Thurs. 5/6/10 - updated
Americans Impact OHL Draft
In this year's OHL Draft, 64 U.S.-born players were selected, which is up from last year, when 52 Yanks were drafted.
For the first time since Patrick O'Sullivan (2001) and Robbie Schremp (2002) were selected #1 overall in consecutive years, a U.S. born player, center Alex Galchenyuk, was taken with the top pick. Galchenyuk, who was born while his father was playing in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals, was raised in Russia, but played this past season for the Chicago Young Americans midget minors.
All players below are '94 birthdates, except as noted.
OHL rules dictate that their teams are allowed to sign - for the full season -- a maximum of four 16-year-old players selected in the draft, and that two of those must be the first two players selected, with the additional two taken from any subsequent rounds. This puts a premium on making sure that players taken in the first two rounds are truly signable, which discourages teams from taking fliers on kids who might be likely to choose the NCAA route. Beyond those four players, 16-year-olds can only play for an OHL team for a limited number of games.
A lot of drama has surrounded the Barrie Colts' drafting of Kerby Rychel, the son of Windsor Spitfires GM Warren Rychel, in the middle of the Barrie-Windsor playoff series, which Windsor would go on to win, four games to none. What was unusual -- and provoked a lot of anger on the part of Rychel and Windsor -- was the fact that Barrie hadn't shown any interest in Rychel until they called his name on draft day. The Barrie organization hadn't squired him around town, given him the tour, etc. For that matter, they hadn't even called him, or anyone else in the family.
Before the draft, Rychel, in accordance with the OHL's gentlemen's agreement concerning such matters, had announced that he, as Windsor GM, would be selecting his son, who played for Belle Tire's Midget Minor squad, with the Spitfires' second-round pick. That seemed fine. However, right afterwards, on the day before the draft, Windsor traded down in the second round from #25 to #38, which perturbed teams and may have led directly to Barrie stunning everyone by selecting Rychel with their first pick (which was also the last pick of the first round).
Does Barrie really want to keep the younger Rychel? Probably not, since the kid won't want to be playing there. Did they grab him as ransom, to be dealt for future draft picks (draft picks can only be traded for draft picks)? Well, they will probably get those. Or did they do this to get under Rychel's skin, put a damper on the Spitfires' playoff run, and perhaps pay back Rychel for manipulating the system by trading down once he felt sure that other teams wouldn't be drafting his son before he did?
Who knows? However, Sunday night's game ended with a fight after Barrie forward Darren Archibald ran Windsor goalie Philipp Grubauer into the boards, earning himself a match penalty. On Tuesday night, after Windsor concluded their four-game sweep, coach Bob Bougher refused to shake hands with Barrie coach Marty Williamson.
"What they did on draft day was disrespectful, reprehensible and immoral," Bougher said. "(Williamson) didn't respect the Rychel family. There was no respect for our organization so why does he deserve respect?"
Williamson, in reply, said, "That's their feelings. I'll just say congratulations and move on."
This could be a tough one to untangle, and might call for some kind of mediation. One possibility, if nothing else works out, is that Rychel, who was born in the US while his father played for the LA Kings, could play in the USHL until Barrie's exclusive rights expire - or until someone finds another way to end this blood feud. For all this to have happened, though, there had to be some serious hatred of Rychel on the part of Barrie, and probably others, too, otherwise people would be rushing forth to condemn Barrie.
Maybe young Kerby Rychel, after experiencing what a hornet's nest the OHL can be, and perhaps feeling like a total pawn to the manipulations of grownups, might prefer the USHL, and think about the college route. We certainly wouldn't bet on it, given that his father is GM at Windsor, and has been very confrontational toward US programs, saying in an interview on XM Radio/NHL channel last week that he was going to "own" the Detroit market for American players. His kid was not invited to the NTDP camp in March because the NTDP, which has been used enough, knew he wasn't going to come even if he made the team.
A USHL team drafting Rychel would have to be concerned that they would be used for leverage in some future trade.
U.S. Born Players in 2010 OHL Draft:
1/1 -- Sarnia -- Alex Galchenyuk, 6'1" LC, CYA U-16
1/15 -- Plymouth -- Max Iafrate, 6'0" RD, Belle Tire U-16
1/17 -- St. Michael's -- Nick Ebert, 6'1" RD, Waterloo (USHL)
1/20 -- Windsor -- Grant Webermin, 6-0 LD, Honeybaked U-16
1/21 -- Barrie -- Kerby Rychel, 6'0" LW, Belle Tire
2/3 -- Oshawa -- Mark Petaccio, 6'1" RC, Team Comcast
3/15 -- Kitchener -- Jacob Trouba, 6-1 RD, Compuware U-16
3/16 -- Sarnia -- Brandon Hope, 6'0" G, Honeybaked Midget
3/17 -- Oshawa -- Cody Payne, 6'2" RC, Mississauga Reps
3/19 -- Brampton -- Dylan Blujus, 6'3" RD, Buffalo Regals U-18
4/4 -- Windsor -- Brady Vail, 6'1" LW, Waterloo (USHL)
4/12 -- Windsor -- Bryan Deeley, 5'11" RD, Syracuse Jr. Nationals U-16
4/14 -- London -- Eamon McAdam, 6'1" G, Team Comcast
4/18 -- London -- Troy Donnay, 6'5" RD, Detroit Belle Tire U-16
4/19 -- Owen Sound -- Justin Wade, 6'1" LD, Chicago Mission U-16
5/2 -- Belleville -- Adam Bignell, 5'10" LD, Culver U-16
5/9 -- Windsor -- Riley Barber, 5'10" RW, Compuware U-16
5/12 -- Saginaw -- Jared Rutledge, 5'11" G, CYA U-16
5/14 -- Plymouth -- Ryan Hartman, 5'9" RW, Chicago Mission U-16
6/1 -- Sarnia -- Bryan Moore, 5'11" LW, Carolina Hurricanes U-16
6/14 -- Plymouth -- Ryan Ivey, 6'1" RD, TPH Thunder
6/16 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Patrick Sieloff, 6'0" LD, Compuware U-16
6/17 -- Kitchener -- Scott Mayfield, 6'3" RD, Youngstown (USHL) - '92
7/10 -- Erie -- Nathan Glass, 5'11" RD, CYA U-16
7/11 -- Windsor -- John Bowen, 6'3" RD, Team Comcast
7/12 -- Kingston -- Nick Czinder 6'4" RW, Youngstown (USHL) - '92
8/4 -- London -- Chase Hatcher, 5'10" LW, Team Comcast
8/18 -- Plymouth -- John Stevens, 5'11" LC, Team Comcast
8/20 -- Barrie -- Alex Dagnal, 6'0" LW, Pittsburgh Predators U-18
9/3 -- Oshawa -- Stephan Shears, 6'3" LD, NJ Avalanche - '93
9/6 -- Niagara -- Alex Sakerapoulos, 6'2" G, Chicago Fury U-16
9/7 -- Peterborough -- Robbie Russo, 6'1" LD, US Under-17 - '93
9/10 -- Erie -- Mitchell Eisenberg, 5'10" LC, Carolina Hurricanes U-16
9/11 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Brett D'Andre, 5'11" LC, Belle Tire U-16
9/14 -- Plymouth -- Mark Yanis, 6'2" RD, Belle Tire U-16
9/16 -- St. Michael's -- Cody Boyd, 6'0" LW, Pittsburgh Penguins U-16
10/1 -- Niagara -- Cristoval Nieves, 6'2" LC, Syracuse Jr. Nationals
10/13 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Mitch Wedding, 5'10" RD, Honeybaked U-16
10/14 -- Plymouth -- Joe Cox, 5'10" RC, Compuware U-16
10/16 -- St. Michael's -- Garret Cockerill, 5'11" RD, Compuware U-16
11/3 -- Oshawa -- Zac Stepan, 5'10" LC, Shattuck-St. Mary's U-16
11/8 -- Brampton -- Dalton Izyk, 6'2" G, Syracuse Nationals U-16
11/11 -- Guelph -- Connor Carrick, 5'9" RD, Chicago Fury U-16
11/13 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Alex Archibald, 5'11" RW, Honeybaked U-16
11/17 -- Kitchener -- Jesse Young, 5'11" RD, Honeybaked U-16
11/18 -- London -- Josh Henke, 5'10" RC, Belle Tire U-16
11/20 -- Barrie -- Chase Rey, 5'10" LC, St. Louis Blues U-16
12/4 -- Peterborough -- Sebastian Romeo, 6'3" RW, Palm Beach Hawks
12/10 -- Erie -- Chad Bednar, 6'2" RD, Youngstown Phantoms U-18
12/14 -- Plymouth -- Ryan Lowney, 5'9" LD, Compuware U-16
12/18 -- London -- Dakota Mermis, 5'10" LD, St. Louis Midgets
13/3 -- Oshawa -- Thomas DiPauli, 5'9" LC, Chicago Mission U-16
13/4 -- Owen Sound -- Dylan Gatz, 5'8" LD, Space Coast Jr. Hurricanes
13/13 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Jimmy Devito, 5'9" RW, Chicago Mission U-16
13/19 -- Windsor -- Tony Calderone, 5'10" RW, Victory Honda U-16
14/4 -- Saginaw -- Wayland Williams, 5'11" LD, Compuware U-16
14/13 -- Sault Ste. Marie -- Zac Acton-Reese, 6'0" RC, NJ Rockets
14/14 -- Plymouth -- Sheldon Dries, 5'7" LC, Honeybaked U-16
14/18 -- London -- Alex Kile, 5'9" LW, Honeybaked U-16
14/19 -- Windsor -- Bron Loiselle, 5'10" RC, TPH Thunder
15/3 -- Oshawa -- Chris Carlisle, 5'11" LD, NYC Cyclones U-16
15/7 -- Peterborough -- Daniel O'Keefe, 6'1" LD, New Jersey Titans U-16
15/12 -- Saginaw -- Andrew Copp, 6'1" LC, Compuware U-16
15/17 -- Niagara -- Adam Wilcox, 6'1" RW, TPH Thunder
Top Prospect Headed to Kent
6'2", 174 lb. LC Cristoval "Boo" Nieves of the Syracuse Nationals Midget Minors, a '94 who committed to the University of Michigan last fall, will be at the Kent School this fall.
Nieves, who will come to Kent as a true junior, and matriculate at Michigan in the fall of '12, has been the center of a lot of attention over the last year or so.
He was our top-ranked forward - actually, top-ranked player -- at last summer's Select 15 Festival in Rochester, NY. A highly skilled player, Nieves has a great skating stride, plus the ability to handle the puck and make plays. He could well be a high-round NHL draft pick a couple of years down the line. All the physical attributes are there. However, there are questions about his ability to engage, and to play with grit. If Nieves had exhibited those qualities at the March NTDP camp tryouts in Ann Arbor, he would have been asked to join that program. In the long run, though, he may be better off at Kent. It will be interesting to see, now that he's stepping out of his age group, if he can pick it up physically.
"He will definitely be a huge asset to our team," said Kent head coach Matt Herr, "but he's also an ‘all-around' kid. He plays drums and guitar and he will get a lot out of the Kent experience - and that's in addition to the fact that he's a dynamic player with NHL potential. His interest in other things makes him a perfect prep school kid. We're excited to have him and help him keep progressing so he's totally prepared when he steps on the ice as a Michigan Wolverine."
In addition to Kent, Gunnery, Cushing, and Avon Old Farms also hoped to have Nieves on their roster for the upcoming season.
Indiana took him in the USHL Futures Draft two weeks ago, and Niagara selected him in the OHL Draft earlier in the month.
5'11", 180 lb. Kent junior LW Drew Brown, who has kind of flown under the radar a bit, is beginning to get attention from top programs and will be going out to visit the University of Wisconsin shortly.
Brown, who played high school hockey in Michigan and led the state with a 57-35-92 line in 27 games while playing for Chelsea High School in '08-09, came to Kent as a repeat junior this past season. In 26 games for Kent, he posted a 26-15-41 line in 26 games.
Some colleges have reservations about his skating, but he always seems to be getting open down low. He has that scorers' knack, and it looks to us like it will translate well to the next level. His 26 goals was second among Founders' League players to Avon's Michael Pereira, who had 28.
As long as we are on the subject of Kent, we should point out that they graduated both of their goaltenders, Marco DeFilippo and Matt Madrazo. Herr is bringing in a pair of ‘94s in 6'0" Emerson Verrier of the Whitby Wildcats Midget Minors. Verrier was selected in the seventh round of the OHL draft earlier this month by Brampton. From the New Jersey Rockets (Met League) comes 5'7" Kevin Dluhy, who represented the Atlantic District at last summer's Select 15 Festival.
McEachern Named Head Coach at Rivers
Former BU star forward and 14-year NHL veteran Shawn McEachern has been named the new head coach at Rivers. He will also serve as assistant AD.
McEachern has been a Div. I assistant - first at Northeastern and then at UMass-Lowell -- since his playing career ended. He actually started his coaching career before that, at Salem State, during the NHL lockout in '04-05.
McEachern, 41, was a star at Matignon during the Cambridge school's glory years, then went on to Boston University in the fall of '88. In his junior year, '90-91, the 5'11" left wing notched 82 points for the Terriers and was named a first-team All-American and Hobey Baker finalist (BC's David Emma won it that year). The following year, McEachern played for the U.S. Olympic Team at the '92 games in Albertville, and then joined the Pittsburgh Penguins immediately afterward. During that spring's Stanley Cup playoffs, he scored two goals and added seven assists to help the Penguins repeat as Cup champs. After the following season, he was traded to the LA Kings for a year, and then swapped back to Pittsburgh. He had his biggest years in Ottawa - averaging nearly 30 goals a season from '97 to '01. After a couple of seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, he signed as a free agent with the Bruins before hanging up the skates four years ago.
McEachern, who lives in Marblehead with his wife and three children, told us that earlier in the spring he had seen that the Rivers position was open. "I inquired into it," he said, "and went for a visit. I met the headmaster, the AD, and saw the facilities, which are really unbelievable there."
We asked what led him to step off the Div. I coaching track. "It was a lifestyle decision," he said. "I've always wanted to be a head coach, and, as I went around to different boarding schools while working as an assistant, I noticed that it was a good lifestyle the coaches at those schools were leading."
Asked if he felt he could lift Rivers up to another level, McEachern said, "I think I have to get my feet wet first, but yes, I want to get some good players, good student-athletes. I've seen schools around here like St. Seb's and Nobles go through up-and-down cycles, so I think we can build something good."
"In my time, when I was playing at Matignon, the Catholic Conference was big around here. Now, it's the preps with Nobles, Belmont Hill, etc. And at Rivers we're going to be competing in the same field. Everyone is Division 1 now. We want to win, and we want to be there at the end."
Like Father, Like Son
Ohio AAA Blue Jackets U-18 forward Sean Kuraly has committed to Miami University for the fall of '12.
A 6'2", 190 lb. 1/20/93 birthdate from Dublin, Ohio, Kuraly played 37 games for the Blue Jackets and led them in scoring with a 19-30-49 line in 37 games. Kuraly also played five games for the Indiana Ice in late October/early November and joined the U.S. Under-17 Team for the Vlad Druzilla Tournament in early February in Slovakia.
Kuraly, a left-shot center, will play for the Indiana Ice next season. He was a fifth round pick of Indiana in the 2009 USHL Futures Draft. He was also a 15th round pick of the Plymouth Whalers in the 2009 OHL draft.
His coach with the Blue Jackets, Ed Gingher, says "(Kuraly) plays a complete game, plays hard at both ends. He has a great shot, and is a strong skater who can both score and make plays. I think his game will transcend well to the next level. I project him to be a top six forward at Miami."
His father, Rick Kuraly, was a top scorer at Miami in the early ‘80s, back in the Steve Cady era.
Noonan to Join Terriers
Vernon Vipers (BCHL) 6'1", 205 lb. LD Garrett Noonan will join Boston University this fall.
A 1/28/91 birthdate from Norfolk, Mass., Noonan is a 2009 Catholic Memorial grad. He's a solid, defensive defenseman who will add depth to the Terriers' blue line.
Vernon, in case you missed it, won the Royal Bank Cup a couple weeks back, the second straight year the Vipers have won Canada's Jr. A title. (BU recruit Sahir Gill had seven points in six games for the Vipers while Quinnipiac recruit Kellen Jones led the tournament with a 5-4-9 line.)
Fienhage Leaving for Major Junior
University of North Dakota 6'3", 215 lb. sophomore RD Corey Fienhage gave up his final two years of college eligibility today, signing with the Kamloops Blazers (WHL).
Fienhage, from Apple Valley, Minn. and Eastview HS, is a '90 who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Fienhage, an aggressive, physical defensive D, played 30 games for the Fighting Sioux last season and had an 0-2-2 line.
With two high-end freshmen -- Derek Forbort (US Under-18) and Dillon Simpson (Spruce Grove) -- coming in, Fienhage may well have been the odd man out next season. He might have been feeling the big squeeze. Fienhage is the second player to leave UND for major junior since the end of the season. Sophomore forward David Toews left two weeks ago.
Gostisbehere to Union
5'11", 160 lb. South Kent School junior LD Shayne Gostisbehere has committed to Union College for either the fall of ‘11 or '12.
Gostisbehere, a 4/20/93 birthdate from Margate, Florida (on the east coast, near Fort Lauderdale), played 33 games for South Kent last season and was the team's leading scoring d-man (and third-leading scorer overall) with a 6-27-33 line.
A pick of Waterloo in the second phase (15th round) of last week's USHL draft, Gostisbehere is a heady, puck-moving, quick stick, power play kind of d-man.
He is planning to return to South Kent for his senior season.
Sorenson to Spartans
5'10", 175 lb. Shattuck-St. Mary's junior LW Tanner Sorenson has committed to Michigan State for '11 or '12.
Sorenson, who was also drafted by the Green Bay Gamblers in the third round of last week's USHL draft, posted a 32-33-65 line in 59 games for Shattuck this past season.
A right shot who can play center or wing, Sorensen, a 2/17/93 birthdate from Anchorage, Alaska, is a hard-nosed, hard-working forward who can also put up numbers.
Tanner is the son of Dennis Sorenson, a Div. II All-American forward and two-year captain at Alaska-Anchorage in the early ‘80s. For years, Sorensen has coached at Dimond High in Anchorage as well as with the Alaska All-Stars. A lot of top players - Matt Carle, Scott Gomez, Brandon Dubinsky and others -- have gone through those programs.
By the way, Kimball Union's Ryan Cole, who committed to Yale a couple weeks back, played for Sorenson at Dimond High before coming east to KUA.
Dartmouth Adds McNally
Belmont Hill leading scorer Brandon McNally has committed to Dartmouth for the fall of '11.
A 6'1", 185 lb. junior forward from Saugus, Mass., McNally is a 2/8/92 birthdate. A left shot, McNally played center this year, but LW the year before.
In 30 games at Belmont Hill this season, McNally had an 18-25-43 line. McNally sees the ice, is a very good playmaker and finisher, and is effective along the wall.
McNally, who was selected by Waterloo in the 16th round of last week's USHL draft, plans to be back at Belmont Hill for his senior year.
Belmont Hill 5'8", 141 lb. freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, a Boston University recruit for the fall of ‘13, has been added to the U.S. Under-17 Team and will be heading out to Ann Arbor in the fall.
Grzelcyk, a 1/5/94 from Charlestown, Mass., was the second-leading scorer among Belmont Hill defensemen this past season with a 2-18-20 line in 31 games.
Adding Grzelcyk gives the Under-17 Team seven defensemen. The others are Connor Carrick, Seth Jones, Dakota Mermis, Patrick Sieloff, Brady Skjei, and Jacob Trouba.
Look for new Western Michigan head coach Jeff Blashill to name a couple of Bronco alums as his assistants. Word is that Joe Bonnett, 39, a Canton, Michigan native who has been an assistant at Colorado College for the last ten years and at Miami for four years prior to that, will be returning to his alma mater. Joining him may be Pat Ferschweiler, 40, a teammate of Bonnett's at Western before going on to play minor pro hockey, mostly with the Kansas City Blades (IHL). Ferschweiler coached the Russell Stover Midgets to a third place finish at Nationals last month.
By the way, it's not surprising that Blashill is looking to Western alums as a large number of NCAA coaches came out of Western during Bill Wilkinson's tenure, especially off the teams of the early '90s. During those years, the school was a college of hockey knowledge, a veritable incubator of future coaches. Bonnett, Scott Garrow, Brent Brekke, Brian Renfrew, and Derek Schooley are all guys off those teams now pacing behind benches in the college ranks. It looks like Ferschweiler may be added to that list. In addition, some who played elsewhere but were assistants under Wilkinson - Mike Schafer, for example - moved on to become NCAA head coaches. I'm sure we're missing someone, but you get the point.
After 22 years behind the bench, Joe McCabe has retired as head coach at BC High. McCabe, 59, whose Eagles won four Super Eight titles, will continue on as the school's assistant athletic director. Word is that he's pushing for his assistant, John Flaherty, to become the new head coach. One change at BC High in recent years that has had an effect on the hockey program is the addition of 7th and 8th graders to the school, which leaves fewer spots for ninth graders - including potential hockey players -- to join the school body.
Tyson to Monarchs, Then Huskies
5'10", 184 lb. Westminster senior forward Ryan Tyson, who will be playing for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) next season, has committed to UConn for the fall of '11.
A '91 from Philadelphia, Tyson posted a 22-11-33 line in 27 games for Westminster this past winter.
Sat. 5/22/10-updated: It's official. Skjodt has the job.
Indiana Ice To Name Coach Sunday
Look for the Indiana Ice (USHL) to name their new GM/head coach on Sunday.
It's been a quiet, mysterious process, and the team went through this week's draft without a face for the organization.
Reports indicate that the team is only offering a one-year contract -- and for significantly less money than former GM/head coach Jeff Blashill, now head coach at Western Michigan, received. In addition, there are said to be issues with the arena lease. Those issues alone could account for the lengthy amount of time the team has gone without making a hire.
However, here are four names we've been hearing lately:
-- Charlie Skjodt, who coached the squad to a 39-15-6 record in 2007-08. Skjodt, the younger brother of owner Paul Skjodt, was a longtime minor pro player who finished up his career with the Indianapolis Checkers. Skjodt, who is 53, appears to be the front-runner, especially given the one-year contract issue. We're looking for him to get named this week, but until we get official word, we're not going to say it's a sure thing.
-- Joe Shawhan, who was Northern Michigan University's director of hockey operations last winter. In recent years, Shawhan, a Sault Ste. Marie native, has also served as an assistant at Lake Superior State and Robert Morris University.
A goaltender at Lake State in the mid-‘80s, Shawhan made his name as head coach/GM of the Soo Indians, for a long time one of the top franchises in the NAHL. As a matter of fact, Shawhan is the winningest coach in NAHL history with a 474-162-43 record. Among the players Shawhan recruited to play for the Indians was current Buffalo Sabres and U.S. Olympic Team goaltender Ryan Miller.
-- Anders Sorensen, who coached the Chicago Mission Midget Major squad to a national title last month, is a 35-year-old native of Sweden who played pro hockey in Europe and minor pro hockey in the US before going into coaching. Sorensen has been with the Mission for over five years. We're told Sorensen was offered the job, but declined.
-- Kyle Wallack, who has been a Div. I assistant for 11 years with Quinnipiac, UConn, Holy Cross, and, for the last four years, Yale, where he has been instrumental in turning the Eli into a perennial contender. We're told Wallack was also offered the job, but declined.
In case you missed it, University of Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves hired Gary Shuchuk and Bill Butters as his new assistants yesterday.
Shuchuk, a former Badger, and Butters, a former Gopher, replace Mark Osiecki, now head coach at Ohio State; and Kevin Patrick, now GM/head coach at Muskegon (USHL).
In recent years, Shuchuk, who played in the NHL after his Wisconsin career, has served as executive director of Madison Ice, running two Madison ice rinks. In addition, he has coached Team Wisconsin's U16 squad.
Butters, 59, played in both the NHL and WHA. A former Gophers defenseman and St. Paul native, Butters returned to his alma mater after finishing his pro career, working ten years as an assistant during the Doug Woog era at the U. From there he coached at Bethel College for a few years, and then took over at White Bear Lake High School until 2002. In recent years, Butters has worked with Hockey Ministries International, helping operate a group of Christian-oriented hockey camps in the US and Canada.
Butters and Eaves were NHL teammates briefly, on the '78-79 Minnesota North Stars.
RBC Cup MVP A Friar-To-Be
Dauphin Kings (MJHL) 5'11", 175 lb. LW Shane Luke, recently named MVP of the 2010 Royal Bank Cup and a First Team Manitoba Junior Hockey League All Star, will be coming to Providence College in the fall of '11.
A 6/5/90 birthdate from Saint Rose du Lac, Manitoba, Luke posted a 29-72-101 line in 62 games this season, finishing as the MJHL leading scorer with 101 points. He also led the league in assists with 72. Luke has very good hockey instincts, and a great stick. He's also quick, sees the ice well, is good in traffic, and is a dynamic offensive player. He fills a need for the Friars.
The Dauphin Kings, by the way, lost to the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) in the RBC Championship Game this year, which was held last week. Vernon finished the season 51-6-0-3 -- not too shabby.
Bruin to Become Black Bear
5'11", 180 lb. Junior Bruins (Empire League) forward Brian Morgan has committed to the University of Maine for the fall of '12.
A 4/1/94 from Windham, NH, Morgan will be joining the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) this fall.
Morgan was the third leading scorer in the Empire League this season, with a 30-40-70 line in 39 games. In league scoring, he trailed only his teammate -- and fellow '94 -- Frankie Vatrano, who finished with 79 points, and an '89(!) birthdate from Apple Core named Ron Kokas, who had 74 points.
"He's a skill kid who's always been a front-end player," says Chris Masters, who has coached him in the Junior Bruins organization since he was eight years old. "He can dish as well as finish, but he's also a tireless worker who likes to play physical. He's pretty unique in how he gets things done. He's not the prettiest skater, but he is so effective in games. He's a game-changer, with a really high compete level. Maine's getting a kid who will be in college for the full four years, a kid who will help them win and won't take a day off from the day he arrives. It's a good get for them."
Walters Finds a New Home
Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) 5'11", 180 lb. forward Ryan Walters has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for this fall.
Walters, a 7/30/91 from Rosemount, Minn., had originally committed to University of Minnesota back in the fall of '07, while a sophomore at St. Thomas Academy. That commitment was for this fall ('10) until earlier this spring, when Gophers head coach Don Lucia asked him to play another year of juniors. Walters, who averaged better than a point per game this season (21-40-61 in 59 gp) felt that he had held up his part of the bargain, was ready for NCAA play, and was getting a raw deal. He decommitted from the Gophers and began looking around.
The Gophers have a ton of forwards on the roster for this fall, anyway, so this may work out well for Walters.
In case you're wondering, UNO faces off against Minnesota Oct. 15-16 in the Twin Cities.
USHL Draft Results
Here are the results of today's USHL draft.
1. Chicago - Adam Krause, C, Hermantown HS (Minn.) - 9/12/91
2. Youngstown -- John Fritsche, F, Green Bay (USHL) - 9/3/91
3. Des Moines - Peter Stoykewych, LD, Winnipeg South Blues - 7/14/92
4. Chicago -- Joel Benson, LD, Alpena (NAHL) - 4/18/92
5. Sioux City -- Max McCormick, C, Notre Dame HS (Wisc.) - 5/1/92
6. Muskegon - Casey Thrush, LW, Team Maryland U18 - 5/5/92
7. Dubuque - Jackson Teichroeb, G, Bowmanville (CCHL) - 10/5/92
8. Waterloo - Lucas Lessio, LW, St. Michael's (CCHL) - 1/23/93
9. Waterloo - Michael Hill, F, Topeka (NAHL) - 6/1/90
10. Indiana - Sam Rendle, LD, Bismarck (NAHL) - 6/27/90
11. Sioux Falls - Dan Doremus, F, Colorado Thunderbirds U18 - 10/22/91
12. Cedar Rapids - Zach Franko, C, Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL) - 3/9/93
13. Fargo - Tanner Kero, C, Marquette (NAHL) - 7/24/92
14. Omaha - Reid Sturos, F, Brighton HS (Mich.) - 8/8/92
15. Lincoln - Ben Oskroba, D, Walpole Express (AJHL) - 8/1/90
16. Lincoln - Chris Casto, RD, Hill-Murray HS - 12/27/91
17. Chicago - Sam Windle, RD, Osseo HS - 3/10/92
18. Des Moines - Brendan O'Donnell, LW, Winnipeg South Blues - 6/25/92
19. Sioux City - Max Gaudreault, F, Team Maryland U18 - 7/16/92
20. Waterloo - Tyson Fulton, RW, Breck School - 9/19/91
21. Muskegon - Matthew DeBlouw, C, Little Caesar's U18 - 9/17/93
22. Dubuque - John Doherty, LW, Chicago Mission U18 - 2/2/93
23. Cedar Rapids - Josiah Didier, RD, Colorado Thunderbirds U18 - 4/8/93
24. Tri-City - Brian Ward, C, Governor's Academy - 2/14/92
25. Green Bay - David Goodwin, C, St. Louis Jr. Blues U18 - 2/27/92
26. Sioux Falls - Jordan Oesterle, D, Belle Tire U18 -- 6/11/92
27. Fargo - Jimmy Murray, LW, Chicago Mission U18 - 2/6/92
28. Fargo- Daniel McNamara, LW, CYA U18 - 10/13/92
29. Omaha - Mark Miller, C, Russell Stover U18 - 7/26/92
30. Green Bay-Nolan LaPorte, F, Team Illinois U18 - 5/4/92
31. Cedar Rapids - Will Suter, F, Russell Stover U18 - 1/22/92
32. Lincoln - Josh Bretner, LD, Team Maryland U18 - 8/31/93
33. Des Moines - Nicholas Kulmanovsky, G, Culver Academy - 9/12/93
34. Fargo - Austin Farley, LW, Chicago Mission (T1Min) - 11/10/93
35. Sioux City - Jake Suter, D, Owatonna (NAHL) - 9/22/90
36. Sioux City - Greg Johnson, LD, Dallas Stars U18 - 8/5/92
37. Dubuque - Nick Luukko, RD, The Gunnery - 11/29/91
38. Tri-City - Brad Schierhorn, LW, Belle Tire U18 - 11/3/92
39. Lincoln - Austin Hervey, LW, Detroit Catholic (Mich.) HS - 12/31/92
40. Tri-City - Dominic Panetta, LW, Bismarck (NAHL) - 4/25/91
41. Sioux Falls - Joe Rubbelke, RD, St. Paul North HS - 1/9/92
42. Cedar Rapids - Gregory Amlong, D, St. Louis AAA Blues U18 - 12/8/91
43. Fargo - Tyler Maugeri, RW, LA Jr. Kings U18 - 7/11/91
44. Fargo - Tanner Lane, F, Detroit Lakes HS (Minn.) - 8/13/92
45. Green Bay - Tanner Sorenson, C/LW, Shattuck-St. Mary's - 2/17/93
46. Waterloo - Trevor Owens, LD, Carolina U18 - 11/24/93
47. Chicago - Steven Fogarty, C, Edina HS - 4/19/93
48. Waterloo - Joe LaBate, C, Holy Angels HS - 4/16/93
49. Tri-City - Ryan Sproul, RD, Vaughan (GTHL) - 1/13/93
50. Sioux City - Noah Nelson, RW, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals - 12/12/92
51. Muskegon - Charlie Taft, RW, Edina HS - 9/12/91
52. Dubuque - Tony Larson, RD, Blaine HS - 9/9/91
53. Cedar Rapids - Matthew Hanson, F, Russell Stover U16 - 5/11/93
54. Waterloo - Brad Robbins, LW, Shattuck-St. Mary's - 8/3/91
55. Tri-City - Bill Eiserman, LD, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) - 7/21/92
56. Sioux Falls - Mario Lucia, F, Wayzata HS - 8/25/93
57. Cedar Rapids - Sean Flynn, LD, Carolina U18 - 12/21/93
58. Fargo - Steven Beyers, RW, Orangeville (CCHL) - 6/12/92
59. Omaha - Alex McLean, LD, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 11/6/90
60. Chicago - Zach Saar, C, Little Caesar's U16 - 6/22/93
61. Waterloo - Tony Cameranesi, F, Wayzata HS - 8/12/93
62. Youngstown - Chris Eiserman, G, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) - 7/28/93
63. Des Moines - Patrick Kirtland, LW, Topeka (NAHL) - 1/22/91
64. Indiana - Daniel Cesarz, C/LW, Honeybaked U18 - 6/15/92
65. Lincoln - Bryan Sinz, LD, Shattuck-St.Mary's - 8/18/92
66. Muskegon - Ryan Bullock, RD, Blake School - 2/5/93
67. Dubuque - Brandon Adams, LW, CYA U18 - 6/29/92
68. Tri-City - Shane Walsh, RW, South Shore Kings (EJHL) - 12/1/91
69. Waterloo - Aaron Pearce, Georgetown (OJHL) - 4/30/92
70. Indiana - Ryan Obuchowski, LD, Detroit Catholic HS - 6/7/92
71. Sioux Falls - Alexander Wiese, LD, Honeybaked U18 - 2/22/92
72. Cedar Rapids - Peter Maric, F, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals - 11/11/92
73. Fargo-Dajon Mingo, C, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 5/7/90
74. Omaha - Tom O'Regan, LW, St. Sebastian's School - 3/30/92
75. Green Bay - Mitch Witek, LD, Team Illinois U18 - 2/4/92
76. Lincoln - Jake Lynes, F, Team Maryland U18 - 10/21/91
77. Youngstown - Jordan Young, LD, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 5/12/92
78. Des Moines - Andrew Miller, RW, Team Illinois U18 - 6/18/91
79. Chicago - Charlie Lindgren, G, Lakeville North HS - 12/18/93
80. Sioux City - Shawn Pauly, C, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 5/7/92
81. Muskegon - Doug Lindensmith, LW, LaRonge (SJHL) - 10/10/90
82. Dubuque - Matt Morris, G, Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) - 5/16/93
83. Tri-City -- Pass
84. Waterloo -- Pass
85. Indiana - Gunnar Hughes, LW, Salisbury School - 9/22/92
86. Sioux Falls - Tyler Vanscourt, RD, Marquette (NAHL) - 4/10/92
87. Cedar Rapids - Tyler Gjurich, F, Buffalo (OJAHL) - 5/24/92
88. Fargo - Joshua Lazowski, C, Spruce Grove (AJHL) - 3/14/91
89. Omaha - Ken Babinski, F, Midland HS (Mich.) - 11/2/92
90. Green Bay - Sam Herr, LW, Chicago Mission U18 - 10/13/92
91. Lincoln - Lucas Hafner - G, Marquette (NAHL) - 2/6/92
92. Youngstown - Ricky DeRosa, C, Philly Jr Flyers U18 - 2/9/92
93. Des Moines - Daniel Milan, LD, St. Mary's Prep (Mich.) - 4/14/92
94. Chicago -- Pass
95. Sioux City- Brett Patterson, LW, Benilde-St. Margaret's - 6/6/92
96. Muskegon - Darcy Ashley, Summerside (MarJH) - 2/19/93
97. Dubuque - Justin Lutsch, LD, Shattuck-St.Mary's - 1/15/92
98. Tri-City -- Pass
99. Waterloo -- Pass
100. Indiana - Christian Hilbrich, LW, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 7/9/92
101. Sioux Falls - Nolan Youngmun, LW, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 10/3/91
102. Cedar Rapids - Pass
103. Fargo -- Pass
104. Omaha - Chris Waterstreet, F, Detroit Catholic HS - 4/18/92
105. Green Bay - Pass
106. Lincoln - Nick Cecere, D, Alberni Valley (BCHL) - 10/12/90
107. Youngstown - Nilan Nagy, RD, Traverse City (NAHL) - 12/20/91
108. Des Moines - Christian Frey, G, Dallas Stars U16 - 6/12/93
109. Chicago-- Pass
110. Sioux City - Will Butcher, LD, Madison Capitols U16 - 1/6/95
111. Muskegon - Kyle Huson, D, Colorado Thunderbirds U18 - 1/1/91
112. Dubuque - Tyler Lundey, F, Wichita (NAHL)-5/17/91
113. Tri-City -- Pass
114. Waterloo-- Pass
115. Indiana - Michael DiPuma, LW, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 3/8/90
116. Sioux Falls - Doug Clifford, C, Traverse City (NAHL) - 8/28/90
117. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
118. Fargo -- Pass
119. Omaha - Nathan Widman, D, Chicago Mission U18 - 2/28/93
120. Green Bay -- Pass
121. Lincoln- Mark MacMillan, F, Alberni Valley (BCHL) - 1/23/92
122. Youngstown - Mike Zalewski, LW, Syracuse (EJHL) - 8/18/92
123. Des Moines - Connor Kucera, LD, Culver Academy - 5/29/91
124. Chicago --Pass
125. Sioux City - Max Novak, RW, Hill School - 4/15/91
126. Muskegon - Josh Archibald, C/RW, Brainerd HS - 10/6/92
127. Dubuque - Chris Sitler, LW, Belle Tire U18 - 11/25/92
128. Tri-City -- Pass
129. Waterloo-- Pass
130. Indiana - Pat McNally, LD, Milton Academy - 12/4/91
131. Sioux Falls -- Pass
132. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
133. Fargo -- Pass
134. Omaha - Joe Ballmer, G, Kalamazoo HS (Mich.) - 4/1/92
135. Green Bay -- Pass
136. Lincoln - Eric Scheid, F, Blaine HS - 5/5/92
137. Youngstown- Quinn Smith, Avon Old Farms - 1/11/92
138. Des Moines - Gavin Tufte, F, Blaine HS - 11/23/91
139. Chicago-- Pass
140. Sioux City- Ben Greiner, Shattuck-St. Mary's U16 -- 6/17/93
141. Muskegon - Tom Conlin, G, Boston Advantage U18 - 7/7/91
142. Dubuque - Kyle Murphy, LW, Notre Dame (NCAA)-5/11/90
143. Tri-City -- Pass
144. Waterloo -- Pass
145. Indiana-Kevin Killian, LD, St. Mary's Prep (Mich.) - 2/17/92
146. Sioux Falls -- Pass
147. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
148. Fargo -- Pass
149. Omaha- Mitch Hughes, RW, Tri-City (USHL)-4/2/92
150. Green Bay-Pass
151. Lincoln-- Pass
152. Youngstown - Mike Ambrosia, RW, Delbarton - 5/25/92
153. Des Moines -- Pass
154. Chicago -- Pass
155. Sioux City - Nicholas Weberg, Shattuck-St. Mary's - 2/21/92
156. Muskegon -- Garrett Clemment, F, Wausau HS (Wisc.) -- 6/18/93
157. Dubuque - Jack Barre, RW, Salisbury School - 3/31/93
158. Tri-City -- Pass
159. Waterloo -- Pass
160. Indiana - Will Aide, F, Fairbanks (NAHL) - 5/22/90
161. Sioux Falls-- Pass
162. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
163. Fargo-- Pass
164. Omaha - Dominic Racobaldo, LD, Shattuck-St. Mary's - 8/3/93
165. Green Bay -- Pass
166. Lincoln -- Pass
167. Youngstown - Jeffrey Stenglein, Maksymum (Empire) - 7/11/93
168. Des Moines -- Pass
169. Chicago-- Pass
170. Sioux City - Tim O'Brien, RW, Chicago Young Americans U18 - 8/29/92
171. Muskegon - Jon Farkas, C, Compuware U16 - 1/8/94
172. Dubuque-- Pass
173. Tri-City -- Pass
174. Waterloo-- Pass
175. Indiana-- Pass
176. Sioux Falls-- Pass
177. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
178. Fargo-- Pass
179. Omaha-- Pass
180. Green Bay-- Pass
181. Lincoln-- Pass
182. Youngstown - Darcy Greenaway, C/LW, Lake Forest Academy - 1/19/93
183. Des Moines-- Pass
184. Chicago -- Pass
185. Sioux City-- Pass
186. Muskegon-- Pass
187. Dubuque-- Pass
188. Tri-City-- Pass
189. Waterloo- Pass
190. Indiana-- Pass
191. Sioux Falls-- Pass
192. Cedar Rapids-- Pass
193. Fargo-- Pass
194. Omaha-- Pass
195. Green Bay -- Pass
196. Lincoln-- Pass
197. Youngstown-Alex Temby, RD, Col. Thunderbirds U18 - 11/10/92
198. Des Moines -- Pass
199. Chicago-- Pass
200. Sioux City-- Pass
201. Muskegon -- Pass
202. Dubuque - Pass
203. Tri-City -- Pass
204. Waterloo -- Pass
205. Indiana -- Pass
206. Sioux Falls -- Pass
207. Cedar Rapids -- Pass
208. Fargo -- Pass
209. Omaha -- Pass
210. Green Bay -- Pass
211. Lincoln - Bradley Wilhelm, F, Detroit Catholic HS (Mich.) - 6/19/92
212. Youngstown-Brian Harris, LD, Boston Advantage U18 - 6/8/92
213. Des Moines - John Olen, LW, Chicago Mission U18 - 12/3/91
214. Chicago - Ryan Renz, RD, Alberni Valley (BCHL) - 8/4/93
215. Sioux City - Kevin Gibson, LW, Marquette (NAHL) - 1/5/90
216. Muskegon - Isaac Kohls, RW, Streetsville (CCHL) - 3/23/91
217. Dubuque - Vinny Saponari, RW, Boston University (NCAA) - 2/15/90
218. Tri-City - Davey Middleton, F, Detroit Catholic HS (Mich.) - 5/21/92
219. Waterloo - Shayne Gostisbehere, RD, South Kent School - 4/20/93
220. Indiana - Drew Mayer, RW, Honeybaked U18 - 7/29/93
221. Sioux Falls- Jason Torf, G, Motor City (NAHL) - 4/26/91
222. Cedar Rapids - Anthony DeAngelo, RD, Westchester Express '95 - 10/24/95
223. Fargo - Jakob Batcha, F, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals -- 1/14/93
224. Omaha - A.J. Reid, F, St. Thomas Academy - 9/9/92
225. Green Bay - Josef Pontasch, LW, Belle Tire U18 - 6/26/91
226. Lincoln - Paul Ladue, RD, Grand Forks Central HS - 9/6/92
227. Youngstown- Christopher Bradley, D, Buffalo Regals U18 - 1/1/93
228. Des Moines - Logan Nelson, F, Russell Stover U16 - 9/9/93
229. Chicago - Nate Repensky, RD, Duluth East HS - 11/14/93
230. Sioux City - Larry Smith, LD, Syracuse Stars Jr. B (Empire) - 2/4/93
231. Muskegon - Michael Moran, F, Victory Honda U16 - 9/16/93
232. Dubuque - Lawrence Cornellier, F, Madison Capitols U18 - 7/15/92
233. Tri-City - Michael Vecchione, RW, Malden Catholic - 2/25/93
234. Waterloo - Brandon McNally, LW, Belmont Hill - 2/8/92
235. Indiana - Max Milosek, G, Victory Honda U18 - 2/4/93
236. Sioux Falls - Charles Hemstrom, RD, Honeybaked U18 - 2/10/93
237. Cedar Rapids - Jono Davis, F, Col. Rampage U18 - 9/14/92
238. Fargo - Garrett Schmitz, RD, Red Lake HS (Minn.) - 9/2/93
239. Omaha - Luke Hernandez, G, LA Jr. Kings U18 - 11/6/91
240. Green Bay - Brandon Kirk, LD, Colo. Rampage U18 - 11/24/92
241. Lincoln - Thomas Schutt, RW, Minnetonka HS - 4/28/93
242. Youngstown - Ryan Belonger, C/RW, St. Louis (NAHL) - 5/5/92
243. Des Moines - Luke Veitch, RD, Blue Jackets U18 - 7/29/93
244. Chicago - Devin Loe, C, Panthers U16 - 4/5/93
245. Sioux City - Cliff Watson, D, Appleton United HS (Wisc.) - 12/21/93
246. Muskegon - Nick Seeler, RD, Eden Prairie HS - 6/3/93
247. Dubuque - Michael Monfredo, LD, Motor City (NAHL) - 2/14/90
248. Tri-City - Kevin Tansey, LD, Cumberland (CJHL) - 2/22/93
249. Waterloo - Brett Hebel, LW, Warroad HS - 3/15/92
250. Indiana - Robbie Baillargeon, C, Cushing Academy - 11/26/93
251. Sioux Falls - Brandon Parker, D, Faribault HS (Minn.) - 2/17/93
252. Cedar Rapids - Tom Parisi, LD, New York Bobcats (AtJHL) - 7/15/93
253. Fargo - Chase Souto, C/RW, LA Jr. Kings U16 - 10/8/94
254. Omaha - Matthew Montemurro, LD, Chicago Mission U16 - 1/24/94
255. Green Bay - Derek Frawley, C, Minnetonka HS - 2/18/93
256. Lincoln - Joshua Thorimbert, G, Kindersley (SJHL) - 10/9/92
257. Youngstown - Teemu Tiitinen, F, Stars U18 - 3/21/92
258. Des Moines - David Jacobson, G, LA Selects U16 - 9/8/94
259. Chicago - Mike Holland, RD, Hotchkiss School - 2/6/92
260. Sioux City - Josh Erickson, C, Roseau HS - 7/16/93
261. Muskegon - Taylor Munson, F, Fairbanks (NAHL) - 3/2/93
262. Dubuque - Stephen Miller, LW, Junior Bruins (Empire) - 1/30/93
263. Tri-City - Brett Findlay, LW, Blind River (NOHA) - 10/13/92
264. Waterloo - Luke Hannon, RW, Jersey Hitmen (EJHL) - 11/6/90
265. Indiana - Adam Erne, F, LA Selects Bantam -- 4/20/95
266. Sioux Falls - Joseph Lordo, RD, St. Louis (NAHL) - 1/28/91
267. Cedar Rapids - Chris Tracy, F, Marlton, NJ - 8/29/92
268. Fargo - Dan Weissenhofer, RD, Bismarck (NAHL) - 8/20/91
269. Omaha - Michael Ferrantino, C, Compuware U18 - 7/8/92
270. Green Bay - Christopher Eick, LW, St. Louis (NAHL) - 1/21/92
271. Lincoln - Mike McKee, LD, Kent School - 8/17/93
272. Youngstown - Peter McIntyre, LW, S. Shore Kings (EJHL) - 11/22/91
273. Des Moines -- Trent Ruffolo, LW, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) - 1/15/92
274. Chicago - Patrick Moore, C, Grand Rapids HS (Minn.) - 7/1/92
275. Sioux City - Michael Williams, RW, Team Maryland U18 - 12/17/91
276. Muskegon - Jonathan Miller, RW, Compuware U18 - 4/21/93
277. Dubuque - Shane Ohmdal, F, Roseau HS - 9/27/92
278. Tri-City - Scott Diebold, G, St. Francis (MPHL) - 7/15/92
279. Waterloo - James Hansen, LD, Osseo HS - 9/9/91
280. Indiana - Tim Smith, LD, Owatonna (NAHL) - 7/15/90
281. Sioux Falls - Kent Sherrer, C, Blue Jackets U18 - 3/11/93
282. Cedar Rapids - Tanner Pond, F, St. Mary's Prep(Mich.) - 5/31/93
283. Fargo- Austin Rudnick, LD, Breck School - 9/24/93
284. Omaha-Chris Holden, G, Miramichi (MarJH) - 1/28/90
285. Green Bay - Connor Schmidt, RD, Little Caesars U18 - 10/21/93
286. Lincoln - Kyle Quick, LD, Avon Old Farms - 3/13/91
287. Youngstown - Cam Spiro, LW, Tabor Academy - 12/30/91
288. Des Moines - Chase Rey, C, St. Louis Jr. Blues U16 - 4/10/94
289. Chicago - Hudsen Fasching, F, Apple Valley HS - 7/28/95
290. Sioux City - Danny Sherer, LW, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals -- 1/12/92
291. Muskegon - Daniel Mele, RW, Regals U18 - 10/12/93
292. Dubuque - Holden Anderson, RD, South Kent School - 9/1/93
293. Tri-City - Tyler Hope, RW, Dallas Stars U18 - 7/12/92
294. Waterloo - Landon Noel, G, Kingston (OJAHL) - 9/28/92
295. Indiana - Derek Schultz, F, Chicago Mission U18 - 4/13/92
296. Sioux Falls - Liam O'Brien, C, Notre Dame Hounds AAA - 7/29/94
297. Cedar Rapids - Will Badner, F, Cadillac HS (Mich.) - 11/21/90
298. Fargo - Riley Simpson, LW, Brooks (AJHL) - 11/30/93
299. Omaha - Alexandre Neron, RD, Kahnawake (QJHL) - 5/9/90
300. Green Bay - Christian Lampasso, C, Honeybaked U16 - 5/9/94
301. Lincoln - Trevor Gutierrez, G, Alaska All Stars U18 - 7/5/93
302. Youngstown - J.T. Miller, LW, U.S. Under-17 Team - 3/14/93
303. Des Moines - Willie Faust, F, Hill-Murray HS - 12/29/91
304. Chicago - Brian LaBlanc, LD, Hermantown HS (Minn.) - 5/12/93
305. Sioux City - Jacob Doty,RW, Yellowstone (NorPac) - 6/19/93
306. Muskegon - Alex Privitera, RD, U.S. Under-17 Team - 1/18/93
307. Dubuque - Jeff Taylor, D, Syracuse U16 - 4/13/94
308. Tri-City - Anthony Olguin, F, Pikes Peak U16 - 1/13/94
309. Waterloo - Ryan Papa, C, Chicago Young Americans U16 - 1/6/94
310. Indiana - Eric Comrie, G, LA Selects Bantam - 7/6/95
311. Sioux Falls-- StephonWilliams, G, Fairbanks U16 - 4/28/93
312. Cedar Rapids - Jake Purnell, G, Chiefs U16 (AYHL) - 1/8/93
313. Fargo - Chad Demers, LW, Fargo (USHL) - 11/15/90
314. Omaha - Duncan McKellar, C, Wenatchee (NAHL) - 3/16/90
315. Green Bay - Kyle Novak, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues U18-10/13/92
Barber #1 Pick in Futures Draft
The Dubuque Fighting Saints have selected 5'10", 175 lb. Compuware Midget Minor forward Riley Barber with the #1 pick in the USHL Futures Draft, which is now underway.
A 2/7/94 birthdate, Barber played 38 games for Compuware last season, and posted a 16-22-38 line. A smooth skater with acceleration, he sees the ice well, makes plays, and has an edge to his game. He's the son of former Bowling Green ('84-88) and NHL forward Don Barber.
Formerly from Pittsburgh, Barber, who now lives in Livonia, Michigan, has played for the Compuware organization for the last few years. Earlier this month, Barber was selected by Windsor in the 5th round of the OHL draft, though he would have gone in the top two rounds if he wasn't eyeing the college route.
Ten Selected in Expansion Draft
In yesterday's USHL Expansion Draft, the Muskegon Lumberjacks took the following five players:
6'2" Brendan Woods, '92 F (from Chicago)
6'5" Nick Czinder, '92 F (from Youngstown)
6'0" Kevin Albers, '91 D (from Green Bay)
5'11" John Parker, '92 F (from Indiana)
6'3" DJ Vandercook, late '90 F (from Des Moines)
Muskegon, allotted seven picks, had two more, but chose not to use them.
"We are very excited about how yesterday went, and excited that three of the five players - Czinder, Albers, and Vandercook -- are Michigan kids," Muskegon head coach/GM Kevin Patrick said. "We're excited to be bringing them home."
The Dubuque Fighting Saints also took five players. They are:
5'10" Andrew Sinelli, '92 F (from Sioux City)
6'4" Scott Wamsganz, '92 F (from Waterloo)
5'9" Jordan DiGiando, '91 F (from Cedar Rapids)
6'0" T.J. Schlueter, late '91 F (from Tri-City)
6'1" Matt Green, late '90 G (from Lincoln)
Dubuque, with six picks available, passed on their final one.
"We didn't have a goalie so we're happy to have a 20-year-old goalie who played - and played well - in the league last season," Dubuque head coach/GM Jim Montgomery said. "The four forwards we got are better than I expected to get, which is a compliment to the depth of the league. I feel we added experience and skill to the nucleus of our team."
USHL Futures Draft Results
Here are the results of today's USHL Futures Draft ('94 birthdates). One of the things we did, just for fun, is break down the players by month of birth, mainly because this is a tightly controlled group, i.e. high-end '94s. The finally tally: 17 players were born in January; eight in February; 13 in March; 12 in April; 10 in May; eight in June; six in July; three in August; six in September; two in October; one in November; and four in December.
To sum things up, over half the players drafted today were born in the first four months of 1994. A full 76% were born in the first six months of the year, with 24% born in the next six months.
This is nothing new really. It's very consistent with similar studies this typist has done going back twenty years or more. We haven't done it for a while, though, and thought perhaps some newer readers to USHR might be interested.
1. Dubuque - Riley Barber, RW, Compuware U16 -- 2/94
2. Muskegon - Garrett Cockerill, RD, Compuware U16 -- 2/94
3. Sioux Falls- Bryan Moore, C, Carolina (NAPHL) -- 5/94
4. Waterloo - Vince Hinostroza, C, Chicago Mission U16 -- 4/94
5. Omaha- Adam Chlapik, C, LA Jr. Kings U18 -- 2/94
6. Des Moines- Miles Koules, RW, Shattuck U16 -- 6/94
7. Indiana - Robert Polesello, C, Toronto Jr. Canadians (GTHL) -- 4/94
8. Fargo- Justin Wade,RD, Chi Mission U16 -- 4/94
9. Green Bay- Gavin Stoick, RW, Colorado Thunderbirds U16 -- 7/94
10. Waterloo - Zach Stepan, C, Shattuck U16 -- 1/94
11. Lincoln - Luke Johnson, C, Grand Forks Central HS -- 9/94
12. Youngstown - Tim Davison, LD, Notre Dame HS (Wisc.) -- 3/94
13. Chicago- Zach Thompson, G, Duluth Denfield HS -- 6/94
14. Waterloo- AJ Michaelson, C, Apple Valley HS -- 2/94
15. Cedar Rapids- Ian Brady, RD, Chicago Fury U16 -- 5/94
16. Cedar Rapids - Alex Roos, TI U16 -- 12/94
17. Tri-City - Tim Lappin, C, Chicago Mission U16 -- 1/94
18. Sioux City - Ryan Lowney, LD, Compuware U16 -- 1/94
19. Youngstown - Ryan Fitzgerald, C, Malden Catholic -- 10/94
20. Lincoln - Zach Frye, LD, Missoula (NorPac) -- 3/94
21. Tri-City - Matthew Joyaux, LD, Chicago Mission U16 -- 3/94
22. Green Bay - Sheldon Dries, Honeybaked U16 -- 4/94
23. Fargo- Gage Torrel, LW, AnnandaleHS (Minn.) -- 6/94
24. Indiana- Boo Nieves, C, Syracuse U16 -- 1/94
25. Des Moines- Ray Pigozzi, LW, Chicago Mission U16 -- 4/94
26. Omaha- Kyle Osterberg, F, Lakeville South HS -- 9/94
27. Sioux City - Blake Cates, G, Stillwater HS -- 1/94
28. Sioux Falls - Robert Gawron, LD, Chicago Fury U16 -- 4/94
29. Muskegon- Joe Cox, RW, Compuware U16 -- 1/94
30. Dubuque- Mike Matheson, LD, Lac St-Louis AAA -- 2/94
31. Dubuque - Ryan Hartman, RW, Chicago Mission U16 -- 9/94
32. Muskegon- Joshua Henke, C, Belle Tire U16 -- 5/94
33. Sioux Falls - Andrew Copp, C, Compuware U16 -- 7/94
34. Sioux City - Sam Piazza, LD, Chicago Mission U16 -- 1/94
35. Chicago - Mitch Wedding, RD, Honeybaked U16 -- 8/94
36. Des Moines - Ian Spencer, RD, NJ Avalanche U16 -- 2/94
37. Indiana- Cody Bradley, LW, Toronto Jr. Canadians (GTHL) -- 5/94
38. Fargo - Nate Arentz, LW, Lakeville North HS -- 6/94
39. Green Bay - Nicholas Schilkey, C, Honeybaked U16 -- 5/94
40. Tri-City- John Dora, RD, Col. Thunderbirds U16 -- 2/94
41. Lincoln - Bradley Hawkinson, C, Col Thunderbirds U16 -- 9/94
42. Youngstown - Austin Cangelosi, C, Northfield-Mt. Hermon -- 8/94
43. Chicago - Christian Heil, F, Col Thunderbirds U16 -- 3/94
44. Waterloo - Matias Cleland, LD, Col Thunderbirds U16 -- 1/94
45. Cedar Rapids - Jack Rowe, RW, Team Illinois U16 -- 3/94
46. Cedar Rapids- Charlie Green, Detroit Catholic HS -- 9/94
47. Sioux City -- Jake Guentzel, F, Woodbury HS -- 10/94
48. Omaha - Vince Pedrie, LD, Apple Valley HS -- 1/94
49. Youngstown - Matt Grzelcyk, LD, Belmont Hill -- 1/94
50. Lincoln - Cole Martin, LD, Team Illinois U16 -- 3/94
51. Tri-City - Cody Payne, C, Mississauga RepsU16 (GTHL) -- 1/94
52. Green Bay - Matt Pilot, LD, St Paul HS -- 4/94
53. Fargo - Ben Johnson, C, Calumet (Mich.) HS -- 6/94
54. Indiana - Sebastian Romeo, RW, Palm Beach Hawks -- 6/94
55. Des Moines- Connor Wood, C, Honeybaked U16 -- 3/94
56. Omaha - Trey Olson, LD, Russell Stover U16 -- 3/94
57. Chicago - Levi Talarico, F, Duluth Denfield HS -- 3/94
58. Sioux Falls - John Feemster, LD, Wausau (Wisc.) HS -- 11/94
59. Muskegon - Grant Besse, F, Benilde-St. Margaret's -- 7/94
60. Dubuque - John Stevens, C, Team Comcast U16 -- 4/94
61. Dubuque - Jarrid Privitera, F, NJ Avalanche U16 -- 7/94
62. Muskegon - Michael McNicholas, C, LA Selects U16 -- 3/94
63. Sioux Falls- Brendan Vetter, RD, Madison Capitols U16 -- 1/94
64. Sioux City- Ondrej Zehnal, RW, Arlanda (Sweden U18) -- 8/94
65. Omaha - Judd Loewenstein, LD, Chicago Mission U18 -- 3/94
66. Des Moines - Eric Sade, LD, Team Maryland U18 -- 5/94
67. Indiana - Jon Gillies, G, Salisbury School -- 1/94
68. Fargo - Drew Best, RW, Victory Honda U16 -- 7/94
69. Green Bay - Alex Kile, LW, Honeybaked U16 -- 7/94
70. Tri-City - Trevor Boyd, F, Mona Shores HS (Mich.) -- 12/94
71. Lincoln - Max Coatta, F, Minnetonka HS -- 4/94
72. Youngstown - Dalton Izyk, G, Syracuse Minor U16 -- 1/94
73. Chicago- Nolan Gluchowski, RD, Detroit Catholic HS -- 5/94
74. Waterloo - Ryan Segalla, LD, Bridgewater Bandits (Empire) -- 12/94
75. Cedar Rapids - Dennis Kravchenko, C/LW, Kimball Union -- 3/94
76. Cedar Rapids - Collin Olson, G, Apple Valley HS -- 4/94
77. Waterloo - Eamon McAdam, G, Team Comcast U16 -- 9/94
78. Chicago - Jared Thomas, W, Hermantown HS (Minn.) -- 2/94
79. Youngstown - Alec Coleman, LW, Pittsburgh Hornets U16 -- 6/94
80. Lincoln - Dylan Blujus, RD, Buffalo Regals U18 -- 1/94
81. Tri-City - Drew Dorantes, RW, Compuware U16 -- 1/94
82. Green Bay - Jake Horton, RD, Benilde-St. Margaret's -- 5/94
83. Fargo - Wayland Williams, LD, Compuware U16 -- 5/94
84. Indiana - Markus Kojo, LD, Assat (Finland) -- 3/94
85. Des Moines - Liam McDermott, C, Cleveland Barons U16 -- 12/94
86. Omaha - James Howe, G, Little Caesars U16 -- 4/94
87. Sioux City - Andrew Poturalski, F, Nichols School -- 1/94
88. Sioux Falls - Alex Sakellaropoulos, G, Chicago Fury U16 -- 5/94
89. Muskegon - Christopher Leibinger, F, Heritage HS (Mich.) -- 6/94
90. Dubuque - Adam Wilcox, F, TPH Thunder U16 -- 4/94
USHL Expansion Draft Today
This morning the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Muskegon Lumberjacks are studying the lists of players left unprotected by the other 13 USHL franchises, which they received at 8:00 am this morning.
The two teams don't have much time to go over them, as the USHL expansion draft takes place starting at noon EST.
That said, the two teams, by process of deduction, have a pretty good sense of who will or won't be available for the picking. Each of the current USHL franchises are allowed to protect eight players apiece, and each team can only lose one player.
In the draft, Muskegon will pick first, meaning they will be drafting a total of seven players, and Dubuque will go second and draft a total of six.
Muskegon goes first because they signed six tenders, while Dubuque took seven tenders. At any rate, by the time the draft ends each team will have 13 players as they head into Tuesday's Futures Draft (‘94s) and Wednesday's regular draft ('90's, '91s, '92s, '93s, '94s).
After the draft, the Dubuque and Muskegon staffs will call the coaches of each of the other teams to tell them which one of their players has been taken. Those coaches then notify the player. After all of the players have been notified, we will have the results for you.
The ‘New' Lumberjacks
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the return of the USHL to Dubuque, Iowa. This week, we're going to look at the USHL's other new entry for this fall, the Muskegon (Michigan) Lumberjacks.
The franchise is actually the old Rochester (Minn.) Mustangs, which folded up shop in 2002 after a 17-year run in the southeastern Minnesota city and has been mothballed ever since. The Mervis family, who have had a long run in junior hockey, bought it right after the 2004 sale of their previous franchise, the Danville Wings, to Paul Skjodt, who turned the Wings into the Indiana Ice. Shortly afterward, Josh Mervis began looking for a home for the old Mustangs. In the years since, deals almost came to fruition, but then fell apart... Champaign-Urbana, Louisville, and even Muskegon, which was on, then off, and then on again to stay
Mervis finally has a home for his team, and he'll be putting his bountiful energy into making sure the Muskegon Lumberjacks are a first-class operation.
"What I wanted," Mervis says, "is a place where hockey mattered. In Muskegon, they are passionate about hockey."
A little history is in order here. First off, if the name Muskegon Lumberjacks is familiar to you, you are totally in the loop. The Lumberjacks were in the seven-team IHL team, until bowing out of the playoffs last week, and dissolving. In honor of minor pro hockey's 50-year history in Muskegon, Mervis decided his USHL franchise would retain the Lumberjacks team name, which, by the way, honors the huge number of sawmills that dotted the city back when it was known as the ‘Lumber Queen of the World.' You already know of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the one for which Mrs. O'Leary's cow was falsely accused by a nefarious reporter trying to add color to a story that hardly needed it. Well, it was the lumber mills in and around Muskegon that supplied the timber that rebuilt the Windy City and, in the process, made Muskegon the home, at least briefly, of the country's greatest number of millionaires per capita.
The city, pop. 40,000 and nicknamed the Port City, is the largest on Michigan's western shore, where it sits on Lake Muskegon, a large lake that is connected to Lake Michigan by a short inlet. Muskegon boasts a huge beach on Lake Michigan, state parks, tourism, a nice downtown area fronting Lake Muskegon, and, of course, hockey.
"It's the right-sized city for a junior team," says Mervis. "And it's also in Michigan, a vital market for the USHL to get into."
The L.C. Walker Arena, owned by the city, was built in the late ‘50s, and opened in the fall of 1960. Right off the bat, a pro hockey team was placed there - the Muskegon Zephyrs. Later franchises were the Mohawks, then the Fury, then the Lumberjacks, then back to the Fury, then the Lumberjacks again.
The arena, featuring a full-bowl, holds 5,100 for hockey and has an old-time hockey feel to it. In other words, it's vintage. The fans are right on top of the action, and it's loud. But it's also comfortable - all the seats have cushioned backs and seats. And the sight lines are great.
"It's a hockey arena," says Mervis. "The focus is on the ice." Mervis will be adding a new sound system, a brand new locker room, a weight room, and a players' lounge over the summer. "We're making a significant investment in the building," he said.
"My goal is to bring high-level entertainment to the fans in Muskegon, and to exceed their expectation for their ticket dollar. I want the fans to say ‘Wow,' and I want the players to have the tools to be successful in life and in hockey."
As most of you know, former University of Wisconsin assistant Kevin Patrick has been hired on as head coach. Patrick, 41, a Schenectady, NY native and 1988 Deerfield Academy grad, went on to play defense at Notre Dame, captaining the Fighting Irish his final two seasons. After a year of minor pro hockey, Patrick returned to Deerfield for four years as an assistant coach, assistant AD, and science teacher. After serving for a year as an assistant coach on Mark Osiecki's staff with the Green Bay Gamblers in 1997-98, he began a 12-year career as a Div. I assistant, first at Union College, then Bowling Green, then Wisconsin. He's hugely respected among his peers in the coaching fraternity.
Assisting Patrick will be Dave Noel-Bernier, 34, a Quebec native who played junior hockey in the Sask League and then joined the first University of Omaha-Nebraska team in 1997. Afterward, he played six years of minor pro hockey, including two separate stints with the Muskegon Fury, so he knows the town, and the town knows him. He has ties to the community, and won a championship as a player here. After his minor pro career he returned to UNO where, over the last few years, he's been the Mavericks Hockey Ops guy. He's also a certified strength and conditioning coach, and has done that for them for the last two years. He was also their video coordinator. He's the Swiss Army Knife of hockey coaches.
On Monday, the USHL will be holding an expansion draft for the Lumberjacks and the Dubuque Fighting Saints. On Tuesday, the league moves on to the Futures Draft, and then everything wraps up Wednesday with the regular draft.
In advance of all that, the Lumberjacks have signed their full complement of tenders, six in all. They are:
-- 5'9", 160 lb. RW Matt Berry, an 8/18/92 birthdate from Canton, Michigan who led the Tier I Midget Major League in scoring, posting a 32-45-77 line in 48 games with Chris Coury's Belle Tire squad.
"He's a real skilled offensive player," says Patrick. "He has a good stick and a knack for the net. He wants to be on the scoresheet. He wants to make things happen."
-- 6'3", 180 lb. LD Jaycob Megna is a 12/10/92 birthdate who played for Team Illinois Midget Major last year. In 48 games, he had a 1-12-13 line and eight pims. A Northbrook, Ill. native whose father, Jay, played for a couple of years in the NFL, Jaycob has an older brother, Jayson, currently at Cedar Rapids (USHL). He's had a real growth spurt since the '08-09 season when he was a sophomore at Tabor.
"He has really great feet for his size," Patrick says. "He's a very smooth skater and a great passer. He sees the ice well and has a really good stick defensively. He's a bright young man and a good character kid. He's committed to UNO for either '11 or '12.
-- 6'2", 185 lb. defenseman Mark Yanis, who played for the Belle Tire Midget Minor squad this year and had a 3-8-11 line in 38 games. A 5/26/94 birthdate from Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, Yanis went to the NTDP Evaluation Camp in March and was drafted in the ninth round by Plymouth in the OHL draft a couple of weeks ago.
"But he wants to play in the USHL and go to college," Patrick says. "He's one of the top '94 D in the country. He has good size and he's a good hard-nosed, first-pass D. He moves the puck well and can join the rush. Plus his compete level is high."
-- 6'3", 185 lb. goaltender Joel Vienneau, who was at the heart of a recruiting taffy pull between Minnesota and Michigan -- BU was reportedly also involved at one point -- was ranked 14th on NHL Central Scouting's final list for the June draft. He's a native of Hearst, Ontario, a town which is 96% Francophone and way up there in Northern Ontario, on Provincial Highway 11, the route that stretches from downtown Toronto to the Minnesota border. Vienneau's hometown - also the hometown of the Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux -- is basically in the middle of nowhere, up west of Kapuskasing. It's 12 hours from there to Minneapolis, or Muskegon, and 14 hours from there to Kingston, Ontario, where Vienneau played for the Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) this past season. A 1/18/92 birthdate who was drafted by Guelph in the 7th round of the 2008 OHL draft, Vienneau played 35 games for the Voyageurs, with a 2.16 gaa and a .916 save percentage.
"He takes up a lot of the net," said Patrick. "He's continuing to work on technical aspects of his game, but he's big and athletic and does a real good job of taking the net away."
-- 6'3", 180 lb. RD Sebastien Gingras, a Maine recruit for the fall of '11, is the son of 13-year NHL blueliner Gaston Gingras. A native of Pierrefonds, Quebec, the younger Gingras is a 3/12/91 birthdate who played this past year for the Brockville Braves (CJHL) where, in 56 games, he had a 12-43-55 line with 30 pims.
"He's got good size," says Patrick, "and he's a skilled power play D who sees the ice and moves the puck well. He went to the semis of the Royal Bank Cup with Brockville so he's playoff tested."
-- 5'9", 185 lb. Cushing Academy LC Mike Conderman, a UMass-Lowell recruit for fall '11, put up big numbers for Cushing this past season, posting a 31-41-72 line in 31 games. A Rochester, NY native, Conderman is a 2/26/91 birthdate. "I like his strength over the puck, his ability to make plays, and his compete level."
"I'm excited about this core group of six as a starting point," Patrick added. "I think it's a great foundation for the Muskegon Lumberjacks future in the USHL."
A Night For Joe Cleary's Son
The family and friends of former Cushing Academy and Boston College defenseman and captain Joe Cleary, who died last summer at the age of 39, are honoring his life by holding a benefit for the young son he left behind.
The fundraiser -- ‘A Night to Benefit Christopher J. Cleary' - will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston on Sat. June 5th from 7:00 pm to midnight.
Joe, a Marlboro, Mass. native who played at Boston College from '88-92 and was captain of the team as a senior, knew a lot of people in the Boston sports world and they have come through in a big way. The list of raffle items is impressive. You really have to see it.
Please check out the web site www.joecleary.org
And while you are there take the time to check out the pictures of Joe with his young son -- those photos alone will make you want to put in a bid or two, which you can actually do online if you choose. Even if you can't make the event, you can make a donation. Any amount helps. All proceeds from the evening will help defray the costs of medical help for young Christopher, who has a cleft palate, as well as his future educational expenses. Perhaps someday he will be able to follow in his father's footsteps and attend Boston College.
As it says on the web site, "Joe had big dreams... those dreams were never for him...they were for Christopher."
Jaw to Crimson
Harvard has a commitment for the fall of '11 from 6'1", 195 lb. Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) RC Brayden Jaw.
A 4/24/92 birthdate and a Vancouver native, Jaw graduated from high school this year but will be going back for a second year at Nanaimo. A rookie in the league this season, Jaw was a high profile '92 coming out of midgets, took a while to adjust to juniors, but came on strongly at the end of the season and in the playoffs.
In the regular season, Jaw posted a 13-21-34 line in 58 games. In Nanaimo's 12 playoff games, he had a 5-4-9 line.
Jaw, who also drew interest from Dartmouth and Yale, visited Harvard two months ago. He was in town for the Pre-Draft Showcase last weekend.
He's a power forward type - a big centerman and a strong skater. He's good on draws, kills penalties, plays physically and has a heavy shot.
He can also answer questions like a pro. Check out this short You Tube video clip:
Gamblers Win Clark Cup
Green Bay, Wisc. - The Green Bay Gamblers, losers in the first two games of the series, came all the way back, knocking off the Fargo Force 5-3 in the fifth and deciding game of the 2010 Clark Cup Finals before a capacity crowd of 8,487 at the Resch Center.
Green Bay forward Anders Lee, a Notre Dame recruit, had a goal and two assists. He led all playoff scorers with a 10-12-22 line in the Gamblers' 12 games, and was named playoff MVP.
"I had a great line of Reed Seckel and Ryan Furne, and I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time," Lee said. "I am very honored to get that award."
Gamblers head coach Jon Cooper, said, "I got a text from my wife after winning that triple-overtime in game three and it said, ‘You never like to do anything ordinary.' You know what, that has been the story of this team. Down in game three with a minute to go and on the verge of getting swept, and then we pulled a reverse sweep. I can't say enough about these kids believing in themselves and pulling this one out."
Green Bay, which also won the league's regular season title - the Anderson Cup -- with a 45-10-5 record, previously won Clark Cups in '95-96, with Don Granato as head coach; and in '99-00, with Mark Osiecki as head coach.
Top '95 Santini Chooses BC
6'2", 200 lb. defenseman Steve Santini, the consensus top '95 in the U.S., has committed to Boston College for the fall of ‘13.
Santini made his final choice from between BC and BU.
From Mahopac, NY, 55 miles north of midtown Manhattan, Santini is currently a freshman in high school. One of those players around whom there's been a buzz pretty much ever since he put on skates, Santini has long been the next big star, sought after by pretty much everyone. He's always had good size, and a willingness to use it, but there's more to his game than just that, as he's a smart kid (both on and off the ice), sees the game well, moves the puck efficiently, and is reported to have strong leadership qualities. He's also grown up around the game. His father, Steve Santini, who grew up in Yonkers and played in the old MET League, was a defenseman who went on to play at the University of Maine from '83-87. Along with his father, Bob Santini, he owns and operates both the New York Apple Core organization and the Brewster (NY) Ice Arena and its programs. Santini has pretty much coached his son from the get-go.
This past season, Santini played on three teams. In the fall he played 17 games for the Brewster Bulldogs (Empire League); in the winter he played for Kennedy/Putnam Valley High School, coached by his father; and during tournament time, he played for the Westchester Express '95 team, also coached by his father, along with Tim Donaghy. At the Tier I 14-and-Under Nationals last month in Buffalo, NY, the Express reached the semifinals but bowed to Honeybaked, the eventual champions. In five games, Santini, had a 1-5-6 line.
In addition to BC and BU, other schools in the picture for Santini were Maine, Harvard (which he visited in September), and Quinnipiac. In the final analysis, he wanted to play in Hockey East.
It's three years away, but if Santini keeps up a steady progression, he could well be a first round NHL draft pick - perhaps even a high first rounder - when he becomes eligible in the summer of 2013. Being a big 15-year-old, he needs to keep working on his speed and agility.
Next season, Santini, keeping it in the family, will be playing for New York Apple Core (EJHL). The team will be coached by Henry Lazar, who is returning after an absence of a few years. For the year after that, his junior year, Santini hopes to go to Ann Arbor and play in the NTDP.
Our capsule report on Santini, a 3/7/95 birthdate and a right shot, from last July's USA Select 14 Festival at Rochester, NY, simply read, "A manchild. Intimidating. Strong. Physical. Moves puck well. The top player in camp."
Girgensons, Gaudreau Heading West
In a USHR news article of 4/29/10 we wrote about the expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints, under head coach/GM Jim Montgomery, signing three tenders for the '10-11 season: '93 D Joakim Ryan (Cornell), '90 D Derek Docken (Alaska-Anchorage), and '91 D Luke Curadi (RPI). Since then, Montgomery has signed four more tenders, giving the Fighting Saints a full complement of seven leading into next week's USHL drafts.
-- Leading the pack is 6'1", 175 lb. '94-born Latvian center Zemgus Girgensons, who is committed to the University of Vermont for the fall of '12. Girgensons, who played for the Green Mountain Glades Empire Team before moving up to the Glades' EJHL team this past season, is a potential NHL first rounder in his draft year of 2012. He's seriously looking into playing just one year in the USHL, accelerating his studies, and heading to UVM a year earlier than originally planned - i.e. in the fall of '11. Girgensons, who is being advised by M5 Sports, would be 17, and entering his draft year.
Girgensons, a 1/5/94 birthdate from the city of Riga, speaks Latvian, Russian, and English, and this academic year did his studying via Internet correspondence courses from his native country, which is said to have tougher education standards than U.S. public schools. In Dubuque, though, he will enroll in the local high school. Staying on top of things both on the ice and in the classroom, where he will have plenty on his plate, strikes us as a bit of a challenge. He appears to be serious about taking a crack at it, though.
-- 5'6", 135 lb. Team Comcast Under-18 forward John Gaudreau, who has committed to Northeastern for the fall of '12, has also signed a tender with Dubuque.
Gaudreau, an August '93 birthdate, is a left shot who played the off wing this season, but can also play in the middle. Don't be surprised to see him on a line with Girgensons. Gaudreau is small but dynamic, in the mode of UMass' James Marcou. In addition to to playing for Team Comcast this past winter, Gaudreau, a junior, played for Gloucester Catholic, where he had an 18-24-42 line in 13 games.
-- 6'0", 190 lb. LD Nick Quinn of the Orangeville Crushers (CCHL) will play for Dubuque for a year before heading to RPI in the fall of '11. A former second-round pick (#21 overall) by Sudbury in the 2008 OHL draft, Quinn moves the puck well, is an excellent skater, and could be a key guy on the Fighting Saints' power play. A 6/12/92 birthdate, he was coached at Orangeville this year by Dale Hawerchuk. Quinn was recruited by Montgomery to RPI, so there's an established comfort level there.
-- Dubuque used their final tender on 6'1", 190 lb. Shane Sooth, the former LA Hockey Club, Salisbury School, and NTDP forward who started this past season with the US Under-18 Team, got into trouble for drinking, signed on with Sioux City (USHL) and from there was traded to the Texas (NAHL), where he finished out the season. The trade to the NAHL made the Canyon County, California native a free agent as far as the USHL was concerned, and Montgomery signed him to a tender. Sooth has talent, obviously, and could bring a lot to the Fighting Saints but clearly this is one of those situations where Montgomery, who you can be sure did due diligence, is taking a chance. Sooth, in order to make up for lost time and start moving forward again, has to prove himself to Montgomery and his new teammates.
-- The USHL expansion draft for Dubuque and Muskegon will be held on Mon. May 17th. The USHL Futures Draft takes place on Tues. May 18th. The regular USHL Draft winds things up on Wed. May 19th.
Huskies Move Fast on Oskroba
6'6", 218 lb. Walpole Express (AJHL) LD Ben Oskroba has committed to Northeastern for the fall of '11.
Oskroba, back in January, had committed to Bentley College for the fall of '10. Recently, however, Bentley pushed him back a year, so the blueliner, who led the AJHL in goals this season, decided to put himself out there.
Northeastern knew nothing about him until this past weekend, when assistants Sebastien Laplante and Albie O'Connell saw him at the New England Pro-Am Pre-Draft Showcase, playing on the Mark Kumpel-coached Express team. They obviously liked what they saw, because they moved very fast on him.
Oskroba is an excellent skater for his size. That's the key to his game. He projects as a two-way defenseman who adds even more size to the Huskies' blue line, though not at the expense of mobility. He has a strong shot, which could be utilized on the power play.
In 42 games with the Express, Oskroba posted a 17-13-30 line with 78 pims.
A 8/4/90 birthdate, Oskroba grew up in Chicago until he was a bantam, at which time his family moved to Tempe, Arizona. Before coming to the Express, Oskroba played for the Phoenix Polar Bears Jr. A team in the Western States Hockey League. As a side note, Quinnipiac freshman forward Jeremy Langlois, who also came east to play juniors, was also on that team.
It has yet to be determined where Oskroba will play junior hockey next season.
6'2", 190 lb. Salisbury junior wing Jack Barre has committed to Dartmouth for the fall of '12.
A 3/31/93 from Fairfield, Conn., Barre is a true 11th grader and, after graduating from Salisbury, will play a year of juniors.
Barre only had a 1-5-6 scoring line last year, which surprised us. He was injured part of the year, but as far as we know played most, if not all, of Salisbury's 26 games.
We certainly expect he'll put up better numbers this year. He has a good sense of the game, soft hands, and is more of a playmaker than a finisher. He needs to get stronger, which in turn will help his skating. He's a work in progress, and how hard he works will determine how far he progresses. He has upside.
The Heat's On!
Joe Gaudet, who is about to graduate from Dartmouth, where he played four years under his father, Bob Gaudet, already has a job.
Starting in the fall, Gaudet, who will turn 23 later this month, will be the head varsity hockey coach at Vermont Academy, in bucolic Saxton's River, Vt. Gaudet will also be teaching history.
Gaudet replaces Matt Jones, who is moving back to his hometown of Malone, NY, where he will take an administrative position at the Alice Hyde Medical Center.
Toews Going Major Junior
University of North Dakota 5'10", 191 lb. sophomore forward David Toews is leaving the Fighting Sioux for major junior.
Toews, the younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, played 32 games for North Dakota last season, posting a 4-11-15 line.
Toews started well, with 10 points in his first nine games, but tailed off. He was a healthy scratch for 10 of the last 14 North Dakota games.
A third round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 2008, the rights to Toews - a 6/7/90 birthdate and native of Winnipeg -- are held by the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL). Toews, like his older brother, played at Shattuck-St. Mary's before going to North Dakota.
Cole a Bulldog
Kimball Union Academy 5'9", 175 lb. junior forward Ryan Cole has committed to Yale for the fall of '11 or '12.
Cole, a 7/19/92 birthdate from Anchorage, Alaska and the Alaska North Stars, is a left shot who can play either wing. He played in 20 of KUA's games this season and posted a 16-11-27 line.
"He's dangerous with the puck, has a great shot, and can score from just about anywhere," KUA coach Ryan Miller says. "He'll fit in great with Yale's uptempo style of play.
Cole made his final choice from among Yale, Union, and Princeton.
Green Bay Evens Series
Fargo, ND - The visiting Green Bay Gamblers came out fast, scoring three goals in the first 3:31 of tonight's game, and held on to top the Fargo Force, 5-3, tying up the USHL's Clark Cup Finals at 2-2.
The best-of-five series, in which the home team has yet to win a game, returns to Green Bay for the series-deciding fifth game on Wednesday night.
Reed Seckel and David Gerths were the big guns for Green Bay tonight, each notching two goals (Gerths' second goal was an empty netter with 1:21 remaining). Robert Francis also had a goal for Green Bay, and defenseman David Makowski had a pair of assists. Green Bay outshot Fargo 27-21. Steve Summerhays had 18 saves for the win; Ryan Massa kicked out 24 shots in a losing effort.
Garrett Allen, Joey Rehkamp, and Johnnie Searfoss scored Fargo's goals.
Green Bay poured it on in the third period, outshooting Fargo 14-6, but Massa stopped all 14 shots. Green Bay, did, as mentioned above, add an empty netter.
3 OTs Needed, But Green Bay Stays Alive
Fargo, ND -- A Ryan Furne goal at 1:38 of the third overtime period lifted the visiting Green Bay Gamblers to a 4-3 win over the Fargo Force in Game 3 of the best-of-five Clark Cup Finals here tonight.
Fargo was actually less than a minute from celebrating a sweep, but a goal by Green Bay forward Anders Lee - his second of the game - with 49 seconds remaining tied the game at 3-3 and sent it into extra sessions.
Chase Grant had two goals for Fargo tonight.
Green Bay outshot Fargo, 47-32. Ryan Massa stopped 44 for the Force, and Steve Summerhays 32 for the Gamblers.
The two teams don't have long to recuperate. Faceoff for Game 4 is at 7:05 CST tonight (Sat.). Game 5, if necessary, will be played at Green Bay on Wednesday.
Founders' League Showdown at The Big House
Kent and Salisbury will face off against each other in an outdoor game on Fri. Dec. 10 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The driving force behind this game is Kent head coach Matt Herr, a Hotchkiss grad who went on to play four years at Michigan ('94-98) before turning pro with the Washington Capitals.
On the following day, Sat. Dec. 11 Michigan and Michigan State will face off outdoors at 3:00 pm, and all the Kent and Salisbury players will be on hand. Already, 100,000 tickets have been sold for this game, and Michigan has suspended further ticket sales, wishing to hold the remaining tickets for students. Capacity for football at Michigan Stadium is 107,501, so even if they don't sell another seat, it will be the largest outdoor crowd for a hockey game, breaking the previous record of 74,544 set at the Michigan-Michigan State game - the so-called Cold War - at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Oct. 6, 2001, which ended in a 3-3 tie.
As an alum, Herr recently got an email about the game and immediately got to thinking. He called (Michigan assistants) Mel Pearson and Billy Powers and asked about the possibility of getting some ice. Mel and Billy suggested Herr call the rink manager at Yost Arena, who Herr knew from his playing days. Herr also called Salisbury head coach Andrew Will (the two teams were scheduled to play that weekend anyway) and asked for his thoughts, and got a thumbs-up. After all the hoops were jumped through, it was ‘game on.'
"As a Michigan alum, I want to go out there and promote prep school hockey because we're battling Compuware and Little Caesar's for some of those kids," Herr said. "We have three or four Michigan kids at Kent now, and while we're not going to be getting a ton of kids from that area I'd like it to be an option - expand their horizon, just so it's in peoples' minds. I want to shape up the prep circuit a little in the sense that we can probably get a little more interest from Midwest players."
"Also, it's going to be a great experience for our kids. They get to experience what was so special for me. Playing at the University of Michigan was the highlight of my career. There were other special things - my first NHL game - but winning a national championship at Michigan was really, really special and I want the kids to get to go to Yost and see some of this first hand. Maybe Red (Berenson) will have time to talk to the kids."
Both teams will bus in to Ann Arbor, get in Thursday night and hit the ice in the morning -- faceoff is at 10:00 am.
It has yet to be determined whether the game, which is also being treated as a big alumni event for both schools, will be an exhibition or a regular season game - the Founders' League ADs will have a say in that. It is, however, the weekend that the two schools were scheduled to meet in a regular season game anyway.
Whichever it is, Herr said, "I can tell you that I will have my guys up for the game."
Graham Returning to Alma Mater
Nolan Graham, coach/GM of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL), will be announced as the new assistant at RPI shortly.
Graham, whose team was the BCHL's Coastal Conference Champion for the first time in the franchise's history, takes over for Jim Montgomery, who has moved on to take over as head coach/GM of the expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).
A Nanaimo, BC native, Graham, 30, was a forward at RPI from '99-‘03, then played a few years of minor pro before going into coaching.
Graham's position in Alberni will be filled by former Brown defenseman Paul Esdale, who was Graham's assistant - on an all-ECAC staff -- last season.
Gelsenkirchen, Germany - In an outdoor soccer stadium packed with 77,803 fans - a new record for hockey (and one that will last until December) - Germany rode a wave of emotion and upset an NHL-laden U.S. team, 2-1 in OT at the opener of the IIHF 2010 World Championship here today.
Germany held a 1-0 lead for most of the game, until Ryan Carter poked home a rebound at 8:33 of the third period. The U.S. dominated the third period, outshooting Germany 14-5, but German goalie Dennis Endras came up huge.
"Their goalie was phenomenal," said U.S. defenseman Jack Johnson.
So, too, was the crowd. The game was played on the home field of the FC Schalke 04 soccer squad, and that sport's atmosphere, with flag-waving and incessant chanting, prevailed. "In the NHL, the chants come and go" said Carter. "They never quit in this game... (the Germans) got a huge boost from the crowd."
Germany's Felix Schultz tipped a shot past USA goaltender Scott Clemmensen just 21 seconds into overtime.
With the sole exception of Boston College freshman forward Chris Kreider, all of the players on the US 23-man roster are pros.
The squad is coached by Scott Gordon (NY Islanders), with Joe Sacco (Colorado Avalanche) and Ron Rolston (US Under-17 Team) as assistants.
Team USA 23-man roster:
Ben Bishop (Peoria Rivermen, AHL), Scott Clemmensen (Florida Panthers), David Leggio (TPS Turku, FIN).
Taylor Chorney (Edmonton Oilers), Matt Gilroy (New York Rangers), Andy Greene (New Jersey Devils), Matt Greene (Los Angeles Kings), Jack Hillen (New York Islanders), Jack Johnson (Los Angeles Kings), Mike Lundin (Tampa Bay Lightning), Keith Yandle (Phoenix Coyotes).
Ryan Carter (Anaheim Ducks), Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers), Nick Foligno (Ottawa Senators), T.J. Galiardi (Colorado Avalanche), Christian Hanson (Toronto Maple Leafs), Tim Kennedy (Buffalo Sabres), Chris Kreider (Boston College -- NCAA), David Moss (Calgary Flames), Eric Nystrom (Calgary Flames), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues), Ryan Potulny (Edmonton Oilers).
Berkle to Huskies
6'4", 180 lb. Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) winger Adam Berkle has committed to Northeastern University for the fall of '11.
Berkle, who will return to Youngstown for one more year - he'll be captain -- will be a 21-year-old freshman when he arrives at Northeastern. A native of the Philadelphia suburb of Collegeville, PA, Berkle played in the Philadelphia area for LaSalle College High School and also played for the Valley Forge Minutemen Under-18 Team that reached the National semifinals in the spring of '08. After graduating from LaSalle he took a PG year at Northwood ('08-09), where, as the team's leading scorer, he started to gain some attention. He was big and raw, though, and his skating and overall agility needed work.
He's still big, but less raw. He uses his size well; look for him to fill out to 200 lbs. or so. He's aggressive, and, while not a natural scorer, is hard to move from out front. He battles for his goals.
In 60 games for the Phantoms, Berkle posted a 17-9-26 line with 110 pims.
BU Expels Saponaris; Trivino Gets Suspension
Sophomore forward Vinny Saponari, a fourth-round pick of Atlanta in the '08 draft, would have been Boston University's second-leading returning scorer in the fall - if he were returning, that is. But he won't be. Nor will his older brother, Victor, a junior who played in just three games this past season.
Both Saponaris have been kicked off the team.
Sophomore forward Corey Trivino, a second-round pick of the Islanders in the '08 draft, will be suspended for the start of next season.
"Over a period of time, there have been cumulative instances in which Victor and Vinny Saponari have displayed conduct unbecoming of a Boston University hockey player," said Boston University head coach Jack Parker via a news release. "In a related issue, Trivino will be suspended for the early part of next season."
We don't know how much of the reasoning for the expulsions and suspension stems directly from drinking on St. Patrick's night, two days before BU lost to Maine 5-2 at the Garden in the Hockey East semis March 19th, but the following week there was a lot of talk in the hockey community about Parker's anger on learning of the incident, which presumably came to light after that loss, which Saponari played in, notching a goal and an assist. (Trivino was out with a broken leg.) However, nearly a month and a half have passed since that season-ending loss, so there may well be more back story to this. There usually is.
Pratt Retires at St. Paul's
St. Paul's School head coach Tim Pratt is retiring from coaching, and handing the reins to assistant Mark Bozek.
This past December, the school asked Pratt to take on additional responsibilities as director of college advising. In an email, Pratt wrote, "It became clear to me this winter that to do both jobs well really isn't possible. The timing is good for Mark, and I've been doing it long enough."
"I'll definitely miss coaching hockey," he added, "but am excited about actually getting to see my own kids a bit more in the winter."
Pratt, previously head coach at Tabor Academy, took over at St. Paul's in the fall of '99 and coached there for ten years. His best year, '07-08, was also one of the great seasons in the school's long hockey history as St. Paul's went 21-4-3 and took Avon Old Farms to OT in the NEPSIHA title game before bowing. 3-2.
The following year, Pratt spent a year abroad, teaching English and serving as college counselor with School Year Abroad in Rennes, France. Bozek, who played at St. Paul's, graduating in '98, and also at Wesleyan ('02), took over in Pratt absence that season.
Massa Stones Green Bay - Again
Fargo Force goaltender Ryan Massa has started his team off on the right foot in the Clark Cup finals with a two-game road sweep at heavily favored Green Bay.
Friday night Massa, kicked out all 35 shots he faced, shutting down the Gamblers 2-0 at the Resch Center.
Twenty-four hours later, Massa kicked out 31 of 32 in a 4-1 win - and also scored a goal, an empty netter at the 19:00 mark. Gambler fans and players were not amused by Massa's post-goal celebration. Neither were the officials, as Massa was tagged with an unsportsmanlike minor.
Massa, a 6'0", 170 lb. Littleton, Colorado native, played last season for the Colorado Rampage Midget AAA squad. A 7/16/90 birthdate, Massa started the current season with the Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL), playing in 13 games before getting the call from Fargo head coach/GM Steve Johnson after Thanksgiving.
In case you were wondering, Massa does not have a college commitment.
The series resumes Friday and, if necessary, Saturday in Fargo.