Mueller First '88 to Go
6'1", 190 lb. RC Peter Mueller of the U.S. Under-17 Team has become the first '88 to commit to an NCAA hockey program. He will play for the University of Minnesota starting with the '06-07 season.
Mueller, who's 15 and the only '88 in the NTDP, was a standout as an 8th grader last year at Breck, a private school in Minneapolis, Minn. As of now, it's safe to say , he's the top player in his age group.
Mueller will be accelerating in order to get to the Gophs three years from now. He will take his 9th and 10th grade years together this season.
Mueller, a 4/14/88 birthdate from Bloomington, Minn., has, to date, played seven games with the Under-18 Team and has an 0-1-1 line.
Last spring, he was selected by the Everett Silvertips in the second round (#21 overall) of the WHL Bantam Draft.
EJHL All-Stars to Take On U.S. Under-18 Team
On Sunday night at 6:00 pm, the Eastern Junior Hockey League All-Stars will take on the U.S. Under-18 Team at the Tri-Town Arena in Hookset, NH, the home rink of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. For directions to the rink, call (603) 485-1100.
Here's the EJHL roster:
Forwards (13): Matt Burto (Boston Jr. Bruins); Jon Pelle (NY Apple Core); Jon Rheault (NH Jr. Monarchs); Paul Dufault (Walpole Stars); Ryan Hodkinson (NY Apple Core); P.J. Fenton (New England Jr. Coyotes); Ken Porter (CD Selects); CJ Tozzo (NY Apple Core); Ryan Ginand (Boston Jr. Bruins); Josh Coyle (NH Jr. Monarchs); Scott Brady (Boston Jr. Bruins); Mike Karwoski (NY Apple Core); and Chris Margott (Walpole Stars).
Defensemen (8): Bret Tyler (Boston Jr. Bruins); Marc Bastarache (NH Jr. Monarchs); Matt Generous (New England Jr. Coyotes); David Leaderer (Boston Jr. Bruins); Jacob Schuster (Walpole Stars); Jay Bletzer (Walpole Stars); Matt Duffy (NH Jr. Monarchs); and Jarrett Souza (Boston Jr. Bruins).
Goaltenders (3): Nevin Hamilton (Boston Jr. Bruins); Pat Watson (Valley Jr. Warriors); and Raphael Cundari (Bay State Breakers).
Goal: Dan Ramirez (Walpole Stars)
Defense: Andrick Deppmeyer (Bay State Breakers)
Forward: Ryan Weston (New England Jr. Coyotes)
Forward: Ben Camper (Bay State Breakers)
The big side story here is whether center Robbie Schremp, who left the Mississauga IceDogs (OHL) after Sunday's game, and is now with the NTDP, will actually suit up for this weekend's games (the Under-18 Team also plays at UNH on Sat. night). There's red tape involved, and right now USA Hockey is waiting for Schremp's release from the IceDogs. This morning, Under-18 Team head coach Moe Mantha said he hoped that the paper transfers between the CHL and USA Hockey "get worked out so that Robbie Schremp can play this weekend. We should find out in another day or so."
New Union Staff Lands First Commitment
The Nate Leaman era at Union doesn't begin until the puck drops 12 days from now, but the Dutchmen already have their first commitment for '04-05 in 5'11", 175 lb. left-shot center Scott Brady of Sutton, Mass. and the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL).
Brady, a 20-year-old who attended the Pomfret School, was enrolled at Div. III Elmira College last fall, but left after one semester and returned home to suit up with the Junior Bruins, playing on the first line and notching 32 points in 25 games with a +19. This year, Brady is the Junior Bruins' leading scorer, and had a hat trick in Saturday's 5-0 win over the Boston Harborwolves.
Brady is taking classes at Quinsigamond Community College, and will be immediately eligible to play for the Dutchmen under the NCAA's 4-2-4 rule.
New Union assistant Billy Riga knows exactly what Brady will bring to the Dutchmen, as Riga coached him during his time with the Junior Bruins organization.
While Leaman now has his first recruit as a Div. I head coach, Yale Bulldogs Tim Taylor, going into his 27th year, is up in the hundreds. The newest commitment for Taylor and staff is 6'0", 180 lb. LW David Germain, who played last year for Northfield-Mt. Hermon and is now taking a year in juniors with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL).
Germain, who played at Quincy (Mass.) HS before going on to NMH, is a 4/25/84 birthdate. He has a hard shot, hands and craftiness. A year in juniors will help him become a more physical player.
In five games to date, he has a 3-3-6 line.
Germain has a younger brother, Matt, who's currently at NMH. An '86 birthdate and an 11th grader, Matt, like his brother, is a forward. He, too, is a Div. I prospect.
Schremp to NTDP
6'0", 200 lb. center Rob Schremp, after notching two goals and one assist and being named #1 star in the Mississauga IceDogs 6-3 win at Guelph this afternoon, made for the U.S. border, crossing via the Windsor Tunnel and arriving in Ann Arbor around 10 pm. He will practice tomorrow (Mon. 9/29) with the U.S. Under-18 Team.
Schremp and his agent, Scott Norton, met with the IceDogs brass today in a final attempt to work out their differences,which seem to revolve around off-ice issues, though no one is exactly forthcoming as to what they might be. The ire from Schremp's camp appears to be directed more toward the team's upper management than coach Greg Gilbert, though a number of players in Mississauga and elsewhere have found Gilbert tough to play for. Gilbert has gotten the IceDogs off to a 3-0-0 start.
The big question now is how long Schremp will be with the NTDP. Most suspect it will be short, but that's not a sure thing. Schremp could wind up playing for the Under-18 team all season, finishing up at the Under-18 World Championships in April, or he could be elsewhere by the end of the week. The NTDP is more than aware that the money is in the OHL, and several teams are interested in working out a deal for Schremp. Schremp is said to be amenable to trades to Sarnia, London, and Plymouth.
Schremp, a 7/1/86 birthdate from Fulton, NY, is projected to go anywhere from #2-7 in June's NHL draft. He was Rookie of the Year in the OHL last season after being selected by Mississauga #1 overall in the 2002 OHL draft.
McIlrath, NTDP Part Ways
5'8" left-shot center/wing Todd McIlrath parted ways with the U.S. Under-18 Team, joining the Danville Wings (USHL) over the weekend, playing his first game on Saturday night and contributing two assists to the Wings 3-2 shootout win over St. Louis.
McIlrath and U.S. Under-18 head coach Moe Mantha reportedly failed to see eye-to-eye on a number of things. McIlrath getting a new start with the Wings is probably best for all concerned.
McIlrath, a South Lyon, Michigan native and a 2/27/86 birthdate out of the HoneyBaked organization, put himself on the hockey map with a sterling performance at the 2001 U.S. Select 15 Festival.
Last spring, McIlrath had his schoarship offer withdrawn by Notre Dame admissions. Right now, he's wide open as far as college is concerned. A number of schools have been watching him closely.
McIlrath's leaving Ann Arbor and Schremp's arriving are not connected.
Top Freshman Leaves Colgate
6'0" Colgate freshman center Justin Anderson, a top recruit for the Red Raiders, took a medical leave of absence from school this month due to a severe case of homesickness.
Colgate interim head coach Stan Moore is hoping the 19-year-old from the Chatham Maroons (WOJHL) will return to school either in January or next fall, and give it another shot. Anderson was admitted in March '02, his 12th grade year. That season, he was named the WOJHL's Rookie of the Year. However, Anderson deferred admission to Colgate, took a second season with the Maroons -- and was named the league's MVP.
Off the ice, Anderson is an excellent student who was looking at going into pre-med. On the ice, he's an excellent playmaker who is good in the corner and finds his teammates well. He's excellent on the draw and kills penalties very well.
Since he left school he has reportedly been contacted by other colleges as well as major junior teams. He is working part-time and is back playing for the Maroons.
Severe homesickness is more common that most people realize, but it's a real thing, and in many cases can be quite debilitating. Over the years, a good number of players, generally from small Canadian towns, have left school for this reason.
-- In other Colgate news, look for former Red Raider goaltender Shep Harder to be named as an interim assistant coach by this time next week.
Harder, who played for the Estevan Bruins before coming to Colgate, graduated in 2000. After graduation, he played a year in the ECHL, worked as a stock trader in Chicago, and helped form the Minnesota High School fall league.
Harder is Colgate's all-time leader in goals against average with a .283 career mark. He's 27, and a native of Minneapolis. His father went to Colgate before him, graduating in 1968.
Walpole Stars Take Junior Bruins Tournament
On Sunday afternoon, The Walpole Stars (EJHL) edged the Boston Junior Bruins, 2-1 in double OT to take the Boston Junior Bruins Shoot-Out. Matt Fairchild, a late '85 with speed and good hands who was named MVP of the Met League while playing last season for the Washington Little Caps, scored the winning goal when he flipped a backhander to beat Junior Bruins goaltender Nevin Hamilton.
The Bruins had an edge in play over Walpole, but Stars goalie Dan Ramirez, an '86 from Rochester, NY, was the difference in the game, coming up with some big stops. Ramirez is very athletic, rather unorthodox, and not a great skater or puckhandler. However, he's extremely focused, always seems to get at least a piece of any puck coming his direction, and smothers rebounds well. He's a player to keep an eye on.
6'3", 210 lb. '85 Jacob Schuster, formerly of Lawrence Academy and Cedar Rapids (USHL), anchored the defense. Schuster distributes the puck very well. He had a four-point weekend, with both goals coming when he snuck down the slot and roofed it. He doesn't have a cannon, but does have a good, quick release. Could play more physically.
Both Jay Bletzer, an '85, and Phil Gabriele, an '84 were solid.
The d-man with the most upside is 6'1", 175 lb. Alex Sousa, who last season played at Austin Prep. Sousa, an '86, is an excellent pure athlete. He's raw and getting his feet wet in the EJHL, but he has the tools -- good hands, a willingness to play physically, and a blistering shot.
5'9" Harvard recruit Paul Dufault, back for a final year with the stars, 'only' had two points, but, with his speed and playmaking ability, he can alter a game. He just does everything at a faster pace than other players.
Cory Goglia (3g,1a), Greg McCarthy (3g,1a), Chris Margott (2g,2a), Schuster (2g,2a), and Fairchild (2g,1a) were the big point producer for the Stars.
-- There were a lot of games going on at the same time at the tournament, held at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, and it was difficult -- impossible, really -- to catch every team, much less every player, in the time available to us. Sticking only to the junior division (which also happened to include some good midget programs), we liked what we saw from '85 forward Nick Monroe and '84 D Matt Gosselin of the Lowell Lock Monsters (EJHL); '87 D Colin Young, '85 D Steve McClellan, '85 F Brian McGuirk, and '87 F Benn Ferriero of the Cape Cod Whalers Midgets; '85 F Greg Adamo of the Green Mountain Glades (EJHL); '84 F Ben Camper of the Bay State Breakers (EJHL); '84 G Pat Watson of the Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL); '85 G Jimmy Kalec of the Boston Bulldogs; '85 F John Mori and '86 G Jon Quick (who 'stole' a 3-3 tie with the Jr Bruins) of the Mid-Fairfield Midgets; '85 forward Teddy Brzek of the 495 Stars midgets; '86 forward Shawn Weller of the Cap District Selects (EJHL); '84 F Matt Burto, '86 F Ryan Ginand, '86 F Jon Marshall, '85 D Brett Tyler, '85 D Jarrett Sousa, and '86 D Dave Leaderer of the Boston Jr. Bruins (EJHL); '86 F Jon Rheault, '87 F Ian O'Connor, '84 F Josh Coyle, '84 F James Tselikis, '84 D Kevin Kielt. and '85 G Dmitri Papaevagelou of the NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL); '86 F Mike Karwoski, '84 F Ryan Hodkinson, '85 F C.J. Tozzo, '86 F Bill Keenan. '85 F Joe Coiro, and 86 D Gerard Heinz of NY Applecore (EJHL).
Some of the above, of course, have already committed to Div. I schools, some are sure-fire Div. I players, and some are strong Div. III prospects.
D'Agostino to UMass
6'1", 200 lb. Cushing Academy junior LW Sam D'Agostino has committed to UMass for the fall of '05.
An '86 from Medford, Mass., D'Agostino posted a 9-13-20 line last season. After a quad injury hampered him through the season's first half, he came on strong in the second half.
D'Agostino is a big strong winger who will skate his lane, and drive to the net. He has a good scoring touch, and leadership qualities, too.
Before coming to Cushing, D'Agostino played at Austin Prep for head coach Bill Flanagan, who has just stepped down after seven years behind the bench of his alma mater. In those seven years, Flanagan's squads reached the Mass Super 8 five times. He leaves as the all-time winningest coach in Austin Prep history.
Flanagan will now be devoting his energy toward establishing a new junior team, the Northern Mass. Cyclones, that will commence play in 2004-05.
Flanagan, a forward at RPI from '86-90, was an assistant coach at Lawrence Academy under Charlie Corey for five years before taking over at Austin Prep.
As far as we know, Flanagan's replacement has not yet been named.
Schremp Packing His Bags?
Mississauga IceDogs (OHL) center Robbie Schremp, a Fulton, NY native who is projected to go in the top five in June's NHL draft, wants out of Mississauga.
We've heard that the teams he would be willing to be traded to are Sarnia, London, Plymouth, and possibly Kitchener -- and that there's a deadline of next week.
Schremp's Chicago-based agent, Scott Norton, en route from Chicago to Ontario for a Saturday meeting with the star center, his family, and team officials, would neither confirm nor deny the above, but said that after the weekend, he'd know more.
According to Norton, Schremp and his family have had concerns with "both on-ice and off-ice issues" since last year's coach Steve Ludzik was let go after the season." Norton was unwilling to go into what exactly those concerns were, but described them as ranging "from minor to major," both from his standpoint and the family's. Norton said there's nothing happening right now, but he'd know more after the weekend.
Norton said that his client thrived under Ludzik, who is now coaching the Florida Panters' AHL affiliate in San Antonio.
Reportedly, Schremp dislikes playing for current Mississauga coach Greg Gilbert, a former NHL player and coach, but Norton said that Gilbert was fine. Keep in mind. though, that it's in both side's interest to be nice to each other in a situation like this -- and it appears that that is exactly what's happening.
Gilbert was weaned under the iron-fisted coaching style of Mike Keenan. He played on several Keenan-coached teams during his NHL career, then, with no coaching experience whatsoever, got his first coaching job in 1996 with the Worcester IceCats (AHL). Keenan, then St. Louis Blues GM, was the man who hired him. A number of players who've suited up for Gilbert-coached teams consider him a tyrant. We do not know if Schremp, or those close to him, share the same point of view.
There has been talk between the Schremp camp and the NTDP, plus one USHL team, Des Moines, and reportedly another. This could be simple leveraging, though Norton didn't rule it out either."We like to keep all options open," he said. "I won't say yes and I won't say no."
The IceDogs played a pair a pair of games last weekend, winning both. In the latter game, a 7-3 win over the St. Michael's Majors, Schremp tallied three asssists. The IceDogs play their next game Sunday afternoon at Guelph, and it could be Schremp's last with the team.
Last week we wrote an article (scroll down to USHR News of 9/18/03) on the medical condition of Northern Michigan freshman forward Darin Olver.
Since then, Olver has continued to play in captain's practice without suffering headaches. In total, 18 days have now passed since his last headache. However, according to head coach Walt Kyle, Olver is still checking with specialists, so things are still in limbo concerning the upcoming season.
"He won't be playing in the Waterloo exhibition game (Oct. 4)," Kyle said. As for Olver's availability for the beginning of the regular season on Oct. 10-11 vs. Bowling Green, Kyle said, "We have no idea right now. We'll know more when the time comes."
Stoa Commits to Gophers
6'2", 193 lb. LC Ryan Stoa of the U.S. Under-17 Team has committed to the University of Minnesota.
Stoa, just getting underway with his first year in the National Program, is expected to begin play with the Gophers in the fall of '05.
Stoa, a 4/13/87 birthdate, and one of the top scorers at the Select 16s this summer, is a tall, rangy centerman. He's a strong skater with a long stride and soft hands. His passes are accurate, and he's more apt to move the puck than hold onto it. Stoa is a finesse center more than a power forward type, but he could develop more of the latter attributes in time.
Stoa's commitment is a big one for the Gophers, as the Bloomington, Minn. native's upside is huge. While we don't yet have much of a line on the '87s world-wide, it's highly possible that he could go in the first round of the NHL draft a few years hence. Time will tell, but he certainly has the tools.
Last year, Stoa played for Bloomington Kennedy HS.
Youthquake at Buc Bowl
NHL scouts at this year's Buc Bowl, held Sept. 11-14 in Des Moines, bemoaned the lack of high-end talent on display. And there's no denying that there was no future Thomas Vanek to hone in on. However, the pace of the games was fast; and the overall skill level higher than we've seen in previous tournaments. For the college guys there was plenty to look at, particularly in the younger age group. .
As for the improved skill level, there are a couple of reasons.
First off, over the past three years the number of 20-year-olds in the USHL has declined from 73, to 50, to 35. The maximum number or roster slots available to 20-year-olds is, by league rule, now set at five, though no team is currently carrying that many, and the league is poised to drop the number down to four. This is a good thing. With a small number of exceptions, mostly players who've already been in college like Minnesota's Mike Erickson and UMass' Michael Mullen, 20-year-olds in the USHL aren't high-skill players -- if they were, they'd already be in college. What they do offer is experience and physical maturity. However, we don't go to games to watch experience and physical maturity. We go to watch skilled players. To that end, the shrinking numbers of 20-year-olds represents a plus for the league.
Another reason for the increased skill and depth in the USHL is the number of Michigan/Pennsylvania/Ohio kids who, in the past, would have stuck closer to home and played in the NAHL with Compuware, the Pittsburgh Forge, or the Cleveland Barons. The best of that batch, with one of two exceptions, is now in the USHL. We counted 18 players here who made the step up from the Compuware, Little Caesar's, and HoneyBaked midget programs. Last year, most of those players would have signed on to play for Compuware's NAHL team. This year, they're in the USHL.
It all added up to a high quality of play. Right now, we believe that the better teams in the USHL could post winning records against the weaker NCAA Div. I programs. To a man, every Div. I coach we talked to -- and practically every school had someone here -- left at the close of the day commenting on the quality of the play. College coaches see a ton of games during the year, and some are real duds. Watching close, hard-fought contests gives them an opportunity to find out who can play and who can't.
Though 2003-04 is shaping up to be a good year in the number of good prospects, goaltending seems down in the league, as it does in the country as a whole.
The team that looked the strongest -- and remember that these were exhibition games -- was the Tri-City Storm. River City should be good again. Waterloo should be interesting, as they had the best group of forwards here. Green Bay is vastly improved over last year. After them there was a large middle, which suggests parity in the upcoming season. Lincoln didn't play here, though we'll have a report on them in the next day or two. However, head coach Steve Johnson was on hand, and said that it would be a rebuilding year, as the team has lost its top nine scorers which included big guns like Ryan Potulny, David Backes, and Danny Irmen. The St. Louis Heartland Eagles (formerly the Topeka ScareCrows) were the weakest team in the Buc Bowl.
The middle was pretty solid teams as well, and it's quite possible that the league champion could be a team we haven't even mentioned. A lot depends on how quickly the newcomers to the league adapt to the pace and the long grind.
We also want to pass along our findings on the ages of players in the league, as well as where they come from. (Lincoln, as we mentioned, wasn't in the tournament, but we've included them in our calculations.)
Of the players on USHL rosters right now, here's how they break down by birth year.
As to where they came from, we should mention up top that of the 281 rostered players, we counted 103 who were first-year players arriving from either high school or midget programs. That's about 36% of the league.
Of the high school players, 29 were from Minnesota, with Holy Angels (3) , North St. Paul (3), White Bear Lake (2), and Rochester Lourdes (2) the biggest contributors. Nine high school players were from other states: two apiece from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Dakota, and one from Rhode Island. .
Only three USHL'ers are from the New England prep schools, and all three are prep graduates who are here as part of their college deals -- Chris Kelley (Deerfield/Harvard), Sean Hurley (NMH/Brown), and Kevin Regan (St. Sebastian's/UNH). That's a surprisingly low number, given that there could be as many as 20-30 players in the prep ranks who could contribute at this level. Whether those players are better off in the prep ranks or USHL varies greatly from player to player. It's a little hard to say that kids who are pure athletes and can excel at three sports -- former Avon star Chris Higgins, to use a recent example -- should leave all that and head to the USHL or the NTDP or anywhere else. That, though, is a discussion for another day.
Nonetheless, there is a backlash of sorts going on, and USHL teams, tired of banging their heads against the wall when it comes to enticing prep players out west, are backing off, and concentrating thier efforts elsewhere. By contrast, Minnesota high schoolers, who do not look upon Sioux City, Iowa as being on the dark side of the moon, are more than happy to come. And that's why USHL recruiters are seen less frequently in New England than past years. There's no reason for them to eat up their recruiting budget chasing ISL kids who won't come anyway.
Two kids who played for Shattuck last year were here (Matt Ford, Jacob Hipp), as were two from Culver (Jason Weigel, Shane Connely) and two from Northwood. (J.P. Testwuide, Peter MacArthur). Hipp, however, was out with an ankle injury.
There were 51 kids who played midgets last season. They were drawn from 51 different programs, from coast to coast. The biggest contributors were Team Illinois (8), Little Caesar's (6), HoneyBaked (6), Compuware (6), Chicago Young Americans (3), and the Pittsburgh Hornets (3). No surprises there.
Here, then, are players we liked, going by birth year. In ranking the players, we have tried to put weight on a player's performance at the tournament. However, we wanted to avoid burying a solid prospect who just happened to have an off-weekend. After all, some players start the season slowly, just the way some of us need an hour or two and a lot of tea or coffee to get up in the morning. And they were exhibition games anyway. It'll all be vastly different in a few months, but we hope this gives you a starting point. That's all anyone has now, anyway.
These are the true youngsters, of course, and all ten of them are worth watching, so we've listed them all. In parentheses can be found the team the player was with last season. Basically, those who turn out to be regulars at this age are going to be players. We've written about many of these kids recently -- e.g. Select 16 Festival -- so we'll just run their names this time. :
1. 6'1" Waterloo RW Zach Bearson (TI Midgets)
2. 6'1" River City LW Tim Miller (Compuware Midgets)
3. 6'1" Waterloo RC David Meckler (Chicago Freeze Jr. A)
4. 6'0" Sioux Falls RC Ben Holmstrom (Pikes Peak Miners Midget AAA)
5. 6'2" Waterloo LD Tim Filangieri (NY Bobcats)
6. 5'11" Chicago RD Jon Kearns (TI)
7. 6'0" St. Louis LW Justin Mercier (Compuware Midgets)
8. 5'10" Cedar Rapids LD Ben Caldwell (San Jose Jr. Sharks Midgets)
9. 5'11" Sioux Falls RD Evan Stephens (Ojibwa Eagles Midgets). Stephens, by the way, is a 12/07/87 birthday, which makes him the youngest player in the USHL.
10. 5'7" Chicago Steel goaltender Shane Connely (Culver) was lit up pretty badly in his first start, which actually might be the best thing for him in the long run, allowing him to get it out of his system. As much as he wanted to do well, these are still only exhibition games.
1. Chad Costello, 5-7/155, Des Moines-- RC looked like a midget on a team of giants -- all but two Buccaneers forwards are over 6'0." That just gave Costello room to work with -- and he used it well. Highly skilled, and a nifty passer. Got physically involved, too. From Team Illinois Midgets.
2. Jeff Prough, 5-10/153, Sioux Falls -- RW from HoneyBaked Midgets has speed, quickness, and good hands. Played point on power play. Excellent student may go Ivy.
3. Domenic Maiani, 5-10/176, Sioux City -- RC with a year of experience under his belt. Headsy player. Going to Ohio State.
4. Mike Taylor, 5-11/170, Green Bay -- LC from Holy Angels looked right at home here. Being recruited hard by Harvard and Notre Dame. Minnesota is in the picture, too, but more in a wait-and-see manner.
5. Christian Hanson, 6-3/190, Tri-City -- RC from Pittsburgh Hornets Midgets. Son of Dave Hanson of Slapshot fame. Scored impressive goal on a wrister from the faceoff circle.
6. Eric Lampe, 5-10/158, Chicago -- Left-shot RW from Madison Capitols Midget AAA. Well-rounded player. Not spectacular in any one area, but very good in all.
7. Victor Oreskovich, 6-3/207, Green Bay -- Left-shot RW from the Milton Merchants (OPJHL) looks like a player, but didn't really accomplish as much as we'd expected. Could have been all the hype. He's going to Notre Dame.
8. Greg Collins, 5-8/165, Cedar Rapids -- Rochester, NY native and brother of BC forward Chris Collins played last season for the Walpole Stars (EJHL). Played LW and worked hard.
9. Ryan Kim, 5-5/169, Chicago -- RW from LA Junior Kings Midget AAA. Really scoots.
10. Nik Sellers, 5-11/170, Danville -- Skilled RC from Compuware Midget AAA.
Defensemen (The '86 d-men were the single most impressive grouping in the tournament, though the '85 forwards were very strong, too):
1. Jack Hillen, 5-10/175, Tri-City -- CC recruit has the potential to be a big-time college player. He's highly skilled and great fun to watch. Will be going back to Holy Angels when the high school season starts.
2. Cody Lampl, 5-10/146, Sioux Falls -- Lampl, also a CC recruit, is highly mobile and moves the puck exceptionally well. Can run a powerplay. As he adds strength, he'll just get better and better. Plus it will help his shot. Idaho native played for Dallas Stars midgets last season.
3. Brett Motherwell, 5-11/187, River City -- The Lancers d-men just put up a wall around their goaltender, leaving few holes to shoot at and routinely blocking shots. It's impressive to watch. Motherwell is from the HoneyBaked Midgets.
4. Luke Lucyk, 6-1/200, Tri-City -- Notre Dame recruit is in his second year in the USHL. Nothing flashy. Just a solid player in every way.
5. Nick Schaus, D, 5-11/190, River City -- Solid all around. Good skater. Good puckhander. Good shot. And he already has a year of USHL experience under his belt.
6. Raymond Eichenlaub, D, 6-2/195, Cedar Rapids -- A total revelation. On the raw side perhaps, but you don't find many kids at this age with the combination of size and soft hands as this kid. Showed a lot of poise for a rookie out of midgets (TI). Skating and overall agility need to improve, and they will. Has pro potential. Now we hear he's going to Miami University.
7. Rory Farrell, 6-4/198, Des Moines -- Physically imposing defensive defenseman who's at his best when he plays a simple game, just taking care of business in his own end. Has pro size, and may be a better pro than college player. Has improved his decision-making over the past couple of years. Played for both the New England Coyotes (EJHL) and Cleveland Barons (NAHL) last season.
8. John Vadnais, 6-0/190, Waterloo -- RD played for US Under-17s last season.
9. Kyle Kuk, 5-11/170, Tri-City -- Younger brother of Wisconsin's Dustin Kuk is assertive, skates well, and adds offense. Played for Compuware Midgets last season.
10. Chris Butler, 6-1/175, Sioux City -- Late '86 from St. Louis (CSHL).
11. Justin Johnston, 6-1/175, Sioux City -- LD from HoneyBaked midgets.
12. Thomas Gerken, 6-0/180, St. Louis -- Sylvania, Ohio native played for Compuware Midget AAA last year.
13. Mike Van Wagner, 6-1/200, Chicago -- Northern Michigan kid making jump to USHL from HoneyBaked Midgets.
14. Mike Beck, 6-0/185, Danville -- RD from LA Jr. Kings Midget AAA.
15. Chase Ryan, 6-2/190, St. Louis -- Decent mobility for size and age. Good upside, but raw. From CYA Midgets.
1. A.J. Drago, 6-0/170, Cedar Rapids -- From New Jersey Titans Midget AAA. Only allowed one goal in the games he played. .957 save %.
2. Jeff Lerg, 5-6/145, River City -- Played for HoneyBaked last year and was the best midget goalie in country. Wasn't great here, but he'll be fine. .875 save %.
1. Matt Fornataro, 6-0/188, Waterloo -- UNH recruit had a great weekend. Right shot center Scored several goals and was consistently involved. Shoots the puck a lot. Physically strong, with good balance on his skates. Nifty toe drag on goal vs. Cedar Rapids Saturday.
2. Jeff Hazelwood, 6-1/175, Green Bay -- University of Maine recruit is a California native and a former IMG Academy player. Good size, good skater, and can score. Likes to shoot it. Scored nice goal cutting across the top of the crease, getting the goalie moving, and shooting it back against the grain. Played LW.
3. Peter MacArthur, 5-10/177, Waterloo -- BU recruit out of the Northwood School played LW on Fornataro's line and had an excellent weekend. Handles the puck at top speed.
4. Tom May, 6-3/210, Tri-City. RW out of Eagan HS had an excellent tournament. Having Costello as his center certainly didn't hurt, but May showed good passing skills, drove to the net consistently, and was heavily involved throughout. Excellent power forward potential.
5. Topher Scott, 5-5/151, Chicago -- Tiny LC, a Cornell recruit, had a strong weekend. More a playmaker than a scorer, but can do both. Was leading scorer in tournament with a 2-3-5 line.
6. Matt Vokes, 6-1/190, Cedar Rapids -- Vokes, a RC, played Mass high school hockey last year for St. John's-Shrewsbury, but looked better than many veterans here. He's a smart player, very aware, and is always looking to make plays. He's a goal scorer, too. Younger brother of Jeremy Vokes, who briefly played at Miami-Ohio.
7. Mike Radja, RW, 6-0/175 -- UNH recruit was RW on all Hockey East line with MacArthur (BU) and Fornatoro (UNH). .
8. Corey Carlson, 5-10/175, River City -- RW from Two Harbors, Minn. was on fire, particularly in third period vs. Cedar Rapids, scoring a pair, including one on a great one-timer.
9. Paul Stastny, 6-0/175, River City -- Late '85 LC is son of NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny. Scored 30 points for Lancers last season. Should be able to up that well past 40.
10. Sean Garrity, 6-1/195, Green Bay -- LW from North St. Paul HS is a sniper, and part of the reason the Gamblers will score more goals this year than last.
11. Nate Dey, 6-1/185, Green Bay - Named Mr. Hockey after the high school season in Minnesota concluded. Along with Garrity and Ryan Peterson, he's one of three Gamblers who were linemates at North St. Paul last season. Played RW.
12. Brett Beckfield, 6-0/160, Cedar Rapids -- Somehow, he only put up four points in 47 games last season. He has the skill to do far more than that. He's a fluid skater, very agile, has size and just projects very well. Minnesota native is starting second full season with the RoughRiders.
13. Matt McIlvane, 6-0/200, Chicago -- Late '85 RC from the now-defunct Chicago Freeze (NAHL). He's strong, good along the wall, and, basically, a power forward. He's not a playmaker, but can shoot it. Scored a couple of goals. An Ohio State recruit.
14. John Globke, 6-4/216, Sioux Falls -- Late '85 is brother of Notre Dame's Rob Globke, and a converted defenseman to boot. Put up points. Good power forward potential. Played RW here.
15. Anthony Cosmano, 5-9/185, River City -- Didn't notice him much early on but by the third day he was extremely noticeable. A RW with skill.
16. Jimmy Kilpatrick, 5-11/170, Green Bay -- RW has skill. Needs to become more dynamic.
17. Blair Yaworski, 6-2/195, Sioux City -- Solid two-way forward is a late '85 from the Calgary Canucks (AJHL). Not a prolific offensive player, but should be good for at least 30 points.
18. Phil Fox, 5-11185, Des Moines -- RW is first year player out of Stilllwater HS. Was very noticeable by third day.
19. Eric Slais, 6-2/180, Chicago -- Look for LC, a USHL veteran, to put up 30-40 points this season.
20. Andrew Carroll, 6-0/183, Sioux Falls -- LW from Roseville HS hustles and makes plays. Good low center of gravity. Hard to knock off his skates.
21. Brandon Harrington, 6-1/183, Sioux Falls -- Left wing from Rochester Lourdes HS looked right at home in stepping up to this level.
22. Jeff LoVecchio, 6-1/182, River City -- LW is in second year with Lancers. Skates and forechecks hard. Limited offensively.
23. Jace Buzek, 5-10/160, Tri-City -- RW played for Pittburgh Forge (NAHL) last season. Hard working, and a great forechecker with speed.
24. Colin Vock, 5-11/175, St. Louis -- A LW, Vock is a late '85 from Little Caesar's. Showed some skill.
1. Jake Obermeyer, 6-0/165, Tri-City -- Michigan Tech recruit from Chaska (Minn.) HS looked right at home here. Scored a couple of goals.Consistently noticeable. A right shot. .
2. Dan Venard, 6-0/170, Green Bay -- Broke leg in eighth game of season last year, and missed the rest, so this is his comeback year. Looked to be moving pretty well. He's a late '85. .
3. Ed DelGrosso, 5-11/185, St. Louis -- LD from Las Vegas Outlaws Midget AAA. Put a great old-fashioned Johnny Bucyk style hip check on Danville forward Tomas Klempa, sending him ass over teakettle. Can handle the puck, can shoot it, and is good on powerplay. Very noticeable, but some of that may have been the weak team he was playing on. .
4. Kyle Klubertanz, 6-0/170, Green Bay -- Late '85 is a right shot, a USHL veteran, and a University of Wisconsin recruit. He was OK, but we expected a little more. His offensive skills didn't show up.
5. David Robertson, 6-0/185, River City -- RD from U.S. Under-18 Team looked OK. The extra year will help. Going to Brown.
6. Chris Smith, 5-11/185, River City -- Left shot fom Buffalo Saints Midgets. Very solid. Chipped in with a goal.
7. Andrew Meyer, 6-0/185, River City -- From Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL).
8. Alex Spezia, 5-10/179, Chicago -- Good straight-ahead speed. Ex-HoneyBaked Midget is in second year with Steel. A right shot.
9. Dustin Molle, 6-1/210, Waterloo -- Blocky LD is in second year with Black Hawks. Very solid.
10. Andrew Thomas, 6-2/202, Waterloo -- RD from NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) looked tentative.
11.Chris Kane, 6-0, 190, Des Moines -- Late '85 LD from Mount St. Charles. Skates well. Decision-making should get better.
12. Louis Liotti, 6-2/185, Sioux City -- From NY Apple Core (EJHL)
13. Chris Zarb, 6-4/185, Tri-City -- Pro-sized RD from Little Caesar's Midgets. Still pretty raw.
1. Joe Fallon, 6-3/185, Cedar Rapids -- If he can be a liitle more consistent than last year, he should have a big season. All the tools are there. He'll be watched closely.
2. Adam D'Alba, 6-0/169, Chicago -- Not the prettiest goaltender in the world, but very effective. At .966, he had the second-best save % here. Late '85 birthdate, and a Brown recruit.
3. Jimmy Spratt, 6-1/175, Sioux City -- Should be one of the best goalies in the league this year. Was very good here, kciking out 48 of 50 shots. A late '85.
4. Troy Davenport, 6-1/170, Green Bay -- Excellent prospect from Simley HS. Has to work on a few things, but he moves so effortlessly he has a really good base on which to build. Excellent prospect. We can see him moving up this list quickly. .
5. Mike Zacharias, 5-11/175, St. Louis -- Former Armstrong HS goaltender didn't get a lot of protection but he kept his team in games.
1. Jim McKenzie, 6-2/205, Sioux Falls -- RW who washed out at the NTDP and Green Bay looks like he's turned the corner. A pure power forward, McKenzie notched four goals in three games, and was noticeable every shift.
2. Jordan Fox, 6-0/201, Sioux Falls -- Center from Springfield Spirit (NAHL) was a pleasant surprise, scoring several goals and being heavily involved every shift. Posted a 3-1-4 line in just two games, the best point-per-game production here.
3. Mike Curry, 6-3/190, Sioux City -- Big RW from Alaska is starting his second year with the Musketeers. Had an excellent weekend. Uses his size well. Very tough to move from front of net. Could be a 40 point guy this season.
4. Ryan Dingle, 5-10/180, Tri-City -- Denver recruit can stickhandle on the head of a pin. Excellent playmaker. Look for him among the league-leading scorers this year. By the way, he's no relation to teammate John Dingle.
5. Mike Howe, 6-0/185, River City -- Right shot played LW. Stronger and more muscular than the last time we saw him. Has speed and strength. Should be one of league's dominaant players. Couldn't buy a point here, though. Minnesota recruit.
6. J.P. Platisha, 5-11/182, Des Moines -- Played for Topeka last season. Centered Dave Watters and Mike Erickson here and was dishing it. Finished with five points.
7. Matt Ford, 6-1/199, Sioux Falls -- RW who played at Shattuck last year had an excellent weekend, finishing up as one of the leading scorers. Can both score , and make a play.
8. Bryan Horan, 6-1/180, Cedar Rapids -- RC is smart, wins a lot of draws, and sees the ice well. Will be returning to Providence College for his sophomore season next fall.
9. Dave Watters, 6-4/205, Des Moines -- LW played for Eden Prairie HS last season. Doesn't have the greatest puck skills in the neighborhood, but does have the greatest size.
10. Tom Pohl, 6-1/180, Tri-City -- Late '84 LW has good skills, a strong sense of the game, and makes plays. But his foot speed keeps him from the upper echelon.
11. Joe Pavelski, 6-0/188, Waterloo -- RC averaged better than a point a game for Waterloo last year. At the Buc Bowl, he seemed fairly quiet, but he did finish the tournament with a few points. Wisconsin recruit (and Wisconsin native). Look for him among the league-leading scorers at the end of the season.
12. Danny Charleston, 5-8/189, Chicago -- LW can scoot. Plays an uptempo game and could score 60 points in the league this year.
13. Matt Hartman, 6-1/194, Sioux City -- St. Cloud State recruit, a RW, should have a 40-plus point season.
14. John Dingle, 6-1/210, Tri-City -- Right shot LW is headed to Ohio State. Played for Pittsburgh (NAHL) last season. We had to look for him at times.
15. Tomas Klempa, 5-8/170, Danville -- Small, quick RW has a good stick and always seems able to get a shot off in tight.
16. Rastislave Spirko, 5-9/175, Tri-City -- Swedish import, a RW, has a hard shot, makes crisp passes, and was extremely noticeable. Just couldn't buy a point.
17. Matt Sweazey, 6-0/175, St. Louis -- LC from Bramalea Blues (OPJHL) appears to be top playmaker for Rick Zombo's club. Held his own in fight with 6'2" Danville D Brett Beauchamp.
18. Brian Pouliot, 5-10/180, Cedar Rapids -- UNH recruit was just OK. Didn't really stand out in the games we saw.
19. Mark VanGuilder, 6-2/187, Tri-City -- RW from Minnesota is in second year with Tri-City.
20. Alex Foster, 6-1/193, Danville -- RW from Michigan is simply a good no-nonsense player Nothing fancy.
1. Luke Beaverson, 6-4/220, Green Bay -- Late '84 left shot is in second year with Green Bay. Solid pro prospect. Actually, might be a better pro than college prospect..
2. Josh Engel, 6-4/205, Green Bay-- LD from Rice Lake HS in Wisconsin, which is a weak program, looked right at home here. Excellent size, good head for the game, and makes nice short passes. Engel has star potential and it will be interesting to see where he is in a few months -- and then a few months after that.
3. Chris Anderson, 6-3/210, Danville -- Played last year for White Bear Lake HS. Could be a pro someday.
4. Mitch Ganzak, 6-1/200, Green Bay -- Played for Capital Centre Pride (NAHL) last season, the first and, hopefully, last team we see named after the building they play in -- very tacky. Going to Miami-Ohio, which is not tacky at all, but a fine-looking architectural gem of a school.
5. Steve Wagner, 6-3/180, Tri-City -- LD heading to Mankato State. Just a solid, experienced defensive D.
6. Jonathan Ralph, 6-1/190, Green Bay -- Late '84 RD is high-risk at times, but he's an excellent skater who will provide offense from the Gamblers blue line. Had three points in three games here. Ralph is a New Jersey kid who went west to Shattuck and then on to the USHL.
7. Joe Piskula, 6-3/205, Des Moines -- Big left-shot defensive defenseman Could add depth at Div. I level.
8. Brian Kilburg, 6-3/218, Tri-City -- Big solid RD with long stride. Skates well for his size, which he uses well.
9. Davis Drewiske, 6-2/190, Des Moines -- A late '84 who played last year at Hudson (Wisc.) HS. A left shot, he looked fine out here. Good balanced skater. His development may have been held back a bit by the fact that he broke his neck a couple of years ago. He seems right on track now, though.
10. J.P. Testwuide, 6-1/192, Waterlooo -- Late '84 played at Northwood last year. Good-sized kid who popped in a couple of goals, too.
11. Chris Kelley, 6-2/200, Green Bay -- From Deerfield Academy. He's in with a large group of talented d-men on the Gamblers and will have to battle for playing time.
1. Craig Vardy, 6-4/215, Danville -- Big kid played for Wings last year. Fills up the net well. Had an excellent weekend., only allowing one goal. Led all netminders in save percentage with a .967 mark.
2. Justin Tobe, Danville -- Played for Michigan State last season and is now looking for a new home. Struggled in opening game Thursday, but bounced back well.
3. Peter Mannino, 6-1/190, Tri-City -- Denver recruit played at Pittsburgh (NAHL) last year. Was OK here -- nothing special. though.
4. Aaron Johnson, 6-0/175, Waterloo -- Average.
5. Kevin Regan, 6-1/190, Waterloo -- UNH recruit played at St. Sebastian's last year. Didn't have a good weekend.
1. Mike Erickson, 6-3/200, Des Moines -- Former Gopher RW scored two goals in one period here, and on the second just torqued it. Perhaps the goal of the tournament.
2. Bill Thomas, 6-1/185, Tri-City -- Pittsburgh native is a solid power forward who can fire the puck. Had a big tournament, scoring four goals.
3. Jamie Carroll, 6-1/185, Cedar Rapids -- From now-defunct Inna College. Scored at the Berkshire School, scored as a freshman at Iona (MAAC), and is likely to put up good numbers here, though he didn't on the weekend he didn't.
4. Mike Mullen, 5-11/175, River City -- From the Tilton School and UMass-Amherst. Has a scoring knack. No doubt there's a genetic component at work there.
5. Joel Hanson, 6-2/205, Waterloo -- Big strong RW who can score.
6. Bryan Marshall, 6-0/185, Danville -- LC and UNO recruit blasted home a goal on 2-on-1 to give his team an early 1-0 lead in their first game here, then almost immediately hurt his knee and was done for the weekend. Marshall will be the key to Wings' offense. He should be back playing by this weekend's games.
7. Ryan Carter, 6-1/180, Green Bay -- Mankato State recruit will be a big point producer for the Gamblers this season.
8. Marty Mjelleli, 6-2/200, Des Moines -- Bucs veteran is strong, has size and protects the puck well. Plays on the left side.
9. Troy Brummett, 5-8/175, Sioux City -- Worked hard, produced points, and had a good weekend. Played at Cedar Rapids lasts season.
10. Mike Neilon, 6-1/195, Des Moines -- LW scored a couple. Gets by on his skill.
11. Mike Lawrence, 5-11/200, River City -- From Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL). UNO wanted him last year but he reportedly couldn't get through the clearinghouse.
12. David Boguslawski, 5-9/185, Tri-City -- Slippery LC will put up points. Not fast enough for his size.
1. David Deterding, 6-1/205, Sioux City -- RD from Alexandria, Minn. is in third-year with Musketeers. Rugged defensive defenseman.
2. Rob Dubel, 6-3/172, Sioux Falls -- LD skates well and moves puck with nice short passes. Could play more physically.
1. Marty Magers, 6-1/180, River City -- Went major junior with the Sudbury Wolves last year, but it didn't work out well, and he's back. Posted .909 save % here, eighth overall.
2. Eric Aarnio, 5-9/180, Tri-City -- Played well. His .911 save percentage put him in the top five.
That's it -- we've run out of words.
Medical Worries Surround a Top NCAA Freshman
Top Northern Michigan recruit Darin Olver, a center and first-team BCHL all-star last season, has suffered severe headaches during NMU captains practices this month. The headaches led the 18-year-old center and his family to seek the opinions of at least two specialists, and a diagnosis is currently being completed.
As a result, there is uncertainty about Olver's availability to the team this season. However, Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle, reached on a recruiting trip in western Canada, cautioned against jumping to conclusions until the full diagnosis is complete, which won't be until early next week. "He has been having some medical issues that are being looked into now, but beyond that we don't know very much," Kyle said.
Kyle also said that Olver has been headache-free for over a week now. "There are a number of things it could be," he said. "It could be something really simple. Right now, though, it would be premature of me to say anything until we know more."
Asked if it was a cause of concern, Kyle said, "Yes, but whatever the outcome is, our primary concern is with the player as a person. We want to get that solved before going on to anything else."
The freshman's father, John Olver, the coach of the Idaho Steelheads (WCHL), also said it would be premature to say anything yet.
Olver said that his son's headaches were "exercise-induced" and that he's skating and working out with the team.
Olver said that reports that the headaches are related to concussions he suffered playing in the BCHL were erroneous. He also said reports that his son would be red-shirting this season were premature.
Olver, 6'0", 165 lbs. and a 5/3/85 birthdate, posted a 34-55-89 scoring line in 59 games for the Harvey Smyl-coached Chilliwack Chiefs last season and, in addition to being named a first-team all-star, won the Rookie of the Year award. Olver is a good skater, extremely skilled in traffic, has excellent pasing and shoting skills, and a knack for scoring.
Michigan State, Michigan, and Minnesota were other prominent programs who were recruiting Olver at this time last year. Olver, though, only visited NMU, which was in the first year of Kyle's tenure. Kyle is a friend of Olver's father, a Burnaby, BC native who played at the University of Michigan in the late '70s.
Before going to Chilliwack, Olver attended Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota for his 10th and 11th grade years.
For the '00-01 season, Olver, whose family was living in Tacoma, Washington at the time, transferred into Eastview for his tenth grade year along with California goaltender Orlando Alamano. The move turned out to be against Minnesota State High School League rules, which state that if a player changes schools without his family moving into the new school district with him, then there must be a change of guardianship. Apparently there wasn't, and Eastview, coached by former University of Denver assistant Mike Gibbons, was forced to forfeit their first 16 games of the season.
The following season, Eastview had the out-of-staters for the entire season and the school, which didn't even have a hockey program a few years earlier, had an excellent season, winning the consolation championship of the state high school tournament. Olver was the seventh leading scorer in the state.
EJHL Set to Go
All the EJHL clubs -- with the exception of the New England Jr. Coyotes -- are set to go, and will be appearing in the annual Boston Junior Bruins Shootout, which gets underway tomorrow (Fri. 9/19) at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass. Besides 11 EJHL clubs, there will be another 13 junior squads, and 20 midget teams.
Here's the Boston Junior Bruins Shootout Schedule
Colgate head hockey coach Don Vaughan is leaving the Red Raider hockey program to serve as the school's interim athletic director.
Associate men's ice hockey coach Stan Moore will move up to become interim head coach. Former Colgate forward Andrew Dickson will remain as an assistant. We assume the school is looking -- or already has someone stashed away -- to take the other assistant's slot, which will also be an interim position. All this interim business leaves more questions than it answers, but what reportedly happened is that Colgate's summer-long search for a new AD turned up no one whom the committee, which included Vaughan, felt comfortable with. So, after a unanimous vote, they offered the job to Vaughan. It appears that if all goes well and Vaughan likes the job, he could become the permanent AD starting next year. If he doesn't like the job, or if the school thinks someone else can do a better job, he could return to coaching the hockey team.
We left a messsage for Vaughan seeking comment on, among other things, such a scenario as the one above. However, we have not yet heard back from him.
Vaughan was named head coach at Colgate in 1992, and Moore, who played pro hockey with him in the Netherlands, has been with him for all but two of the last 11 seasons. From 1996-98, Moore was head coach at Union, and was named ECAC Coach of the Year in his rookie season behind the bench. When the Union administration was reportedly unable to offer Moore the resources he needed to compete yearly at the Div. I level, he returned to Colgate, and has been there for the last five seasons. . Earlier, in the eighties and nineties, Moore assisted at Brown and Providence. He's the son of Stan Moore, Sr., a legendary high school coach. The younger Moore played for his dad at Massena (NY) High School before going on to play college hockey at Brockport State.
Moore has worked extensively with New York state kids at USA Hockey's Select Festivals.
Vaughan, 42, compiled a 179-172-33 record in his 11 years at Colgate. After going through losing seasons his first two years, the Red Raiders posted six straight winning seasons. The last three, however, have all been losing seasons. Vaughan's best year at Colgate was 1999-2000 when the Red Raiders went 24-9-2 and reached the NCAA East Regional quarterfinals in Albany, NY only to lose to Michigan, 4-3, on Geoff Koch's goal 12:44 into overtime.
As for the new assistant's position, Moore said that Colgate will be moving fast, and should have one in place by the end of next week. Andrew Will, who played for Moore at Union and has been an assistant at his alma mater for the past several years, is a top candidate.
Patrosso a Wing
Colorado College recruit Derek Patrosso (see below) has been traded from the Sioux Falls Stampede to the Danville Wings.
In return for Patrosso, Danville sends the Stampede their second and fifth round picks in the spring 2004 USHL draft, plus $1,000 cash.
Phantom to Become Tiger
Forward Derek Patrosso, briefly with the Youngstown Phantoms (NAHL), has committed to Colorado College.
A 6'1", 175 lb. right-shot LW, Patrosso is a highly-skilled natural goal scorer. His hands are excellent and he's extremely dangerous from the tops of the faceoff circles in.
A Novi, Mich. native and a 10/23/84 birthdate, Patrosso played midgets for the Michigan Ice Dogs before moving on to the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) last season, finishing up with a 19-17-36 line in 58 games.
Patrosso came into the Stampede training camp a few weeks ago as the team's leading returning scorer, but for some reason he and new head coach Mark Kaufman, who's an intense old-school type, did not hit it off. Petrasso decided, of his own volition, to leave the Stampede (he was not cut from the team, as we mistakenly mentioned this morning). Petrasso joined the Youngstown Phantoms (NAHL) and suited up in time to appear in the NAHL pre-season showcase at the Compuware Sports Arena on the weekend of Sept. 5-7. Patrosso, however, will not be playing any regular season games for Youngstown, which opens its season Friday against the Under-18 team.
Right now, Patrosso is back home in Michigan, waiting to be traded to another USHL team, of which many are interested. Sioux Falls is entertaining offers, and a deal could be done at any time.
Looney Hired as Assistant with NTDP
Two-time U.S. Women's Olympic team member Shelley Looney has been named as an assistant coach with the NTDP's Under-17 Team.
Looney, a former Northeastern University star, will work on the staff of head coach David Quinn. Also on the staff is assistant coach John Lilley who, like Quinn, is a former BU Terrier.
Looney and Quinn overlapped ten years ago at Northeastern. Starting with the 1993-94 season, Quinn, who had retired as a player after the previous season, began his coaching career with the Northeastern men's team, then coached by Ben Smith, who would later take over the U.S. women's team. Also in '93-94, Looney was entering her senior year with the Huskies. At the end of the season, the Brownstown Township, Mich. native would be named ECAC player of the year.
Looney, a forward, scored the game-winning goal in the 3-1 win over Canada that gave the U.S. the gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Looney also picked up a silver medal with the 2002 U.S. Women's Olympic team.
Last year Looney, who's now 31, joined Olympic teammate Cammi Granato in played for the Vancouver Griffins of the National Women's Hockey League.
New Friar Forward
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) forward Jon Rheault has committed to Providence College.
Rheault, a Deering, NH native who played for St. Paul's School last year before breaking his hand and missing the second half of the season, is a hard-skating, up-tempo player who can make plays and finish.
Rheault, who's 5'11", 183 lbs. and a 8/1/86 birthdate, will be an 11th grader in high school this year. He will arrive at PC in the fall of '05.
While a number of schools had varying degrees of interest in Rheault, UMass and Providence were the two most willing to make the big financial comitment. In the end, Providence won out. UNH had been in the picture but pulled out when the bidding got too high.
Rheault will reportedly get a full scholarship.
Little Big Man
Chicago Steel (USHL) left-shot center Topher Scott has committed to Cornell.
A Chicago-area antive, Scott is in this third year with the Steel. Last year, due to injury, he missed over half the season. In 25 games he put up a 2-11-13 line in 25 games. Look for Scott, a savvy playmaker, to be among the USHL's leading scorers this season.
Scott is 5'5", 151 lbs., which makes him the logical heir to Ryan Vesce. Scott is a 7/23/85 birthdate.
A Working Man
It's looking like Mark Workman, a Duluth, Minn. native and former head coach at St. Scholastica College, will be the next assistant coach at Brown, filling the spot vacated by Chris Potter, who retired a couple of weeks ago.
Workman will be visiting Brown next week.
Workman coached with Brown assistant Danny Brooks at the Select 14s this summer. Brooks was impressed with Workman's work and recommended him to Brown head coach Roger Grillo.
All Eyes on Keserich and Ludwig at NAHL Showcase
Cleveland Barons goaltender Ian Keserich and Texas Tornado defenseman Trevor Ludwig were the two players most closely watched by Div. I recruiters at the NAHL showcase at the Compuware Sports Arena over the weekend.
Both had solid weekends. Keserich, a 6'2" native of Parma. Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, saw his stock shoot up after a strong performance in July at the Select 17s. From there, he was picked to go to Slovakia with the U.S. Under-18 Select team. That team, of course, wound up winning the gold -- and Keserich was named top goaltender. Now, colleges are watching to see how he does in the real season with the Tim Alexander-coached Barons.
Ludwig, a 6'1", 200 lb. LD who is solid in every area of the game, is playing his second season for the Tony Curtale-coached Texas Tornado.He's the son of former NHLer and current Dallas Stars player development coach Craig Ludwig. His twin brother, Tyler, is a forward with the Tornado.
Only nine of the 21 NAHL teams participated. Six from the north -- the Cleveland Barons, Dayton Gems, Soo Indians, Springfield (Ill.) Jr. Blues, Toledo Ice Diggers, and the Youngstown Phantoms -- and three from the south -- the Springfield (Mo.) Spirit, Texas Tornado, and the Texarkana Bandits. The consensus among Div. I recruiters at the tournament was that there was not a lot of high level skill on display, but a number of solid players who could make something of themselves.
The tournament featured plenty of old-time NHL fisticuffs, if you're into that. On Saturday, Texas and Toledo had a massive third period line brawl complete with players leaving the benches. Needless to say, there were wholesale suspensions for Sunday's game, included one assessed to the aformentioned Ludwig.
On Sunday morning, instead of going to church, the Springfield Jr. Blues and Texarkana staged a line brawl of their own. Both goalies, Greg Barrett of Texarkana and Ian Harper of the Springfield Jr. Blues, mixed it up.
Speaking of Springfield, the Junior Blues, with the college-bound trio of forwards Derek Pallardy and Hank Carisio (both Merrimack), and Dan Riedel (Ferris State) looked like they'll OK this year.
Speaking of the other Springfield -- and we're not talking about the Simpson's home -- the Spirit weren't bad depth-wise, but lack big guns.
Youngstown featured 6'1" forward Derek Patrosso, an '84 who scored 31 points for Sioux Falls (USHL). This was a surprise, as Patrosso was on the Stampede Falls roster until just before the start of the tournament. A Novi, Michigan native, Patrosso was one of the leading returning scorers for Sioux Falls. However, he and new Stampede coach/GM Mark Kaufman didn't hit it off. Former Air Force forward Carson Strang, a Jan. '83 DOB, was noticeable for the Phantoms, too.
Texarkana are young, with a good number of '85s, 86s, and 87s.
One of the Texas Tornado's goalies this year is 6'2" Todd Sheridan, who graduated from Hotchkiss last spring. The other is Scott Talbot, a 6'0" St. Thomas, Ont. native who played for the Sarnia Blast of the Western Ontario Jr. B League where he was suspended five games for biting a linesman's finger during last season's playoffs in March. Talbot, a 2/8/83 birthdate, played one game for the St. Michael's Majors (OHL) in 2001-02, so will have to sit out if he opts for the US college route.
The Soo looked solid, no stars, really, but a reliable group of D. Up front, they got help from 6'1" Logan Bittle, an '84 from Peoria, Ill. who played for the Danville Wings last season, and 5'11" Rob Nowinksi, an '84 who played for Cap Center (NAHL) last season.
Speaking of the Soo Indians, Bill Zaniboni, who posted a 2.61 gaa and .909 save percentage for the Indians last season, will be red-shirting at Northern Michigan University this season and be eligible to play in the fall of '04. Zaniboni is a 4/18/82 birthdate from Plymouth, Mass. Before going to the NAHL, he played at Catholic Memorial High School.
Potter Exits Brown
Chris Potter, an assistant coach at Brown for the past five years, is leaving the school.
Calls to Potter on this subject have not been returned, but head coach Roger Grillo confirmed Potter's departure. Grillo also added that he has some guys interested in the position that he'll be talking to in the next week or so.
Reportedly, Potter wasn't happy at Brown, and talked last summer with Harvard coach Mark Mazzoleni and Northeastern coach Bruce Crowder regarding job openings at those schools. Taken by itself, looking into other job openings doesn't mean much -- many perfectly happy assistants jump like crickets from school to school. However, Potter is the third assistant to leave Grillo's staff in a little over three years, joining Rob Abel, who resigned in 2000, and Steve King, who resigned last year. As far as we know, neither Abel nor King moved on to another job in college hockey.(Coincidentally, King and Potter played high school hockey together at Bishop Hendricken in the late '80s).
Potter, 32, a defenseman at UConn and for several seasons in the ECHL, spent two years as an assistant at his alma mater before moving on to Brown, where he's been for the past five years.
Back to Work
Many scouts and recruiters will be getting their first look at EJHL teams at the Boston Junior Bruins Shootout, which runs from Fri.-Sun. Sept. 19-21 at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass. Eleven of the 12 EJHL teams will be there (the Coyotes will be absent, as they hit the ice later than other league members). A number of top midget programs will also be competing in the tournament.
If you miss that weekend, you'll have other opportunities. For example:
-- The New Hampshire Junior Monarchs tournament in Hooksett, NH from Fri.-Sun. Oct. 17-19.
-- The Valley Junior Warriors tournament will be held at the Valley Forum in Lawrence, Mass.on Veteran's Day Weekend -- Fri.-Sun. Nov. 7-9. [As a side note, we should mention that there will be a midget tournament going on simultaneously a few miles up the highway at the Icenter in Salem, NH. The Marquette Electricians will be there, as will the Michigan Ice Dogs, the Philly Jr. Flyers, both the short-season and full-season Junior Bruins teams, the Portland Junior Pirates, Top Gun (McGoff, Bourque, et al), and a midget team from Calgary.]
-- From Fri.-Sun. Dec. 12-14 the Lowell Junior Lockmonsters tournament will take place in Fitchburg, Mass. The U.S. Under-17 Team will also be competing.
-- The Northwood Tournament is scheduled for the weekend of Fri.-Sun. Jan. 23-25 in Lake Placid, NY. There are always two or three EJHL teams in this tournament as well as a wide assortment of other teams. However, the quality of the tournament has been down in recent years, and it will be interesting to see if more elite teams can be drawn to Lake Placid this time around.
-- The Junior Bruins will be hosting an eight-team jamboree at UMass-Amherst the weekend of Jan. Jan. 30-Feb. 1. This tournament will feature an assortment of junior and top midget teams.
-- EJHL playoffs will feature semifinals on Sunday March 14, with the title game the following night (3/15).
Wild About the Friars
6'1", 180 lb. LD Cody Wild, a North Providence, RI native, has committed to Providence College for the fall of '05.
A 6/5/87 birthdate and a true 11th grader this season, Wild played last season for the Boston Little Bruins Midgets (short-season) and LaSalle HS. This season he'll be taking a pass on Rhode Island high school hockey, playing instead for the Junior Bruins Midget AAA full-season team. Wild could work his way onto the Junior Bruins EJHL team before too long.
Wild played on the New England Select 16 Team in Rochester, NY this summer, and was one of the top d-men there. (Friars assistant coach Dave Berard heads up the New England Selects program.) He also stood out at the recent Beantown Classic.
A Friars fan, Wild visited the school last Tuesday, and made his decision at the beginning of the holiday weekend. PC's large scholarship offer -- made before other schools had a chance to get into the hunt -- indicates the Friars expect him to be a big-timer.
Wild, who has grown a lot in the past year or two, sees the ice well, has good hands, a long stride, a quick and accurate shot, and good leadership qualities. He is not yet as physical as he needs to be, but that could come with the tougher competition he'll face over the next couple of years.
CHA Coaching Changes
University of Findlay head coach Craig Barnett has resigned to take over the Lake Forest Academy head coaching position.
The Lake Forest job opened when ex-Northeastern assistant Paul Cannata, who took the job earlier in the summer, decided to stay in the Boston area after being offered the head coaching position at Milton Academy (which, if you'll recall, had been held by Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl until he had a change of heart a few days after accepting the position.)
Barnett, a former goalie who played for Plattsburgh State in the late '80s and went on to play minor pro, has been the only coach the Findlay hockey program has ever had. The Oilers started out as a club team in the 1995-96 season, became a varsity sport the following year, and joined Div. I in 1999-2000.
For Barnett, who has three children, including a three-month old-baby, it was a quality of life decision.
Look for Findlay assistant Pat Ford, a former University of Wisconsin assistant under Jeff Sauer, to be Barnett's replacement.
-- Mike Corbett, who last season coached the Pikes Peak Miners Midget AAA team and was director of hockey for the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association, has been hired as an assistant at Air Force, where he will work on the staff of Frank Serratore, who coached him at the University of Denver in the early '90s.
Corbett will be filling a vacancy recently created when former assistant Derek Schooley was named head coach at Robert Morris University, which will commence Div. I play a year from now.
Corbett, 31, is a Green Bay, Wisc. native who has also served as head coach at Billings and Butte in the AWHL and was also an assistant with Sioux Falls (USHL).