission from the NTDP roster was something of a snub, as he’s a stand-out cerebral scorer with a ton of upside who proved what he can do against older players in prep hockey this year. The Chicago Steel picked him in the first round of the USHL draft this spring. He was my sixth-ranked prospect for that draft at the time and one of the few players who wasn’t named to the NTDP that is likely to be rated as a five-star in this age group.

04 D Michael Mastrodomenico (Laval-MTL) - Notre Dame

The Big Ten lost a blue chip ‘04 D recruit when would-be Wisconsin Badger Tristan Luneau signed in the Q this spring, but Notre Dame managed to get the pipeline from Quebec flowing again with this big right-handed blue liner from Kirkland, Quebec. The Lac St-Louis Lions product went 9th overall in the QMJHL draft to Shawinigan after playing for Laval-Montréal (Quebec Midget AAA) this season, posting 17 points in 42 games.

03 D Jake Martin (NTDP) - Wisconsin

The former Miami recruit is technically a pull from Minnesota, where he played (for Gentry Academy) prior to the NTDP. A right shot with decent size who posted 5 points this year, Martin is a solid, two-way add for the Badgers who should be ready to play by 2022 if not 2021. Including Martin, the Badgers already have four ‘03 defensemen committed as well as two ‘02s and one ‘04.

Hockey East

03 F Michael Emerson (NJ Avalanche) - UMass

04 D Shaun McEwen (Selects Academy) - UMass

Hockey East was very active with six schools adding players this week. You can put UMass’ two recruits up against any set of players added this week. Both are top scorers out of top AAA programs in the North Jersey Avalanche and Selects Academy. Emerson is a prolific scorer with decent size while McEwen, a 6’0 defenseman who put up a point-per-game, is a local and the grandson of former UMass skipper Toot Cahoon.

04 F Michael LaStarza (Waterloo) - BU

03 F Jack Musa (NJ Avalanche) - BU

03 F Shane Lachance (Tabor) - BU

It was no surprise that both Comm Ave schools were active this week. BU also picked up the grandson of a former head coach (Jack Parker) in big, toolsy forward Shane Lachance, who had a good first year in prep hockey at Tabor this season. The other two commits are smaller, very talented scorers who look like the real deal. Jack Musa split the year between Trinity-Pawling and the North Jersey Avalanche while Michael LaStarza is a Quebec native who played for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota. LaStarza was tendered by the Waterloo Black Hawks. The Terriers already have two top ‘04s committed in NTDPers Lane Hutson and Devin Kaplan, as well as a number of top ‘03s including forward Ryan Greene. They even have an ‘05 already on board in Ryan Fine.

04 D Seamus Powell (NTDP) - BC

04 F Connor Welsh (Brunswick) - BC

The Eagles had a solid outing this week. Like BU, they’ve already made some forays into this age range, especially if we count the ‘03s, where they have some great players committed. They did recently lose two top ‘03 forwards to QMJHL-Saint John though, so they might be more active than others in the coming months. In addition to NTDP ‘04 defenseman Charlie Leddy, who committed two years ago, the Eagles added the brother of current freshman Eamon Powell (who also played for the NTDP) in Seamus Powell. He looks like he’ll be an all-around contributor for the Eagles in two years, coming out of the Rochester Selects 15 team with 48 points in 63 games this season.

Connor Welsh is a nice add as well. He played with Andon Cerbone (Michigan) at Brunswick and in the fall for the Mid-Fairfield 16 team, where they technically played up a year. He didn’t explode in the way Cerbone did, but he posted 20 points this year and could become a terrific college scorer in his own right. Sioux City took him in the 2nd round.

04 F Christian Kocsis (Honeybaked) - Providence

03 D Declan Loughnane (Thayer) - Providence

The Friars had a decent start on the ‘04 age group with forwards Brady Berard and Ryan Schelling but they switched it to another gear with two great additions this week. Kocsis was my 14th-ranked skater for the USHL draft this spring and went in the 2nd round to Lincoln after posting 100 points for Honeybaked, the top 15 AAA team in the country. Now that the core of players on that Honeybaked team have gone their different ways, we’ll see how he does this year, but he’s got size and real offensive upside. The other get was big, too: Declan Loughnane, a quality defender at both ends who made his intro to prep hockey with Thayer this year. He’s a late ‘03 who moves well and won the Super Eight title with BC High as a freshman in 2019, scoring the game-winner in the fourth overtime.

04 F Mike Murtagh (Gunnery) - UConn

UConn added a late ‘04 out of prep in Murtagh, a decent-sized right shot forward who spent the last two years at Albany Academy where he scored 16 and 17 points in ‘18-19 and ‘19-20 respectively. He’ll be at the Gunnery this fall, much closer to his future collegiate home.

03 D Brendan Fitzgerald (Governor’s) - New Hampshire

New Hampshire added skill, competitive fire and skating ability to their blue line in Fitzgerald, the brother of Casey and Ryan, who both had great careers at Boston College over the last decade. He had a point-per-game in his first year of prep hockey at Governor’s.

NCHC

03 D Kent Anderson (Drumheller) - Denver

04 G Paxton Geisel (Dallas Stars) - Denver

Denver continues to have success in Western Canada, picking up two big prospects for their pipeline on the defensive side. Late ‘03 D Kent Anderson played in the Alberta junior league for Drumheller where he had 23 points and 36 PIM in 56 games, as well as 4 points in 5 playoff games. He’s a 6’2 righty who went in the third round to USHL-Green Bay this spring.

Geisel is a Dubuque pick (4th round) who was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan but has played the last few years all the way down in Dallas. Geisel, who is 6’1, tendered in the NAHL with St. Cloud this year.

04 D Jeremiah Slavin (Thunderbirds) - Colorado College

Colorado College’s staff have done a great job recruiting players outside of their state but in Slavin they get a really solid local who will follow in the footsteps of his brothers, Jaccob (now in the NHL with Carolina) and Josiah, who both chose CC. Josiah is going to be a sophomore this year, so they might not play together, but if Jeremiah ends up anything like his brothers, Tiger fans should be thrilled.

Last but not least

04 D Chase Pietila (Honeybaked) - Michigan Tech

A third Pietila brother chooses Tech with the decision of this 6’2 righty. As mentioned above, Honeybaked were the top 15 team and the real “winner” of the week was that group of players, many of whom are now committed. For his part, Pietila had a point-per-game on the blue line this year and tendered with Lincoln in the spring. He’s a big get for Tech, though perhaps it was never really in doubt.

04 F Connor Gourley (Camrose) - Arizona State

Gourley had 39 points in 26 games (20 goals) in the CSSHL for the Calgary Edge School and will head to the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks this year. He looks like a nice add for the Sun Devils on paper.

03 D Nicky Wallace (NJ Avalanche) - Quinnipiac

The Bobcats got a pretty good defenseman from one of the top 16 AAA teams in the country in Wallace. He’s a two-way defender with some offensive upside and played with one of their top recruits this past season in ‘03 forward Sam Lipkin.

04 F Marek Hejduk (NTDP) - Harvard

04 D David Hejduk (Thunderbirds) - Harvard

04 D Ryan Healey (Boston Advantage) - Harvard

Harvard picked up commitments from the Hejduk twins (sons of Milan), who played for the Colorado Thunderbirds. Marek had 16 points in 17 games and was named to the NTDP. They also added a local in righty defenseman Ryan Healey, who played for the Boston Advantage. I didn’t see enough of the Advantage this year to speak about him, but he must have been pretty well-regarded to go 7th overall in the USHL draft this spring.

Prospect Currents: Recruiting, Coronavirus and Conference Play Edition

Hey guys, hope everyone is having a good summer. Hockey is returning with a vengeance (fingers crossed) and there is plenty of news... this month I have focused more on if and how hockey will be played at the various levels.

There is still a lot of uncertainty… as we’ve seen, things can quickly go one way or the other. How the NHL and other pro sports fare in rebooting their seasons, as well as the success or failure of college football this fall, will probably be the best indicators. Schools having students on campus or not is also an obvious factor. Anyway, I’ll get to all of that. I’ve tried to gather as many facts as I can find and used bullet points to keep things simpler and organized.

We’re in an extended NCAA recruiting “dead period” but there are still some recruiting items of note — and that doesn’t even include the (relatively few) recent commitments, nor LIU skipper Brett Riley managing to put together a whole team in two months, neither of which are touched on here today.

Recruiting

  • NCAA dead period extended through August 31, 2020

    • Coaches and recruits can still be in contact virtually, but nowhere else

    • Coaches can’t go to showcases in person (can watch online)

      • For more on “Recruiting in a Dead Period”, College Hockey Inc’s Nate Ewell did a zoom call discussing the topic with RMU head coach Derek Schooley as well as coaches Ben Guite (Maine) and Leon Hayward (CC). You can watch by clicking here.

  • Of course, the big date — August 1 — is almost here. It will be a fascinating few weeks. For all who may not remember, the new recruiting rules set in place last year meant only high school juniors and older could be officially committed to a Division 1 school. August 1 is the date when said rising juniors (mostly ‘04s and late-birthdate ‘03s) can officially make their commitments.

    • There are, as always, some things complicating the matter. First of all being the coronavirus, which has put competitive hockey on the shelf since March.

    • The spring and summer are fertile recruiting periods, featuring USA Hockey Nationals, playoffs of all varieties, and the USA Hockey Development camp, not to mention countless showcases. Some of the latter have managed to push through, but coaches can’t even attend games (NCAA dead period) and the rest was cancelled.

    • So college coaches might be extra hesitant to pull the trigger on a player once the August 1 date arrives. Normally, coaches would have seen most of these players play a number of times through the aforementioned events leading up to August 1. Now the most recent time they’ve seen a certain player ‘live’ could be last fall or even earlier than that.

    • On the other hand, coaches have little incentive to be patient and plenty of reason to “commit” players, considering commitments without an NLI are totally malleable and can be deferred or broken at any time. This is evidenced by coaches committing ninth and eighth graders with abandon in the past, and by countless examples of coaches altering commitment timelines and so on.

    • Therefore I think we will see what we would have seen in the first place — a flurry of commitments in the next few weeks by rising juniors in the ‘04 and ‘03 birth years. This could be exacerbated by the fact that the supply of talent is artificially smaller on this August 1st — artificially because many of the high-end ‘04s were ‘grandfathered’ in with commitments prior to the rule change in the spring of 2019.

    • Due to that, only about half (or less) of the best ‘04s in the nation, as of today, don’t have commitments. For example, less than half of next year’s U17 ('04) NTDP are without a commitment. Major junior (specifically the OHL) has removed their share of top ‘04-born talent from the eligible pool as well.

    • So who are the top uncommitted prospects to watch out for this August? Leading the way, in my estimation, are forwards Maddox Fleming, Adam Fantilli and Cutter Gauthier. Fleming and Gauthier will be on the NTDP this fall, while Fantilli tendered with the Chicago Steel. Fantilli’s brother, Luca, committed to Michigan and that could certainly be considered a favorite should Adam opt for the college route. The two played together at Kimball Union last winter and are slated to be in Chicago together this year.

    • Fleming looks to be the safest bet to end up in D1: a Shattuck-St. Mary’s star who already looked like a proper five-star recruit as a sophomore (and a freshman, and an eighth-grader) — he has high-end offensive ability and the full “5-S” package of skating, smarts/sense, size (6’0, 186) and skill.

      • It’s unlikely Fleming will make a decision anytime soon, however. He’s so in-demand that there is absolutely no pressure to do so. Jason Feldman’s excellent feature in the Post-Bulletin goes in-depth on Fleming’s experience, which included a third of Division 1 hockey reaching out to him on January 1, the first day that initiating contact with sophomores was allowed.

      • As with any Minnesotan stand-out, there will always be easy bets for recruiting prognosticators such as the University of Minnesota or North Dakota, both of which have committed plenty of in-state stars from Shattuck-St. Mary’s over the years.

      • Feldman’s article points out that there are other potential influencing factors — Fleming’s father, Chad, went to Arizona State and Maddox doesn’t appear to be ruling anything out. There apparently won’t even be a short list until after the dead period ends. If Fleming were to choose ASU, there’s a chance he emerges as their biggest recruit ever.

    • Cutter Gauthier is the other player whose landing spot in D1 — if there is one — will be of great interest. He has more of an edge than Fleming and junior hockey will certainly make a push: OHL-Kitchener picked him in the fourth round out of Compuware this spring. I see Gauthier as one of the potential top pro prospects two years ahead of his draft (2022), and like Fleming, there is no need to rush on a commitment, so we may not know for a while. If he keeps improving, there are plenty of schools that will happily wait for his decision.

    • I’ll put out more coverage of the recruiting action as things develop but two more names to watch at forward are NTDP Charlie Stramel and USHL-Tri-City tender Gavin Brindley. I wrote about all of these players back in April, but Stramel is a big athletic force with great upside while Brindley is a smaller, very skilled, dynamic presence who has a very appealing upside as well.

    • Many of the top defensemen have already committed, but that position also often takes a bit longer to emerge, so there are certainly many new names that will pop up as well.

College Hockey News

  • St. Thomas (UST) was accepted (by unanimous vote) to the revived CCHA as the league’s eighth member, beginning with the 2021-22 season. That will also be the first season of play for this version of the CCHA, which disbanded in 2013 in the wake of the Big Ten’s arrival and the ensuing conference realignment.

    • St. Thomas were granted permission to move up to Division 1 this summer. There was some speculation that they would join the NCHC, as they will share a conference with a number of NCHC members when they begin Division 1 play in the Summit League, where St. Thomas will play nine different sports.

    • For those who don’t remember, St. Thomas was kicked out of their Division 3 conference home — the Minnesota-based MIAC — for being too dominant, in 2019.

      • So St. Thomas will become the sixth Division 1 men’s ice hockey team in Minnesota and the recruiting battles will be tilted against them like never before. In the MIAC, UST had that clear advantage — now they will be competing against dozens of established Division 1 programs, many of which are higher profile and have better facilities, at least for now. The CCHA does look like a good fit, though.

      • St. Thomas had double the enrollment of every team in the MIAC, and will still be one of the bigger schools (in terms of enrollment) when they join the CCHA.

      • A new facility to play in will almost certainly be in the offing as well. Their rink is relatively new but pales in comparison to most Division 1 facilities — again, what worked in Division 3 will not play as well now that they are in Division 1.

  • Ivy League: “It will not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester.”

    • The Ivy League was the first collegiate body to make a clear decision regarding the fall semester. The decision about no sports in the fall semester has stopped any pretense of Ivy League schools competing in 2020.

      • The Big Ten followed one day later with a statement that — if they can play sports — competition would be within their conference this fall. With other conferences since following suit, this will likely pertain to hockey as well.

        • In the Big Ten’s case, with just seven teams, it will be interesting — the hockey teams already play every conference opponent four times. Do they keep the same schedule or now play each other five, even six times? Alternatively, they could start “late” but technically on-time with their conference schedule in early November.

    • Ivy League hockey, if it is played, will certainly start later than the already-late November start. That already has and is going to continue to have ramifications with regard to player’s decisions on where they play.

      • Well-regarded draft-eligible prospects such as would-be Harvard freshmen Matt Beniers and Jack Bar (sources indicate he may be heading to BCHL-Penticton) will likely end up opting for a different route instead. In Beniers’ case, whether that would be Hockey East, within another NCAA conference (Michigan?) or the USHL — where the Chicago Steel maintain his rights — still remains to be seen.

        • The Steel could be a major benefactor in all of this should the winds blow a certain way with regard to the Coronavirus situation and college sports. In addition to Beniers, they also have the rights to Michigan freshman Owen Powers who could potentially return to the USHL if college sports get the kibosh.

        • That’s two potential high first-round picks in 2021. But wait — there’s more: the Steel also picked up the rights to another Michigan freshman in forward Kent Johnson this month. That would be three potential 2021 lottery picks on one USHL team.

          • Of course, it’s totally possible that they end up with none of them. In fact, the Steel’s season might even get cancelled instead. The USHL will do whatever they can to move on with their season, but this week the Governor of Illinois banned all “youth and adult recreation” contact sports. It’s not explicitly clear whether the USHL’s Steel will be included in that new guidance but, logically, that would include them.

        • Other USHL teams would also likely benefit from the cancellation of college athletics. Muskegon, for example, picked Notre Dame freshman Landon Slaggert in the fifteenth round of their draft this spring. If the college season (which is already shorter than almost every other serious hockey competition) even gets slightly delayed, it’s totally plausible that he’s in Muskegon this season.

      • Harvard sophomore forward Jack Drury, a 2nd round pick in 2018 (Carolina), who had 39 points last season, signed this month in the Swedish Hockey League with Växjö.

      • Ivy League institutions have taken different approaches to the fall semester with regard to students being on campus. UPenn and Cornell will welcome all undergraduates, whereas Harvard has announced that only 40 percent of undergraduates will be allowed on campus this fall.

  • Hockey East season will consist of league games, conference tournaments

  • There were a number of coaching moves this summer but none as surprising as the recent addition of former NHL head coach Mike Babcock to the UVM coaching staff.

    • There is still a final assistant coaching job open in Burlington, as Mike Babcock is technically a volunteer advisor to the coaching staff. Former NHLer Mark Stuart will also be on staff, beginning his coaching career as a volunteer assistant.

      • Babcock’s tenure in the NHL can add plenty to the program on the ice, but what they need, badly, is a proven recruiter. I assume that new head coach Todd Woodcroft will be more hands-on with the recruiting.

      • It’s hard to know how much having Babcock will be able to help, if at all, in the recruiting aspect — especially in the wake of the bad press that came out last fall. Maybe that won’t be a factor.

      • That said it would be best if Woodcroft brings in someone willing to pound the pavement on the recruiting side to round out his staff, which also includes assistant coach Jeff Hill, heading into his sixth season.

      • That new hire may not come through for a while — UVM is in a hiring freeze and Woodcroft (who signed a five-year contract at 275K per year) took a 40% pay reduction until the university resumes normal operations. More cuts may come across the board, which could mean things move forward as-is — or even become leaner. For more on Vermont, I put down plenty of thoughts about the situation as I see it, back in February.

Other News and Links

The July 6th DHS directive that would have required international students to take at least some in-person coursework in order to remain in the U.S has been rescinded in the wake of a combined suit brought by Harvard/MIT. However, new international students are not protected…

From Inside Higher Ed:

“As recently as this week, Universities such as Harvard and USC have been telling new international students not to come to campus -- a reversion to policy guidance issued in March that gave international students relief from normal regulatory requirements limiting them to one online class at a time -- did not provide relief to new international students, who were not covered by the March guidance.”

Other Other News


McKenzie’s 2020 Draft List

Bob McKenzie's Final Ranking

The 2020 NHL Draft may be four (or more) months away, but the prospect media world has generally stuck to the traditional schedule. That means Bob McKenzie’s final 2020 draft ranking, which is something of a standard-bearer each year, came out ‘on time’ this June. Here are the top prospects as well as the American and D1 recruits included in his ranking, which goes up to 100.

Top Five

Alexis Lafrenière, star winger from QMJHL-Rimouski, was ranked #1, which seems to be the consensus opinion. In a small surprise, German scorer Tim Stützle was ranked second. He played in the German pro league for Mannheim. Predictably, big OHL-Sudbury center Quinton Byfield was ranked third after posting 82 points in 45 games. Rounding out the top five were two more OHLers, Erie defenseman Jamie Drysdale and Saginaw forward Cole Perfetti.

Americans and Division 1-linked prospects

It’s a light year for Americans and D1 recruits – especially after a dominant 2019. There could be a top ten pick, though, as the scouting world appears to have coalesced around North Dakota-bound defenseman Jake Sanderson as not only the top American in the draft but potentially the top defenseman available. A 6’1 athlete with upside at both ends of the sheet, McKenzie has projected Sanderson to go in the top 10, as has been suggested by many observers over the last few months. Prior to the season, Sanderson had been rated anywhere from the second round to mid-first.

The next D1-linked player showed up at #16: Wisconsin freshman Dylan Holloway, a 6’0, 203 Canadian forward who posted 17 points in 35 games this year. Holloway is an aggressive athlete with offensive upside who asserts himself all over the offensive zone and could be a center or wing in the NHL. He’s been considered a potential first rounder since last season and appears to have basically maintained his draft stock – despite playing for a Wisconsin team that did finished last in the Big Ten and did not meet the expectations that many observers had for them.

The third and final player listed in the first round projection is Michigan commit Brendan Brisson from USHL-Chicago, at 31. The son of super-agent Pat Brisson has rocketed up the rankings this season after thriving as a rookie on a great Chicago Steel team. The 5’11 forward had 59 points in 45 games this season after starring for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota. Anyone who watched Shattuck’s prep team last year knew that he would figure into this draft mix, but he has to be the biggest riser among the entire Division 1-linked crop of players eligible this year.

Here are the other D1-linked players and Americans included:

  • 36. D Tyler Kleven – USA U-18 – North Dakota

  • 39. F Ty Smilanic – USA U-18 – Quinnipiac

  • 41. F Sam Colangelo – Chicago (USHL) – Northeastern

  • 43. F Luke Tuch – USA U-18 – Boston University

  • 47. F Dylan Peterson – USA U-18 – Boston University

  • 51. F Thomas Bordeleau – USA U-18 – Michigan

  • 56. D Brock Faber – USA U-18 – Minnesota

  • 62. D Yan Kuznetsov – UConn

  • 68. F Brett Berard – USA U-18 – Providence

  • 70. D Eamon Powell – USA U-18 – Boston College

  • 72. D Ian Moore – St. Mark’s (to USHL-Chicago ’20-21) – Harvard

  • 76. F Antonio Stranges – London (OHL)

  • 81. D Wyatt Kaiser – Andover (MN-HS) – Minnesota-Duluth

  • 84. F Carter Savoie – Sherwood Park (AJHL) – Denver

  • 85. F Sean Farrell – Chicago (USHL) – Harvard

  • 86. F Landon Slaggert – USA U-18 – Notre Dame

  • 87. G Drew Commesso – USA U-18 – Boston University

  • 88. F Cross Hanas – Portland (WHL)

  • 93. F Blake Biondi – Hermantown (MN-HS) – Minnesota-Duluth

  • Honorable Mention: F Ryder Rolston (Notre Dame)

Minutemen land Mercuri

UMass won a recruiting battle for the commitment of former Vermont recruit Lucas Mercuri, who starred in prep for New England champions Salisbury this winter. A long, goal-scoring force from Quebec, Mercuri decommitted from Vermont after a coaching change in Burlington and immediately garnered a lot of interest from the Big Ten, Hockey East and ECAC. He chose UMass over Penn State, Wisconsin, Clarkson, Maine and UConn.

The 2020 draft-eligible from Quebec will likely play for Des Moines in the USHL this season before heading to Amherst next fall. Mercuri posted 39 goals over his two seasons in prep hockey. Right now he projects as a solid four-star recruit – figuring in like an average player on a nationally-ranked Division 1 team. That could improve this year in the USHL.

AHP Ep. 12: Tony Zosel, Youth Hockey Hub

  
0:00
-15:21

This episode of the Amateur Hockey Podcast features Youth Hockey Hub founder Tony Zosel. We mostly talked about hockey in Minnesota and why it has become such a prominent force in the domestic hockey landscape, particularly while Massachusetts has been falling behind. I caught Tony last week while he was on his way up to North Dakota for a hockey tournament and he had some spotty reception which rears its head right at the start very briefly. Other than that, 99% of what he says is audible up until the end where we cut things short a bit prematurely due to another spell of audio interference. Thanks to Tony for taking the time to come on.

For those looking to listen on Spotify, it will be up there shortly.

Previous episodes of the Amateur Hockey Podcast can be found on Spotify or by clicking below. There are other podcast episodes and content that can be found in the Archive by clicking here.

Thanks for listening..

Loading more posts…