Three Big Ten Schools in Zack Bolduc's Top Five + Other B1G News

Updates on commitments, prospects and other Big Ten-related news since earlier this month

The biggest battle in the Big Ten this weekend is on the gridiron as the Wolverines head to Madison for a top 15 showdown, but when it comes to Big Ten hockey, the story is a recruiting battle. More specifically, the recruitment for Mount-St. Charles U16 forward Zack Bolduc (‘03), which continues to spark up. After reporting that three Big Ten programs (Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin) were heavy in the race for Bolduc’s commitment this past Monday, I’ve got an updated top five today — those three are still in there. Bolduc’s top five also includes North Dakota and UMass.

I reported earlier this week that the Minutemen were on the outside looking in — that is looking like a mistake on my part, as I’ve continuously developed my sourcing on this story since Monday’s report. The other schools confirmed to be pursuing Bolduc include UNO, BC, BU and Maine — we can assume there are others chasing this commit as well.

This recruiting battle, which has escalated rapidly, could be just beginning — Bolduc isn’t likely to step onto a campus until the fall of 2021. It could be as long as a year or more before the hockey world learns his Division 1 home — if there is one. Bolduc went 9th overall this spring to the Q’s Rimouski Oceanic, who ice a potential first-overall selection in 2020 draft-eligible winger Alexis Lafrenière. They won 44 of 68 regular season games last season under coach Serge Beausoleil.

I’ll have another update on this story later this fall whether or not Bolduc remains uncommitted — as noted, he very well may. For now here are some highlights featuring Bolduc (and BU recruit Lane Hutson, others) from Mount’s game against the North Jersey Avalanche last weekend.

I noted in my Big Ten update earlier this month that Dylan St. Cyr, who showed up on Muskegon’s 30-man, might have left Notre Dame in the wake of Cale Morris’ return. I can confirm that St. Cyr is (and was at the time of posting) on campus getting ready for this upcoming season with the Fighting Irish.

Incoming Penn State defenseman Clayton Phillips got his NCAA exemption to play this fall for the Nittany Lions. Phillips would have had to eat an awkward year-long pause at a critical time in his career if the exemption was denied. Instead, Penn State — who already look like the potential top dog in the Big Ten this season — add a strong skater who fits right into their up-tempo system.

Canadian forward Dylan Holloway, a freshman at Wisconsin, is listed at 11th overall in TSN’s preseason 2020 NHL entry draft rankings. Craig Button’s summary of Holloway: “Very good skater with the puck skills and smarts to be proficient as a centre or as a winger. Competitive, determined player who is continuously improving his game.”

Defenseman Evan McIntyre committed to Ohio State. McIntyre, a left-shooting late-2000, will play his first full season with the Penticton Vees this year after splitting time between Penticton and USHL-Cedar Rapids in 2018-19. The St. Andrew’s College (ONT-Prep) product has 4 points through 4 games this season. He was one of the first gets for Merrimack’s new coaching staff after being hired in April 2018.

Owen McLaughlin, a 2003-born playmaker on the Valley Forge Minutemen 16s, committed to Penn State. The in-state get played 26 games for the Hill School (PA), posting 22 points.

2004-born forward Maddox Fleming, who is likely to be a recruiting target for a number of Big Ten schools in 2020, was named to Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep team. He’s the only sophomore on the prep roster. Prep beat the Elite League’s ‘Sit Mutual Investments’ this past Wednesday in their home opener, 4-1. Uncommitted 2002-born forward Will Traeger scored three points in that game. Fleming was held off the scoresheet.

USCHO’s Mark Divver tweeted that 2002-born scorer Mark Estapa deco’d from Western and is a ‘likely’ for Michigan or Notre Dame. Estapa posted 16 points in 10 games over his last two USA Hockey Select festivals and was a prolific scorer for Little Caesars throughout his youth hockey career. He’s stepped right into the offense for USHL-Tri-City during preseason play (1-2-3 thru first 3 GP) this month.

Former Notre Dame recruit Wyatt Schingoethe, a late-2002 born forward from the Chicago Mission, has changed commitments to Denver. He joins a very talented set of recruits heading to play for the Pioneers. Schingoethe will be one of the youngest draft-eligibles in the USHL this year after posting 33 points in 62 games for the Waterloo Black Hawks as a rookie last year.

Mason Jobst, who put up 164 points over 150 NCAA games and captained the Buckeyes for his last two seasons, has already had a preseason to remember: Jobst scored the over-time winner against the Flyers in his first game wearing an NHL jersey (NYI).

Another former Big Ten captain scored a memorable goal in this NHL preseason: Notre Dame’s Jake Evans, who roofed one for the Canadiens against the Devils.

Jess Myers noted that Minnesota forwards Scott Reedy (junior) and Noah Weber (freshman) had injuries holding them out of practice earlier this month. I originally read said report in the Bemidji Pioneer.