Pleau Hired for Major Junior Expansion TeamFormer Westminster School and UNH forward Steve Pleau has been named head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings, an expansion team in the WHL.
Pleau, 33, the son of St. Louis GM Larry Pleau, started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at UNH in 1996-97, then was a graduate assistant on Jeff Jackson’s staff at the NTDP the following year. From 1998-2005, he was an assistant at Worcester (AHL). In ’05-06 he was head coach at Peoria (AHL), then last season was an assistant with Spokane (WHL).
Icemen on the DiamondIt’s hot in the Northeast today – temps in the ‘90s. That’s baseball weather, so let’s check in and see how some ex-hockey players are doing on the diamond.
First off, the pitchers have had a rough go, with all three of the ’04 draftees spending vast amount of time on the disabled list.
Mark Rogers, who starred in three sports at Mt. Ararat (Maine) HS and represented New England in at least one USA Hockey Select Festival (he’s an ’86), picked up a tidy $2.2 million dollars when the Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the first round (#5 overall) of the 2004 draft . That’s the highest a Maine player has ever been selected. Rogers, a 6’2” righty, had to shut it down in the middle of last season, while pitching for Brevard County in the Class A Florida State League. In the off-season, he had arthroscopic surgery and is currently rehabbing. He is not expected to pitch again until next season.
Former Bishop Hendricken 6’3” defenseman Jay Rainville, also a right-handed pitcher, was selected in the first round in 2004 as well, though lower, and signed for $875,000. Today, after missing all of the 2006 season, he’s with the Fort Myers Miracle (Florida State League). He currently has a 3-7 record with a 3.50 ERA but a good strikeout-to-walk ratio. A pitcher who models himself after Roger Clemens, his team opposed Clemens during the latter’s sole start for the Yankee’s Tampa farm club last month. It wasn’t Rainville’s turn in the rotation, though.
Former Philliips Exeter defenseman Andy Gale, also a big righty – 6’6”, 230 lbs. – was drafted late, mainly because he made it clear he was opting for college. The son of former big league pitcher Rich Gale was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 11 appearances at the University of North Carolina in 2005, but, unhappy there, transferred to the University of Florida. In 2006, he made one appearance for the Gators before getting injured. Last summer, he had shoulder surgery -- and he missed all of this season. He’s rehabbing, was redshirted, and will be back with the Gators as a junior, hopefully in time for fall baseball practice.
So there you have it. Three pitchers – and all three have suffered major surgery.
The position players have, by and large, fared better.
Jamie Hoffmann, a 6’2” RW and Colorado College recruit out of New Ulm (Minn.) HS and the Des Moines Buccaneers was drafted by an NHL team (Carolina Hurricanes, 8th round, 2003) but bypassed in the major league baseball draft. Four years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed him as a free agent before he enrolled at CC. An ’84 birthdate, the outfielder is currently in the California League (High A), playing for the Inland Empire 66ers, where, in 61 games, he has a .307 average with three home runs and 45 RBI.
Former Westminster School and Trinity College forward Jeff Natale, an ’82, was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the 32nd round of the 2005 major league baseball draft. An infielder, Natale has had success at every level, winning the Red Sox minor league hitter of the year award last year. This season, he’s with the Portland Sea Dogs of the AA Eastern League. We saw him a couple of weeks ago and he had a good night – he’s a patient, disciplined hitter who protects the strike zone well – but he also missed a couple of weeks in May with a hip flexor and his numbers are not as good as previous seasons. He’s hitting .256 with two home runs and 35 RBI in 50 games.
Natale, you may recall, was the minor leaguer Curt Schilling hit in the head with a fastball during an intra-squad spring training game in 2006. The ball rocketed off his helmet into the stands. Natale never flinched, just jogged down to first.
Former Arlington High forward Marco Albano, who went on to play shortstop for Boston College, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft. An ’83 who was a Greater Boston League hockey all-star, and played on Massachusetts Select teams, Albano is with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League. His future in baseball doesn’t appear to be great. He’s hitting .161 with zero home runs and six RBI in 23 games.
Cornell University’s Justin Milo has been named First Team All-Ivy League DH as well as Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America after batting .426 (second in the Ivy League) with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 12 RBI. He had a .754 slugging percentage.In hockey, Milo, a 5’8” forward who played at Eden Prairie HS and in the USHL for Sioux Falls, Indiana, and Lincoln, played 24 games and posted a 3-1-4 line as a freshman on the Big Red. An ’87, Milo was recently added to Lincoln’s protected list for the upcoming season.
Milo played for Shattuck-St. Mary's, not Eden Prairie. He will not be playing in the USHL this fall -- he will be returning to Cornell.
Basketball Following Hockey’s LeadIt was just a matter of time:
An eighth grade basketball hotshot named Ryan Boatright has been offered by USC – and naturally he’s accepted.
Now that he knows where he’s going to college, Boatright, 14, has to figure out where he’s going to high school. A native of Aurora, Calif., Boatright has to decide which of the two high schools in Aurora he will attend next year – Aurora East or Aurora West. Naturally, he’s getting heavily recruited by both.
Boatright, who is 5’10”, is not the first young recruit that USC coach Tim Floyd has gone after. Last year, he received a commitment from a 14-year-old eighth grader, 6’6” Dwayne Polee, Jr. of Westchester, Calif. (At least Polee knew where he was going to high school before committing to USC.) Illinois and DePaul are other major basketball schools that have gotten commitments from the ultra-young. We’re curious to see whether coaches at other schools step back and adopt a hands-off approach toward these players. Our sense is they won’t.
“In a perfect world,” Floyd said, “we’d all wait until spring signing date when these kids are high school seniors. But that’s just not the world that we live in in college basketball. Am I supposed to wait until Duke or Kentucky offer, and then it’s OK?”
The Next Salisbury Coach?
Ohio State associate head coach Casey Jones appears to be the frontrunner for the Salisbury job. He’s due to visit the school shortly for his second visit. And this time his wife, a Massachusetts native who’d like to be back in New England, will be joining him.
Jones, a Cornell center and team captain who graduated in 1990, taught school for a year and then embarked on a 16-year Div. I coaching career, starting at his alma mater, then moving to Clarkson and, for the last 12 years, Ohio State. Jones, a native of Temiscaming, Quebec, right on the Ontario border, is extremely well-connected in the hockey world. He’s outgoing, has a good sense of humor, and would fit in well in the prep school scene.
Another name being mentioned prominently in connection with the Salisbury position is Upper Canada College head coach Andrew Will, who’d also be excellent. Will, an Ontario native, was an excellent defenseman at Union. After his 1997 graduation, he played two years in the coast league, Will returned to his alma mater as an assistant from ’99-03. In ’03-04, he was an assistant at RPI, leaving when the head coaching position at UCC, his alma mater, opened up. Will has been at UCC, which is in Toronto, for the past three years.
Reportedly, visa difficulties are complicating Will’s application.
It will be seven weeks ago tonight that Dan Donato told his players he would not be returning to Salisbury.
Former Alaska-Fairbanks assistant Wade Klippenstein, who was one of the finalists for the head coaching position that recently went to Doc DelCastillo, has been hired as an assistant coach/assistant GM with the Prince George Cougars (WHL).
Klippenstein, a former forward at Alaska-Fairbanks, was a head coach at Prince Albert and an assistant with Saskatoon before returning to his alma mater, so the WHL is not new to him.
Select 16 Festival Gets Underway
Select 16 Festival Gets Underway
The USA Hockey Select 16 Festival (’91 birthdates) gets underway this afternoon in Rochester, NY, and continues through Friday.
As is customary, the top performers at the festival will be invited to represent the U.S. at the Four Nations Cup in the Czech Republic in August.
In addition, the NTDP is looking to fill two forward spots for this year’s U.S. Under-17 Team, and will be closely following the action here.
Right now, the Under-17 Team looks to be going into the upcoming season with 11 forwards (they want room for roster flexibility up front), eight defensemen, and two goalies.
The 2007-08 U.S. Under-17 team, as of now:
Forwards (9): Ryan Bourque (Cushing Academy); Chris Brown (Honeybaked Under-16); Jerry D’Amigo (Binghamton Senators – AJHL); Kevin Lynch (Honeybaked Under-16); Jeremy Morin (Syracuse Stars – EJHL); Kyle Palmieri (NJ Devils Under-16); Kenny Ryan (Honeybaked Under-16); Drew Shore (Honeybaked Under-16); David Valek (Honeybaked Under-16).
Defensemen (8): Tyler Amburgey (Texas Attack Under-18); Sam Calabrese (Team Illinois Under-18); Richie Crowley (Thayer Academy); Cam Fowler (Honeybaked Under-16); Bjorn Krupp (TPH Thunder); Nick Mattson (Chaska HS); Beau Schmitz (Belle Tire Under-16); William Wrenn (LA Selects Under-16).
Goaltenders (2): Brandon Maxwell (Cambridge Hawks Minor); Adam Murray (U.S. Under-17 Team).
Kane, vanRiemsdyk Go #1-2
Kane, vanRiemsdyk Go #1-2
Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk made NHL draft history this weekend, marking the first time U.S.-born players went #1-2 overall.
Some other notes:
-- It’s the third time U.S.-born players comprised two of the top three picks, the other times coming in 2005 (Bobby Ryan/Jack Johnson) and 1983 (Brian Lawton/Pat LaFontaine).
-- Ten U.S. players were taken in the first round Friday night, matching a high set last June.
-- For the second year in a row, a U.S. player was selected #1 overall, as Kane joins Erik Johnson, taken #1 last year by St. Louis. Kane also becomes the fifth American picked #1 overall in the draft’s 38-year history, joining Johnson, Rick DiPietro (2000), Bryan Berard (1995), and Brian Lawton (1983).
-- Of the 211 players selected this weekend, 64 were Americans – four more than last year. Those 64 Americans – and we included dual citizen TJ Galiardi as a U.S. player -- accounted for 30% of all drafted players. Canada had 101 players selected, good for 48%, a significant improvement over last year, when 84 Canadians were chosen. The numbers of drafted European was way down, with 46 players drafted (22%, down from 32%). Of the European players, only nine were Russian -- and that includes Max Gratchev, who moved to the U.S. when he was in pre-school.
The U.S. players came from 13 states, but note that nearly half came from just two states. Here’s the breakdown:
Minnesota – 17
Michigan – 13
Connecticut – 5
New York – 5
Massachusetts – 4
Pennsylvania - 3
Ohio – 3
Wisconsin – 3
Illinois – 3
California – 2
New Jersey – 2
Texas – 1
Missouri – 1
Nebraska -- 1
Note: If a player was born in one state, but grew up in another, we included him under the latter. Ryan Thang, for example, was born in Illinois but grew up and played his high school hockey in Minnesota. We included him under Minnesota.
Here is where the U.S. born players drafted this weekend played this past season:
U.S. Under-18 – 13
USHL – 12
Minnesota High Schools – 9
New England Preps – 7
Major Junior – 7
NCAA – 7
EJHL – 2
NAHL – 2
BCHL – 1
Wisconsin High Schools – 1
Michigan High Schools – 1
Shattuck – 1
Midget AAA – 1
Note: There were a handful of Minnesota high school players who played before/after in the USHL. They are included above under Minnesota High Schools, not the USHL. Only full-season USHLers are included in that league’s numbers.
Twelve of the U.S.-born players drafted this year were bypassed in other years. Thang, Phil DeSimone, Alec Martinez, and Justin Braun are all ‘87s, and were in their third year of draft eligibility. Corbin McPherson, Joe Stejskal, Josh Turnbull, Andrew Conboy, Matt Marshall, Patrick Maroon, Nick Bonino, and Trent Vogelhuber are all ‘88s and in their second year of eligibility – ditto for dual citizen Galiardi.
Americans drafted in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft:
Round 1 (10):
1. Chicago – Patrick Kane, RW, London (OHL)
2. Philadelphia – James vanRiemsdyk, LW, U.S. Under-18 Team
12. Montreal – Ryan McDonagh, LD, Cretin-Derham Hall HS (Minn.)
14. Colorado – Kevin Shattenkirk, RD, U.S. Under-18 Team
18. St. Louis – Ian Cole, LD, U.S. Under-18 Team
22. Montreal – Max Pacioretty, LW, Sioux City (USHL)
23. Nashville – Jonathon Blum, RD, Vancouver (WHL)
25. Vancouver – Patrick White, RC, Grand Rapids HS (Minn.)
28. San Jose – Nick Petrecki, LD, Omaha (USHL)
29. Ottawa – Jimmy O’Brien, RC, University of Minnesota
Round 2 (12):
31. Buffalo – T.J. Brennan, LD, St. John’s (QMJHL)
35. Boston – Tommy Cross, LD, Westminster School
38. Chicago – Billy Sweatt, LW, Colorado College
42. Anaheim -- Eric Tangradi, LC, Belleville (OHL)
44. St. Louis – Aaron Palushaj, RW, Des Moines (USHL)
45. Colorado – Colby Cohen, RD, Lincoln (USHL)
46. Washington – Teddy Ruth, RD, U.S. Under-18 Team
50. Dallas – Nico Sacchetti, RC, Virginia HS (Minn.)
53. Columbus – Will Weber, LD, Gaylord HS (Mich.)
54. Nashville – Jeremy Smith, G, Plymouth (OHL)
55. Colorado – T.J. Galiardi, LW, Dartmouth College -- dual citizen
57. New Jersey – Mike Hoeffel, LW, U.S. Under-18 Team
Round 3 (8):
68. Columbus – Jake Hansen, RW, White Bear Lake HS (Minn.)
72. Carolina – Drayson Bowman, C/LW, Spokane (WHL)
79. NJ – Nick Palmieri, RW, Erie (OHL)
81. Nashville – Ryan Thang, LW, University of Notre Dame
84. Washington – Phil DeSimone, LC, Sioux City (USHL)
86. Chicago – Josh Unice, G, U.S. Under-18 Team
87. NJ – Corbin McPherson, RD, Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
89. Buffalo – Corey Tropp, RW, Sioux Falls (USHL)
Round 4 (10):
92. Anaheim – Justin Vaive, LW, U.S. Under-18 Team
93. Anaheim -- Steven Kampfer, RD, University of Michigan
95. LA – Alec Martinez, LD, Miami-Ohio
96. St. Louis – Cade Fairchild, LD, U.S. Under-18 Team
100. St. Louis – Travis Erstad, C/RW, Stevens Point HS (Wisc.)
101. Florida -- Matt Rust, LC, U.S. Under-18 Team
108. Washington – Brett Bruneteau, LC, Omaha (USHL)
113. Colorado – Kent Patterson, G, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
114. Nashville -- Ben Ryan, RC, Des Moines (USHL)
120. Ottawa – Ben Blood, LD, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Round 5 (8):
126. Chicago – Joey Lavin, LD, U.S. Under-18 Team
128. Dallas – Austin Smith, RW, The Gunnery
131. Florida – John Lee, RD, Moorhead HS (Minn.)
133. Montreal – Joe Stejskal, RD, Grand Rapids HS (Minn.)
135. Colorado – Paul Carey, LC, Salisbury School
137. LA – Josh Turnbull, RC, Waterloo (USHL)
142. Montreal – Andrew Conboy, LW, Omaha (USHL)
150. Tampa Bay – Matt Marshall, C/RW, Noble & Greenough
Round 6 (6):
153. Phoenix – Scott Darling, G, Capital District (EJHL)
161. Philadelphia – Patrick Maroon, LW, St. Louis (NAHL)
166. NY Islanders – Blake Kessel, RD, Waterloo (USHL)
173. San Jose – Nick Bonino, LC, Avon Old Farms
175. Atlanta – John Albert, LC, U.S. Under-18 Team
176. Vancouver – Taylor Matson, RC, Holy Angels (Minn.)
Round 7 (10):
182. Philadelphia – Brad Phillips, G, U.S. Under-18 Team
185. Washington – Nick Larson, RC, Hill-Murray HS (Minn.)
186. Calgary – C.J. Severyn, LW, U.S. Under-18 Team
187. Buffalo – Nick Eno, G, Green Mountain (EJHL)
190. St. Louis – Trevor Nill, RC, Compuware Midget AAA
192. Montreal – Scott Kishel, LD, Virginia HS (Minn.)
199. Washington – Andrew Glass, LW, Noble & Greenough
201. San Jose – Justin Braun, RD, UMass-Amherst
209. Buffalo – Drew MacKenzie, LD, Taft School
211. Columbus – Trent Vogelhuber, RW, St. Louis (NAHL)
U.S. Players on the final Central Scouting list passed over in yesterday’s draft:
Skaters: Paul Thompson (NH Jr. Monarchs – EJHL); Drew LeBlanc (Hermantown HS); Cameron Lanoue (St. Paul’s School); Jordy Christian (Moorhead HS); Jack Downing (Omaha – USHL); Jeff Foss (Moorhead HS); Ben Smith (Boston College); Tristin Llewellyn (Tri-City – USHL); Joe Beaudette (Blaine HS); Josh Franklin (Noble & Greenough); Tyler Kieffer (Stillwater HS); Barry Almeida (Omaha – USHL); Tyler Johnson (Cloquet HS); Baylor Dieter (Green Bay – USHL); Billy Maday (Waterloo – USHL); Tommy Wingels (Cedar Rapids – USHL); Ryan Hayes (U.S. Under-18 Team); Brandon Martell (Elk River HS); Brennan Vargas (U.S. Under-18 Team); Brandon Bahnemann (Rochester Lourdes HS); Matt Reber (Edina HS); Brad McCabe (Texas – NAHL); Carter Camper (Lincoln – USHL); Brian Schack (University of Minnesota); T.J. Syner (New England Falcons – EJHL); Ryan McKiernan (Jersey Hitmen – EJHL).
Goaltenders: Mark Guggenberger (Richfield HS); Reid Ellingson (Cloquet HS); Brian Hogan (Lincoln – USHL); John Murray (Kitchener – OHL); John Muse (Noble & Greenough).
Most of the above – depending, of course, on their birthdates – will remain eligible for next year’s draft. And some will certainly get drafted. As we mentioned above, 12 players drafted this weekend were getting their second, or even third, kick at the can. And the lucky ones become free agents.
USHL camps have been going on all month, meaning there have been a lot of changes on the protected lists of the league’s 12 teams.
We posted the protected lists that came out after last month’s draft. Below are the drop/adds that have been made since then.
USHL rosters must be trimmed to 25 players by July 1. We’ll post an update around that time.
The protected list will remain at 25 – though players can be added and dropped -- until the close of the USHL Fall Classic (formerly the Buc Bowl) on the last weekend of September. At that time, the number is cut to 23.
In addition to all the above, keep in mind that a team can only roster four ‘87s this coming season. A team may have more than four on their protected list right now, but any surplus will have to be gone by the start of the season.
Two import players are allowed per team. However, if a team is returning an import player from last season they are allowed to carry two more, giving them a total of three. If a team has two returning import players, they can only add one new one. If a team had no import players this past season, they can only bring in two imports for next season.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders:
Grant Blakey, ’89 F, Victory Honda
Justin Castagna, ’90 F, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
Bobby Gutsch, ’89 F, Duluth Marshall
Robert Harrison, ’88 D, Mahoning Valley
Matthew Mangene, ’89 F, NY Bobcats
Eric Springer, ’89 F, TI
Andy Keogh, ’88 D, Wayzata HS
Doug Leaverton, ’89 D, Mahoning Valley
Nick Oddo, ’90 F, Russell Stover Midget AAA
Stefan Salituro, ’90 F, Vaughn (import)
Garrett Vermeersch, ’89 F, Little Caesar’s
Dan Durham, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Jared Rickord, ’89 F, Chicago Mission
Dan Ryan, ’87 F, Chicago Steel
Alex Simonson, ’90 F, Grand Forks Central
Robin Sjoren, ’89 F, Djurgardens IF (import)
Des Moines Buccaneers:
Clint Bourbonais, ‘89 F, Orchard Lake
Kyle Cantlon, ’88 G, Marathon Renegades (import)
Adam Krelove, ‘87 D, Des Moines Buccaneers (import)
David Makowski, ’89 D, St. Louis AAA
Ryan Ruikka, ‘88 D, Des Moines Buccaneers
Jordan Tibbett, ’90 G, Des Moines Buccaneers
Neilsen Arcibal, ’88 F, Texas Tornado
Fredrik Bergman, ’89 G, Washington Nationals
John Bullis, ’87 F, Texas Tornado
Greg Burgdoerfer, ’88 D, Capital District
Ryan Santana, ’88 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Brad Walch, ’91 D, Honeybaked
Matt White , ’91 F, Pittsburgh Hornets
Green Bay Gamblers:
Stephen Bozek, ’89 F, Chicago Mission
Tyler Jundt, ’88 D, Green Bay Gamblers
Dominic Morrone, ’89 F, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers AAA
Ryan Santana, ’88 F, Green Bay Gamblers
Aaron Shibrowski, ’88 D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Daniel Weiss, ’89 D, Springfield Blues
Justin Filzen, ’89 F, Proctor HS
Jake Hannon, ’88 D, Syracuse Stars
Phillipe Ringuette, ’88 F, St. Andrew’s College (import)
Main camp currently underway (June 21-24)
David Onofrey, '88 D, Indiana Jr. Ice
John Tavares, '90 F, Oshawa Generals (OHL) (import)
Adam Flink, ’87 F, Texas Tornado
Greg Squires, ’88 F, Indiana Ice
Rocco Carzo, ’90 F, PLF Midget
Michael Guzzo, ’87 F, Penticton Vees
Joseph Harcharik, ’88 F, North Iowa
Spencer McMillan, ’88 F, St. Paul Academy
Joe Miller, ’87 F, Lincoln Stars
Mark Silverman, ’89 F, Victory Honda
Tyler Brickler, ’91 F, Chicago Mission
Mike Dalhuisen, ’89 D, Chicago Steel (import)
Mike Henderson, ’89 F, Colorado Rampage
Justin Milo, ’87 F, Cornell University
Kevin Murdoch, ’90 G, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Michael Sdao, ’89 D, Culver Academy
Kyle Verbeek, ’88 F, Sarnia (WOHL)
Ohio Blue Jackets:
Brian Flynn, ’88 F, Pomfret School
Ryan Hill, '88 D, Ohio Blue Jackets
Scott Pederson, ’88 G, Team Illinois
Dalton Speelman, ’89 F, San Jose Midget AAA
Randy Wolcott, ’88 G, Avon Old Farms
Dan Durham, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Nick Grasso, ’88 F, Jersey Hitmen
Richard Leitner, ’88 F, Alaska Avalanche
Patrick McCauley, ’88 F, New Jersey Rockets
Pasquale Terrazzano, ’89 G, HC Lugano (import)
Jake Coyle, ’87 F, Mahoning Valley
Richard Manley, ’89 F, Chicago Steel
Shea Walters, ’87 F, Omaha Lancers
Barry Almeida, ’88 F, Omaha Lancers
Joey Diamond, ’89 F, South Kent School
Colin Long, ’87 D, Texas Tornado
Sioux City Musketeers:
Eric Rubino, ’89 F, St. Mike’s Jr. A (import)
Cory Tamblyn, ’89 F, Markham Jr. A (import)
Paul Beckwith, ’87 G, Pembroke Lumber Kings
Rick Doriott, ’87 D, Wichita Falls
Sioux Falls Stampede:
Joey Brehm, ’88 D, Edina HS
Adam Chavez, ’89 D, Belle Tire
Garrett Chumley, ’88 F, Cambridge HS
Sean Escobedo, ’90 D, NY Apple Core
Theodore Falk, ’89 F, Homestead HS
Drew Fisher, ’87 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Jeff Foss, ’88 D, Sioux Falls Stampede
Augie Hoffman, ’88 D, Mission Midget
Jordan Singer, ’88 F, Centennial HS
Britton Smith, ’88 F, Holy Angels
Kent Wittman, ’88 D, Dallas Stars Midget AAA
Austin Accestura, ’90 D, Honeybaked
Patrick Divjak, WE V U-20, ’89 F (import)
Jacob Drewiske, ’87 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Maxwell Grover, ’88 D, Little Caesar’s
John Kruse, ’89 F, Eden Prairie
Justin Lee, ’89 D, Chaska HS
Marc Rodriguez, ’90 F, Team Illinois
Daniel Sexton, ’87 F, Sioux Falls Stampede
Eric Springer, ’89 F, Team Illinois
Hakan Yumusaklar, ’89 G, Lakeville South
Brendan Arniel, ’89 F, Winnipeg Blues
Waterloo Black Hawks:
No adds, no drops at this time – camp runs June 26-29
Ivy Assistants DepartingTwo Ivy League assistant coaches – Bobby Jay at Harvard and John Riley at Princeton – are moving on to other opportunities.
Jay has been at Harvard since the start of the Ted Donato era. Jay was actually an assistant coach for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) when the LA Kings sent Donato down in the ’01-02 season. When Donato took the Harvard job the NHL lockout was looming and pro guys like Jay were looking at other possibilities.
That was in the summer of ’04 -- three years ago.
Tuesday night, Jay was on the phone with Harvard players for two hours, telling them that he’s leaving.
“That was tough,” he said. “It’s unbelievably hard to leave Harvard. I loved working with Teddy and Sean (McCann). It’s been awesome. The kids we’ve had here have made it a great experience for me.”
Jay, who has a one-year-old daughter, is thinking toward the future.
“I’ll be doing commercial and residential real estate in Phoenix,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable business opportunity for my family. I couldn’t pass it up.”
“I want to stay in hockey, though, so I’ll be looking to do some pro scouting to stay involved in the game.”
Riley, who has been at Princeton for two years and became a first-time father in December, will be teaching math at Fairfield Country Day this fall.
“My commute to work will go from 120 miles to one mile,” said Riley, who lives in Fairfield, Conn., where his wife has an executive position too good to walk away from.
“Living in Connecticut and working in Princeton… something had to give. I wasn’t being fair to my wife or son. Because of my wife’s position, moving was not an option. While it is very difficult to leave Princeton, I’m happy to have made the decision for my family.”
Riley, who coached at the Brunswick School and worked for the NTDP prior to taking the Princeton job, said he’ll miss working on Guy Gadowsky’s staff. However, he is not done working for the Tigers yet. “I’ll be working the 16 Festival (in Rochester, NY, next week),” he said.
Just because Riley is leaving Princeton, doesn’t mean he’s leaving hockey. He’ll just be looking more locally, in Connecticut, with the goal of spending more nights at home, with his family.
“Hopefully,” he said, “something will present itself down the line.”
6/21/07 Stewart to the Rescue
Stewart to the RescuePaul Stewart, the former Groton School and University of Pennsylvania forward who turned himself into a pro hockey enforcer before trading in his knuckles for the referee’s stripes, has been named supervisor of officials for the ECAC.
Stewart, a part of the legendary Massachusetts sports family, is the grandson of Bill Stewart (1894-1964), who, as a first-year NHL head coach, led the Chicago Black Hawks to the Stanley Cup in 1938. Not only that, but Stewart was the first American-born referee hired by the NHL, and wore the stripes for 11. And there’s more: Stewart was a major league baseball umpire for 21 years. You won’t see the likes of him again.
His grandson, now 55, reffed for 17 years, becoming the first American-born referee to work 1,000 NHL games before retiring at the end of the 2002-03 season. In 1998, Stewart was diagnosed with colon cancer and returned to the ice the following season, while still undergoing chemo. You don’t see that much, either. In recent years, Stewart has been working as a Boston Bruins studio analyst for games on NESN, and as a supervisor in the NHL’s Officials Development Program.
Stewart has some business to attend to in his new post, as ECAC coaches have been up in arms over what they feel to be an overly strict interpretation of obstruction calls by the league’s officials. The fans aren’t happy either, as the flow of games has taken a big hit as well.
We also don’t want to forget Stewart’s father, Bill, who played football at Notre Dame and afterward went into coaching. Or Paul's brother, Billy, who was an assistant at Nobles, a college ref, and a probation officer.
6/21/07 Bowling Green Candidates
We’ve heard three names as possibilities for the Bowling Green assistant’s position that’s been vacant since Danton Cole was hired away as Alabama-Huntsville’s head coach in late April.
Tom Carroll: Played for Badger Bob at Wisconsin in the ‘80s, was an assistant at Notre Dame, was head coach of the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL), and for the last five years has coached the New England College Pilgrims (ECAC East) to a 93-40-6 record.
Bowling Green Candidates
Nelson Emerson: 1990 Bowling Green grad and three-time Hobey Baker Award finalist went on to play for seven NHL teams.
Todd Reirden: 1994 Bowling Green grad went on to play in the NHL. Has played the past few years in Europe.
Anthony Nixes NCAA
6’2”, 190 lb. Nova Scotian power forward Steven Anthony has turned his back on Lawrence Academy and the NCAA, choosing instead to go major junior with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL).
Anthony Nixes NCAA
Anthony, the top prospect heading into the Q draft earlier this month, played for the Holderness School in ’05-06 before returning home to play for the Dartmouth Subways Midget AAA team this past season. In 35 games, Anthony posted a 33-31-64.
The Sea Dogs, in order to gain the #10 selection in the draft, gave up a lot in a trade with Quebec, so the handwriting was on the wall right from draft day.
Anthony and his family visited Saint John last Friday, meeting with club officials – and, yes, even the mayor of the New Brunswick city.
A Black Bear for ‘09Boston Junior Bruins (Empire League) forward Derek Arnold has committed to the University of Maine for the fall of ’09.
Arnold, who posted a 41-48-89 line in 51 games, good for second in the league, is a 2/9/90 birthdate from Foxboro, Mass. A 5’9”, 165 lb. right shot center, Arnold’s strength is his skating. He has speed, quickness, and good stick skills.
Chris Masters, his coach for the past two years, said, “Derek is totally dedicated to hockey. He will do everything he needs to do to get better. He’s undersized but he doesn’t play undersized. He’s great in traffic, great in the corners.”
Arnold, along with his family, visited Maine last week. Maine had watched him over the course of the season, and went after him hard.
Arnold will be playing with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) in the coming season.
Phillips a Pioneer5’11”, 175 lb. Chicago Chill Midget AAA defenseman Paul Phillips has committed to Denver for the fall of ’09.
A left shot, Phillips is a 7/16/91 birthdate. The Darien, Illinois native has excellent tools but his greatest asset is his sense of the game. He made his final pick from between Miami and Denver. UNH and Wisconsin were also in the picture.
Phillips, who was at the NTDP camp in March, will be playing the upcoming season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (along with ’90 defenseman and fellow Denver recruit Matt Donovan of the Dallas Stars Midgets).
Phillips was drafted by the Ottawa ‘67s in the OHL draft last month.
New Head Coach at StansteadChris LaPerle, who coached the Cleveland Barons Midget AAA team this past season, has been named the new head coach at Stanstead College.
LaPerle, 28, started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Denver, in 2003-04, the NCAA title-winning season, then moved on to an assistant’s position at Middlebury from ’04-06. An Exeter, NH native, LaPerle played college hockey at Southern New Hampshire University.
LaPerle, who was also a candidate for the Hebron job, will be teaching math as well as coaching hockey at the Canadian prep school, which sits about one mile north of the Vermont-Quebec border.
“I really fell in love Stanstead,” said LaPerle. “I’m excited about the tradition and the academic philosophy at the school.”
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to coach and teach and move kids on to the college level.”
Stanstead was 45-9-5 last season under head coach Mike McNamara, who will be stepping down after 11 years. McNamara, a Montreal native who played pro in Europe, will be returning to coach in Lugano, Switzerland.
Stanstead, under LaPerle, will be recruiting on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Among notable ex-Stanstead players is Danny Hobbs, a UMass recruit who will be playing in the USHL this season.
Stanstead, after their North American schedule ends, heads out on a European trip every March.
Esdale Named to Chair Junior CouncilEJHL commissioner Dan Esdale was voted in – effective immediately -- as the new chair of the USA Hockey Junior Council over the weekend.
Esdale, from Hyde Park, Mass., replaces Dave Tyler, whose tenure was contentious, with many feeling that the Waterloo, Iowa lawyer was too deeply aligned with the USHL and thus operated to the detriment of other U.S. junior leagues.
Esdale, who feels that there are too many junior teams in the U.S., said he will be working to “try to standardize (junior ) classification and deal with growth.”
“Everybody wants to be a junior team these days,” said Esdale. “We’ll need to require more structure to add stability.”
Junior Camp Tidbits
Here are a few breakdowns of this year’s U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp (Lake Placid; Aug. 3-11) invitees:
There were 45 players invited (scroll below for roster). They come from:
New York (8)
New Jersey (4)
There is also one dual citizen on the lobby, former Dartmouth freshman T.J. Galiardi, a Calgary native.
-- Over half the players invited (24 of the 45) played in the National Team Development Program.
-- There are nine major junior players invited to the camp (Thomas McCollum, Jeremy Smith, Jonathon Blum, T.J. Brennan, Kevin Montgomery, Bobby Sanguinetti, Pat Kane, Peter Mueller, and Eric Tangradi). Add in Tony Romano, who’ll be with the London Knights and you have 10. Add in Galiardi, who we expect to be with Portland Hawks and that’s 11. Sounds like a new record to us.
-- There are four players who played a full season in the USHL: Kent Patterson, Kyle Okposo, Max Pacioretty, and Ben Ryan.
-- There are ten players who played at least one season in prep school in the Northeast: Kevin Quick (Salisbury), Sanguinetti (Lawrenceville), Kevin Shattenkirk (Brunswick), Brian Strait (NMH), Mark Arcobello (Salisbury), Brian Day (Gov. Dummer); Max Pacioretty (Taft), Luke Popko (Taft), Doug Rogers (St. Sebastian's), and Ben Smith (Westminster). Quick, Arcobello, Day, Rogers, and Smith all stuck around and graduated.
-- There are eight returnees from last winter’s bronze medal-winning team: Jamie McBain, Mike Carman, Blake Geoffrion, Pat Kane, Peter Mueller, Kyle Okposo, Billy Sweatt, and James vanRiemsdyk. Of the returnees, all are forwards except for McBain. The U.S. is young and lacking in WJC experience both in net and on the blue line, a concern. Erik Johnson, an ’88, is eligible for the squad but will not be in camp. Look for Johnson to be skating a regular shift with St. Louis next season.
-- There are 28 ’88 birthdates, 16 ’89 birthdates, and one ’90 birthdate on the invite list.
The ‘89s are:
Goaltenders (4): McCollum, Patterson, J. Smith, and Josh Unice.
Defensemen (7): Blum, Brennan, Ian Cole, Cade Fairchild, Ryan McDonagh, Teddy Ruth, and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Forwards (5): Matt Rust, Tangradi, vanRiemsdyk, Patrick White, and Colin Wilson.
The ’90 is forward Jordan Schroder.
-- '89s who were not invited include defensemen Nick Petrecki, Tommy Cross, and Colby Cohen; and forwards Jimmy O'Brien (F/D for him), Nick Palmieri, John Albert, Nico Sachetti, Jimmy Hayes, Mike Hoeffel, Patrick White, and Ryan Hayes.
Berkshire Making News6’1”, 180 lb. Berkshire School junior forward Nicholas Prockow has committed to Colgate University for the fall of ’08.
Prockow, a right shot center from Montreal, Quebec, was Berkshire’s leading goal scorer this past season, finishing with an 11-21-32 line.
Before arriving at Berkshire last fall, Prockow played for Lac St-Louis. Colgate watched him a couple of times during the season and then again up at Prospects, where he had a strong showing. Prockow, a 1/21/89 birthdate, is a strong skater with hands and vision.
FYI: Berkshire assistant coach Brad D’Arco is a Colgate alum, where he was a teammate of man-of-the-moment Andy McDonald. You probably noticed McDonald in game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals last week: two goals and an assist on Dustin Penner’s game winner in Anaheim’s 3-2 win over Ottawa. (Both McDonald and Penner, by the way, were undrafted and signed as free agents out of college. Penner, as you may know, wasn’t even a Div. I recruit., and had to settle for playing two years for Minot State-Bottineau, a junior college in North Dakota, before Grant Standbrook saw him in a summer tournament and brought him to Orono. We only mention this because the draft is two weeks away. If you’re a player and are bypassed, just keep playing hard.)
Getting back to Berkshire for a second, we should mention that the school’s $35 million athletic facility, which will feature two sheets – one NHL and one Olympic – and a state-of-the art conditioning room, will be ready in the fall of ’08.
Berkshire's building could raise the bar for prep school rinks, and looks to be spiffier than Taft’s rink, which was built while current Berkshire headmaster Mike Maher was Taft’s hockey coach.
“In terms of a pure hockey building,” said Berkshire head coach Dan Driscoll, “it will be the best facility in New England prep schools.”
6/9/07 Coughlin, Marcou Make Their Picks
Providence and Northeastern were also in the mix.
Coughlin, a 12/1/87 birthdate from Winthrop, Mass., had a 10-33-43 line this past season.
Coughlin, Marcou Make Their Picks6’0”, 185 lb. Cushing defenseman Sean Coughlin, who had offers for the fall of ’08 and was at Cedar Rapids’ camp last week, has instead decided to go right to school this fall, accepting an offer from Quinnipiac.
Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) 5’11”, 175 lb. RD Mike Marcou has commited to UMass-Amherst for 2008.
Marcou, a first year player in the USHL who was taken in last October’s Futures Draft, played 44 games and had a 1-4-5 line. An 8/19/89 birthdate from King’s Park, NY, on Long Island, Marcou played for the New York Bobcats (AJHL) before going to Waterloo.
At UMass, Marcou will join his older brother James, who had a big year for Waterloo, finishing as the team’s leading scorer – and the fourth-leading scorer in the league. The older Marcou, you may recall, was one of the three Long Island players – Nick Grasso and Vladimir Nikiforov were the other two – to commit to UMass, during the '03-04 season, for the fall of '06.
Nikiforov went to the O and plays for Barrie, while Grasso had a rough go of it in the USHL and returned east to play for the Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) this past season.
So the older Marcou is the only one who will actually arrive at UMass – a year late, perhaps, but quite ready to put up some points.
Doc Takes Over Nanooks
University of Nebraska-Omaha assistant Doc DelCastillo has been hired as the new head coach at Alaska-Fairbanks.
A former St. Cloud State forward and captain, DelCastillo started his college coaching career as an assistant on Craig Dahl’s staff at St. Cloud State for four seasons (’98-02). In the fall of ’02, he moved on to Nebraska-Omaha and has been on Mike Kemp’s staff for the last five years.
DelCastillo, 38, began his coaching career in the USHL, as an assistant with the Waterloo Black Hawks in 1992-93. From there, he moved on to the Omaha Lancers for a couple of years before being named head coach of the now-defunct Rochester Mustangs. In each of the three seasons DelCastillo coached the Mustangs they improved from the year before.
At Alaska-Fairbanks, DelCastillo replaces Tavis MacMillan, who coached the Nanooks for three seasons, but left because of a business opportunity his wife received in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
DelCastillo was chosen from a strong final field that included Alaska-Fairbanks assistant Wade Klippenstein, St. Cloud State assistant Eric Rud, and Wisconsin assistant Kevin Patrick.
Alaska-Fairbanks AD Forrest Karr, a goalie at Notre Dame in the ‘90s, saw DelCastillo’s recruiting ability as a strength, saying, ”He has a history of elevating some Div. I programs that are within Division II athletic departments, like we are. He knows the challenges and he’s worked through the challenges and has been successful.”
DelCastillo, who is widely liked and respected in the college hockey fraternity, said he sees the move north as a “unique opportunity” both for himself professionally and for his family. DelCastillo and his wife, a former track star at UNO, have five young daughters, all of whose names begin with the letter B. “They’re excited,” he said. “They think it’s cool. Not many people can say they grew up in Alaska.”
As part of the hiring process at the school, the final candidates for the position met with the public. Anybody who wanted could come in and question the coach. “It’s unique,” said DelCastillo, “It’s a good way for them to get to know you. They’d ask questions about recruiting, and about coaching philosophy. Knowledgeable questions, too. I really enjoyed talking with them a lot. It’s fun being around people who are passionate about hockey and love the program.”
DelCastillo said that, recruiting-wise, he’s very aware of the school’s tradition of drawing players from Western Canada. “You have to continue with that,” he said. “But my recruiting niche has been more in the USHL. I plan to add that to what they already have going in Western Canada. It will be a good marriage.”
As for assistants, DelCastillo said that’s yet to be determined. “I’ve got to sit down with them. I’m not committed to anything. But the guys who are there have certainly earned the opportunity (to be considered).”
In case you were wondering, Nanook, in Inuit mythology, was the master of all bears. That meant he was the one who determined which hunters had followed taboos closely enough to be allowed success in hunting bears.
In NAHL news, Tony Curtale, who has been head coach of the Texas Tornado since their inception in 1999, is out. Reportedly, the team is being sold and the new owner, who has hopes of moving the Tornado to the USHL, wants his own guy in there. The name we’ve heard mentioned is Dallas Stars Midget AAA coach Dwight Mullins.
The three names we’ve heard mentioned as candidates for the Lincoln Stars (USHL) head job are University of Michigan assistant Billy Powers, Lincoln Stars assistant Jimmy McGroarty, and Fargo-Moorhead (NAHL) head coach Chad Johnson, the younger brother of Steve Johnson, the only coach the Lincoln Stars have ever had. Johnson recently resigned after 11 years behind the bench to return to his hometown of Grand Forks, ND.
Romano BoltsCornell forward Tony Romano has left Cornell for the London Knights (OHL).
In his one season at Cornell, Romano posted a 9-10-19 line in 29 games, which would have made the former New York Bobcat (AJHL) one of the top returning scorers for the Big Red.
Romano, a sixth round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2006, will report to the London Knights for training camp in August.
Cornell coach Mike Schafer is not happy with the way this went down. Having heard second-hand reports that Romano had visited London earlier in the spring, Schafer asked the freshman at several different points if he were leaving and was told no each time.
At some point, the Knights and Romano sealed the deal. London announced it today.
“We were the last to know,” Schafer said.
Dimmen to MaineSt. Louis Bandits (NAHL) 6’0”, 188 lb. defenseman Jeff Dimmen has committed to the University of Maine for this fall.
While Dimmen, who will be a 21-year-old freshman, is arriving, Maine defenseman Bryan Plaszcz, who just completed his sophomore year, will be leaving. Reportedly, Plaszcz, also a former NAHL defenseman, will be transferring to Bemidji State or a Div. III program in his native Minnesota. Plaszcz was a healthy scratch in a number of Black Bears games down the stretch.
Dimmen, a NAHL first team all-star this past season and a Colorado Springs, Col. native, was the second-leading scorer among league defensemen with 47 points in 50 games. He came to St. Louis in a mid-season trade with Alaska. In previous NAHL seasons, Dimmen played for Springfield (Missouri) and Wasilla.
5’10”, 175 lb. Andover junior forward Bobby Farnham has committed to Brown for the fall of ’08. Farnham, a 1/21/89 birthdate from North Andover, Mass., played at the Brooks School before transferring to Andover this past year.
U.S. Junior Camp Invitees NamedUSA Hockey has released the list of 45 players invited to the 2007 U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp, scheduled for August 3-11 in Lake Placid, NY.
The schedule to the camp’s eight scrimmages, which will feature a split squad of U.S. players facing Sweden and Finland, is below.
GOALTENDERS (5):Thomas McCollum ‘89 (Sanborn, N.Y./Guelph Storm - OHL); Joe Palmer* ‘88 (Yorkville, N.Y./Ohio State); Kent Patterson ‘89 (Plymouth, Minn./Cedar Rapids - USHL); Jeremy Smith ‘89 (Brownstown, Mich./Plymouth - OHL); Josh Unice ‘89 (Toledo, Ohio/ Bowling Green).
DEFENSEMEN (16): Jonathon Blum ‘89 (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Vancouver – WHL); T.J. Brennan ‘89 (Willingbord, NJ/ St. John’s - QMJHL); Ian Cole ‘89 (Ann Arbor, Mich./Notre Dame); Cade Fairchild ‘89 (Duluth, Minn./ University of Minnesota); David Fischer* ‘88 (Apple Valley, Minn./University of Minnesota); Jamie McBain^* ‘88 (Faribault, Minn./University of Wisconsin); Ryan McDonagh ‘89 (Arden Hills, Minn./University of Wisconsin); Kevin Montgomery* ‘88 (Rochester, N.Y./London - OHL); Trent Palm ‘88 (Edina, Minn./University of Minnesota-Duluth); Kevin Quick ‘88 (Tonawanda, N.Y./University of Michigan); Mike Ratchuk* ‘88 (Buffalo, N.Y./Michigan State);Teddy Ruth ‘89 (Naperville, Ill./University of Notre Dame); Bob Sanguinetti ‘88 (Lumberton, N.J./Owen Sound - OHL); Kevin Shattenkirk ‘89 (New Rochelle, N.Y./Boston University); Brian Strait* ‘88 (Waltham, Mass./Boston University); Chris Summers* ‘88 (Milan, Mich./University of Michigan).
FORWARDS (24): Mark Arcobello ‘88 (Milford, Conn./Yale); Mike Carman^* ‘88 (Apple Valley, Minn./University of Minnesota); Brian Day ‘88 (Boston, Mass./Colgate); Ryan Flynn* ‘88 (Lino Lakes, Minn./University of Minnesota); T.J. Galiardi ’88 (Calgary, Alberta/TBA); Blake Geoffrion^* (Brentwood, Tenn./University of Wisconsin); Patrick Kane^* ‘88 (Buffalo, N.Y./London - OHL); Peter Mueller^*%& ’88 (Bloomington, Minn./Everett - WHL); Kyle Okposo^* ‘88 (St. Paul, Minn./University of Minnesota); Max Pacioretty ‘88 (New Canaan, Conn./University of Michigan); Luke Popko ’88 (Skillman, N.J./Boston University); Rhett Rakhshani* ‘88 (Huntington Beach, Calif./University of Denver - WCHA); Doug Rogers ‘88 (Watertown, Mass./Harvard); Tony Romano ‘88 (Smithtown, N.Y./Cornell); Tyler Ruegsegger ‘88 (Lakewood, Colo./University of Denver); Matt Rust ‘89 (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./University of Michigan); Ben Ryan ’88 (Brighton, Mich./Notre Dame); Jordan Schroeder ’90 (Lakeville, Minn./U.S. Under-18 Team);Ben Smith ’88 (Avon, Conn./Boston College); Bill Sweatt^* ‘88 (Elburn, Ill./Colorado College); Eric Tangradi ’89 (Philadelphia, Pa./ Belleville - OHL); James vanRiemsdyk^ ‘89 (Middletown, N.J./University of New Hampshire); Patrick White ’89 (Grand Rapids, Minn./ University of Minnesota); Colin Wilson ‘89 (Greenwich, Conn./Boston University).
^2007 U.S. National Junior Team Member
*2006 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp Participant
%2006 U.S. National Junior Team Member
&2005 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp Participant
Head Coach: John Hynes; Assistant Coach: Keith Allain; Video Coordinator: Ken Martel; Advance Scout: Jim Hunt; Player Evaluation: Ben Smith; Camp Coaches: Tim Taylor, Jeff Jackson, and John Harrington.
Sun. Aug. 5 – USA Blue vs. USA White, 4:30
Mon. Aug. 6 – USA Blue vs. USA White, 4:30
Tues. Aug. 7 – USA Blue vs. Finland, 4:00 pm
USA White vs. Sweden, 7:00
Wed. Aug. 8 – USA White vs. Finland, 4:00 pm
USA Blue vs. Sweden, 7:00 pm
Thurs. Aug. 9 – USA White vs. Sweden, 4:00 pm
USA Blue vs. Finland, 7:00 pm
Fri. Aug. 10 – USA White vs. Finland, 1:00 pm
USA Blue vs. Sweden, 4:00 pm
UMass-Lowell Gets a Reprieve
According to the Lowell Sun, a tentative agreement has been reached that will allow UMass-Lowell to continue playing at Tsongas Arena for at least one more season.
Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch, after meeting with AD Dana Skinner, said he was able to work out a deal with the city’s Civic Stadium and Arena Commission. The group has been active in trying to save the university’s hockey program ever since a UMass Board of Trustees task force recommended axing the sport unless a better agreement could be reached with the Tsongas Arena, which is owned by the city.
Under the new agreement, UMass-Lowell would no longer be required to pay a $50,000 annual contribution to the arena. In addition, the school would gain a percent of food and beverage sales, a 50-50 split on advertising on the arena’s outside billboard, and other concessions. (Note: UMass-Lowell cannot reap any proceeds from dasher advertising as the AHL’s Lowell Devils have a lease that guarantees them all such proceeds. The Devils’ lease, which expires at the end of the 07-08 season, includes a two-year renewal option.)
“We’re hoping to make it work for the upcoming year and hopefully beyond,” Lynch said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a long term commitment from the trustees that they’re interested in staying in Lowell.”
Tsongas Arena opened in 1998, and, this past season, the River Hawks averaged 2,986 fans in the building, which has a capacity of 6,496.
Miller Takes Over at Kimball UnionRyan Miller, a team captain at Culver Academy who went on to play at the University of Vermont, has been named the new head hockey coach at Kimball Union Academy.
Miller, 27, originally from Spokane, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona, was a forward for the Catamounts from ’99-03. Since graduation, he has earned a masters in sports studies from Miami-Ohio.
In addition to coaching the hockey team, Miller will serve as assistant director of admissions.
Miller replaces former KUA assistant Eric Long, who moved on to Tabor Academy before coaching a single game. Long, who will be coaching the Tabor girls, had replaced Gino Riffle, who was head coach for nine years before stepping down at the end of the season.
Kimball Union finished the ’06-07 campaign with a 5-20-3 record.
USHL-QMJHL Exhibitions Finalized
Plans were announced today for a set of exhibition games in early September between the Omaha Lancers and the Indiana Ice of the USHL and the Quèbec Remparts and the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quèbec Major Junior Hockey League.
The games will take place on Fri.-Sat. September 7-8 in Quèbec City and Rimouski. Each USHL team will play each QMJHL team once.
The central figure behind the series is Omaha Lancers President/Owner Luc Robitaille, a Montreal native and star with the Hull Olympiques (QMJHL) from 1983-86.
Fri. Sept. 7 – Omaha @ Quèbec, 7:00
Fri. Sept. 7 – Indiana @ Rimouski, 7:30
Sat. Sept. 8 – Indiana @ Quèbec, 7:00
Sat. Sept. 8 – Omaha @ Rimouski, 7:00
The Q’s preseason exhibition schedule begins on August 15 and ends September 9. The regular season opens September 13 with the Saint John Sea Dogs at Lewiston.
Q Draft a Shambles
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft was held on Saturday and, to these eyes, the most telling factoid was this: in the first four rounds a total of 72 players were picked, but only 18 were made by the team that originally owned the picks. Three-quarters of the picks were traded! Think about that one for a second.
Q Draft a Shambles
The Q draft has turned into a trading frenzy, with agents/advisers working all the angles, the most powerful one being the NCAA card, in order to get their clients selected by a team they would actually consider going to (i.e., a team with boatloads of money and/or a team located in an English-speaking city). It also involves lying. Kids lying. Parents lying. Teams lying. Agents lying. It’s all become standard operating procedure. However, there are voices of protest out there hoping to be heard. All they are asking for is a draft that has integrity, one that works for the betterment of all teams, both rich and poor. Lacking that, they ask, why even have a draft? While those questioning the Q draft are getting fed up, it’s hard to say if they will be able to effect any meaningful change. After all, not all players in the Q are of equal value. Some have whopping signing bonuses banked away while other players – the rank and file – are making allowance-type money. Despite claims to the contrary, the Q is a professional league, meaning all concerned will work it to their best advantage. After all, the teams are making money – some quite a bit of money -- off the backs of teenagers, so why shouldn’t a parent, to give the most obvious example, seek out a top agent to wrangle the best deal for their kid? You can’t exactly blame them, but when the end result is something far less than a true draft you do have to wonder where it will all wind up.
Of course, there are legitimate cases where kids and their parents have made it clear that their sons are going the NCAA route – and mean it. But they are rarely believed.
So, with that said, on to the draft itself:
First off, the consensus top two prospects, as we have previously reported, were Steven Anthony and Louis Leblanc.
Anthony, who is scheduled to enter the junior class at Lawrence Academy in the fall, and whose family has steadfastly insisted that he is going to college in the U.S., was taken #10 overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs. Saint John traded three picks – including their first round pick in 2008 – to the Quebec Remparts for the right to pick Anthony at Quebec’s #10 slot. So Saint John gave up an awful lot for what on the surface appears to be simply a chance at Anthony. But the Sea Dogs have the money, and money talks. Stay tuned.
It’s hard to tell whether Leblanc, who has college offers on the table, will wind up at Salisbury or not. He could also go back to Lac St-Louis, as some believe he will do, or he could go major junior with Val-d’Or, which selected him #18, but that seems like a long shot at best. The St. John’s Fog Devils had hoped to use their #4 pick on Leblanc, but apparently weren’t willing to waste a pick on a player with NCAA aspirations. Leblanc appears college bound, though Val-d’Or will certainly try to talk him out of it.
Brandon MacLean, a 6’0”, 175 lb. ’91 born right wing from Bedford, Nova Scotia who played for the Cole Harbour Midget AAA program last season and had the option of going to Deerfield Academy this fall, was drafted #11 by Prince Edward Island. MacLean said, “I didn’t want to be in an all-French community (in terms of) education and all that.” Well, he got that, as PEI (like Deerfield!) is not an all-French community. MacLean is bound for the Q.
Matt Brown, a 5’10”, 162 lb. ’91 born left wing from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia who played for the Pictou Weeks Midget AAA program last season, was taken with the 15th overall pick by Moncton, a team with plenty of cash. Brown was considering attending Northwood School and then going on to play NCAA hockey, though it’s hard to say he was ever that serious. Look for him in Moncton come August.
Devon MacAusland, a 5’6”, 151 lb. ’91 born center from Dieppe, NB who played for the Moncton Flyers (New Brunswick/PEI Major Midget League), was taken by Moncton in the second round. MacAusland, who was ranked #7 in the Q’s final ranking, has said that he is planning on going to college in the U.S. He has even mentioned, in a less than convincing way, that he is going to Boston College, but, while Boston College and other schools have seen him, there is no commitment whatsoever on the part of the Eagles to MacAusland. None. The center may be playing the NCAA card a little more specifically than is really necessary.
Defenseman Danny Biega, who was rated #8 in the final Q list, was totally bypassed, meaning that QMJHL clubs took seriously his desire to follow his two older brothers, Alex and Michael, to prep school and college.
Cushing Academy’s 6’2” winger Jessyko Bernard, a Moncton native who was ranked in the second round of the Q Central Scouting final list, was bypassed, meaning Bernard will return to Cushing for his junior year. 5’7”, 160 lb. Tabor defenseman Ryan Kavanagh, who also appeared on the Q Central Scouting final list, was bypassed as well.
Thayer Academy sophomore defenseman Richie Greer of Marshfield, Mass., was selected by the Halifax Mooseheads in the second round. There were ten other Americans taken, all in rounds 7-12.
The complete list of Americans:
2nd Round – Halifax -- Richie Greer, D, Thayer Academy; Hometown: Marshfield, Mass.
7th Round – Moncton – Paul Dimitruk, D, Phillips Exeter Academy; Hometown: Andover, Mass.
8th Round – Halifax – Travis Busch, D, N.H. Jr. Monarchs; Hometown: Reading, Mass.
8th Round – Moncton – Jordan Samuels-Thomas, F, Hartford Jr. Wolf Pack; Hometown: S. Windsor, Conn.
9th Round – St. John’s – Eric Robinson, F, Foxboro Stars; Hometown: Foxboro, Mass.
10th Round – Moncton – Colin Moore, F, U.S. Under-17 Team; Hometown: Medfield, Mass.
11th Round – Saint John -- Derek Arnold, F, Boston Junior Bruins; Hometown: Foxboro, Mass.
11th Round – St. John’s – Sean Logue, F, Foxboro Stars; Hometown: Walpole, Mass.
11th Round – Lewiston – Damien Pinheiro, G, Foxboro Stars; Hometown: Hope, RI
12th Round – Shawinigan – Shane Begin, D, Northern Cyclones; Hometown: Windham, NH
12th Round – Halifax – Joey Dillon, D, Boston Junior Bruins; Hometown: Shrewsbury, Mass.
More Time for Almeida
Boston College recruit Barry Almeida, scheduled to arrive at the Heights this fall, will instead return to the Omaha Lancers (USHL) for one more season prior to matriculating at BC in the fall of ’08.
A year ago, Almeida, the ’05-06 EJHL MVP, suffered an eye injury when a bottle exploded in a bonfire. As a result, he wasn’t cleared to play until January, when he joined the Lancers, posting 27 points in 31 games. The BC staff feels that one more year would allow Almeida, a late ’88, a better chance of becoming an impact freshman.
McCarey Makes His Choice5’11”, 190 lb. U.S. Under-17 Team forward Kevin McCarey has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of ’08.
McCarey is a 3/24/90 birthdate from Baldwinsville, NY, a suburb of Syracuse.
In ’05-06, McCarey played for the Syracuse Stars (EJHL) before going out to Ann Arbor this past season. In 46 NAHL games with the Under-17 Team, McCarey posted a 12-7-19 line. After Jordan Schroeder and Vinny Saponari, both of whom were moved up to the Under-18 Team by the end of the season, McCarey was the top goal scorer among the ‘90s.
A Spud for the Engineers6’2”, 190 lb. RD Jeff Foss from Moorhead (Minn.) HS has committed to RPI for this fall.
Foss was the Spuds captain and leading scorer among the team's defensemen with a 15-31-46 line. When his high school season ended he joined the Sioux Falls Stampede and won himself a USHL championship.
Foss, who was ranked #132 overall in the final NHL Central Scouting ranking, is a 12-12-88 birthdate.
He made his final choice from between RPI and Colorado College.
The Q Effect
The Q EffectWe can’t recall a year when so many prep/would-be prep kids have been affected by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.
We’ve already mentioned Steven Anthony, who has said he will not change his mind, will not be attending the draft, and is reported on course to be a junior at Lawrence Academy. We’ve also written about Louis Leblanc and Danny Biega, who are waiting to see who the next coach at Salisbury will be, and Cushing’s Jessyko Bernard.
Two others to watch are Matt Brown and Brandon MacLean. Both are potential first rounders, both have prep schools that want them this fall, and both are reportedly undecided about which route to take. How high they are drafted -- and by whom – will play a large role in their decision.
Brown, a 5’10”, 162 lb. ’91 born left wing from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia played for the Pictou Weeks Midget AAA program last season and is trying to decide between the Northwood School and the Q. He could be a top five pick.
MacLean, a 6’0”, 175 lb. ’91 born right wing from Bedford, Nova Scotia who played for the Cole Harbour Midget AAA program last season, is trying to decide between Deerfield Academy and the Q. He, like Brown, will wait and see how the draft plays itself out. If MacLean, a potential top ten pick, is drafted by one of the QMJHL franchises in the Maritimes he’ll likely take that route.
The draft order for the top five is: 1) Saint John, 2) Drummondville, 3) Shawinigan, 4) St. John’s, and 5) Halifax. There are three Maritime teams right there. In addition, Prince Edward Island picks at #11, and Moncton picks at #15 and # 17.