Cronin Leaves Northeastern for Leafs
Northeastern University head coach Greg Cronin has been hired as an assistant coach by the Toronto Maple Leafs and will join Ron Wilson’s staff immediately.
Cronin, a Colby alum and Arlington, Mass. native whose father and uncle both played for Northeastern in the late 1950s, was hired from the New York Islanders, where he had coached their Bridgeport affiliate, in the spring of 2005. In his first season, Northeastern won three games, then 13, then 16 before going 25-12-4 in his fourth year. There has been a dropoff the past two years, though future recruiting classes are strong.
This past winter, Cronin and assistant Albie O’Connell were suspended by the school for six games in the wake of compliance officers discovering possible NCAA violations in the form of excess text messaging to players being recruited.
In addition, assistant coach Sebastian Laplante, who coached the team to a 2-2-2 record during the absence of Cronin and O’Connell, was suspended for six games. Laplante will serve his six games at the beginning of the upcoming season, which would likely have the effect of removing his name from any list of potential candidates.
Cronin’s leaving Northeastern is not a major surprise. At the end of the 2009-10 season, Cronin turned down an assistant’s position with the Vancouver Canucks. His relationship with AD Peter Roby, particularly since the suspension, was reportedly poor, and unlikely to get better. All of that fueled speculation, since the end of the season, as to whether Cronin would return to the pro game. That speculation become louder while Cronin was overseas in April working as an assistant for Team USA at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Slovakia. And it was not unfounded, either: the head coach of that squad was former BC goalie and New York Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. Today, Gordon and Cronin will be introduced together as the Leafs' new assistant coaches. Leafs GM Brian Burke, who was an advisor to the US entry in the World Championships, will be doing the honors. (For the record, Gordon and Cronin replace Keith Acton and Tim Hunter.)
At any rate, Cronin has moved on, so let the speculation concerning his replacement begin. Likely candidates would include BC assistant Mike Cavanaugh, Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) head coach David Quinn, and NTDP head coach Ron Rolston. Former UMass-Lowell assistant Blaise MacDonald could be a strong candidate as well. The stock of Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy is sky high right now, so Northeastern could go after him. Roby attended Dartmouth with Bob Gaudet; would he try to interest his former classmate in the position? A good outside candidate would be someone like Jim Montgomery, who last month led the expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints to a USHL title.
Assistant coach O’Connell, the key to Northeastern’s recruiting efforts, has been offered the vacant assistant’s position at Harvard, so that’s a viable option for him.
Cronin finishes at Northeastern with an 85-102-27 record.
All-Star Game Rosters
Here are the lines for the Select 16 All-Star Game. Faceoff is at 11:000 am this morning at the ESL Center; Rochester, NY. NTDP kids, denoted by an asterisk, are not eligible for the team going to the Five Nations Tournament.
Trevor Moore – *Luke Voltin – Alex Schoenborn
Jacob Pritchard – Dylan McLaughlin – Patrick Polino
Drew Melanson --- Shane Eiserman – Tyler Moy
*Keaton Thompson – *Steven Santini
Garrett Cecere – *Trevor Hamilton
Alec McCrea – *Willie Raskob
Daniel Vanderwiel – Kevin Lebanc – Adam Erne
Daniel Labosky – Sam Povoroziniouk – Vinni Lettieri
Michael Turner – Alex Talcott – Ryan Siroky
Michael Downing – Michael Brodzinski
*Scott Savage – Connor Clifton
*Gage Ausmus – Jordan Gross
-- Black won this morning's playoff game, topping White 9-3. Black led at the half, 5-1, White scored two early goals in the second half to make things interesting for a spell, but Black scored four unanswered goals to put it away. Culver forward Andrew Oglevie led the way with three goals and an assist for Black. Long Island Royals forward Joey Fallon had a pair of goals for White.
Select 16 All-Star Box Score
Here’s the unofficial box score from today’s Select 16 All-Star game, won by Team White in a shootout.
It was a tight game, with a nice pace to it. Michael McCarron had a goal and an assist – and a crossbar -- in regulation, then notched the winning goal in the shootout.
Blue – Steve Santini (Shane Eiserman)
Blue – Willie Raskob
White – Michael Turner (Michael McCarron)
White – Daniel Labosky (Vinni Lettieri)
White – McCarron (Adam Erne)
Black – Patrick Polino
Black (shooting against Hunter Miska)
Trevor Moore – No
Luke Voltin – Yes (high glove side)
Patrick Polino -- No
Tyler Moy – Yes (high backhander)
Keaton Thompson – No
White (shooting against Chase Horton)
Sam Povoroziniouk – Yes (deke)
Vinni Lettieri – Yes (low wrister)
Daniel Labosky – No
Michael McCarron – Yes (backhander)
Select 16’s Title Game, All-Star Game on Tap
Rochester, NY -- The round-robin portion of the USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp wound up tonight. Tomorrow morning, the championship game faces off at 9:00 am, followed by the all-star game at 11:00 am.
-- The title game features Team Black vs. Team White. The two teams had already clinched their spots in the championship game when they met in their final round robin game this afternoon. We certainly wish this were more like the good old days and we could say, for example, that Michigan would be facing off against Minnesota. Black and White doesn’t exactly stoke the imagination… no bitter rivalry there, folks. At any rate, White came out on top 3-1, with the final goal an empty-netter.
Anyway, Team White is 5-0 and has outscored opponents 28-11. Forward Gabe Guertler, who played last season for Team Illinois midget minors and is going to Fargo (USHL) this fall leads all tournament scorers -- by a mile – with a gaudy 9-6-15 line. Boston Junior Bruins (Empire) defenseman Connor Brassard, who is heading off to Cushing Academy, leads all blueliners in scoring -- by a wide margin -- with a 4-3-7 line.
The Black team is anchored by a stingy defense. They have allowed but eight goals in their five games. Their two goalies – Devin Williams of the Michigan Warriors and Timothy Black of the Chicago Mission backstop are #1-2 in tournament save percentage with a .965 and .935, respectively.
The game is on neither radio nor television, but go forth without fear. We will have the result for you as soon as possible.
-- The U.S. will, as is the custom, be sending a team to the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, which will be held this year on U.S. soil, at Ann Arbor, Michigan Aug. 9-13. Tomorrow’s all-star game will give the squad’s head coach, Bob Corkum (University of Maine), and assistant Pat Mikesch (Michigan Tech) a chance to get one more look at the candidates. The coaches will announce the rosters to the players after breakfast in the morning and we’ll have the rosters for you shortly afterward. Naturally, players appearing in the championship game will not be appearing in the all-star game but will, of course, be eligible for the tournament.
The main topic of conversation among coaches here at the Select 16 camp is the coaching carousel, which, of course, is topped off by the opening at Northeastern.
It is being reported that Northeastern AD Peter Roby started his search for the new coach by reaching out to Yale University head coach Keith Allain and to Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet. Roby is a 1979 graduate of Dartmouth, where he attended school with Gaudet, class of ’81. And Allain graduated from Yale in 1980. The Northeastern head job pays in the mid-200K range, which would be a boost from the Ivy pay grade for hockey coaches, if one wishes to look at this solely in monetary terms.
As far as the Northeastern staff is concerned, Albie O’Connell is still in the employ of Northeastern, at least technically. However, it is a fait accompli that he will shortly be working on Ted Donato’s staff at Harvard. As far as Northeastern players are concerned, there will be a bit of an exodus, though exactly how big remains to be seen. For now we can report that defenseman Garrett Haar has officially decommitted.
The other big assistant’s move, also not yet official, has Mike Guentzel, who was at Nebraska-Omaha last season, returning ‘home’ to the University of Minnesota. John Hill has been let go by the Gophers.
Pearson’s Bold Move
Mel Pearson has his first recruit at Michigan Tech in Jimmy Davis, a 6’0”, 185 lb. right shot defenseman out of East Kentwood High School in Michigan.
Pearson saw Davis in action at Muskegon’s camp last week – the Lumberjacks picked him in the 8th round of May’s USHL Draft -- and offered him a scholarship for this fall. This means Davis becomes one of those rare players who jumps directly from Michigan high school hockey into NCAA Div. I play.
Davis, a 4/23/93 birthdate from Caledonia, Michigan, skates well, and is a strong, hard-nosed, physical two-way player.
East Kentwood High is in the southern suburbs of Grand Rapids, about 50 miles southeast of Muskegon.
Five From the Liberty Bell Games
Here are our top five prospects from the Liberty Bell Games, which took place at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ the weekend before last:
-- 5’10”, 155 lb. Kevin Labanc, a LW who played for the New Jersey Rockets Jr. B team last winter, was the consensus top prospect in this year’s camp. A 12/12/95 birthdate, Labanc was a sixth round pick of Barrie in last month’s OHL draft, and a third round pick of Des Moines in April’s USHL futures draft. A smart player who sees the ice well and has a strong understanding of the game, Labanc is a pure playmaker who is strong in all three zones. He’s a slightly unorthodox skater, but he gets there.
-- 6’1”, 170 lb. LW Alex Rauter, a 6/17/94 birthdate who played for the North Jersey Avalanche Under-16 Team last winter, stood out for his pure scoring ability. Rauter, who will be heading to Choate as a junior this fall, has a quick release, can pick the corners, and understands how to get in position. Princeton, RPI, and Notre Dame are all said to be keeping an eye on him.
-- 6’2”, 185 lb. LW Chad Otterman is a 9/13/95 birthdate who notched 18 points as a freshman at Delbarton last winter. A lanky kid with good hands, Otterman has the size, athleticism, and the raw tools to develop into a strong power forward. Otterman needs to assert himself more physically.
-- A younger player with promise is center Nolan Stevens, a 6’2”, 155 lb. 14-year-old who played last winter for Team Comcast’s bantam squad. Stevens, the son of former Flyers head coach John Stevens (now an assistant with the LA Kings), will be heading west to play in the LA Junior Kings organization this winter. Stevens, who has an older brother at Salisbury, is also a power forward type with a good sense of how to use his size – already. He’s a 7/22/96 birthdate.
-- 6’5”, 185 lb. RD Steven Duda is a big, raw project, the kind of kid who, with some good coaching and good competition, could make himself into an intriguing prospect. An 11/11/94 birthdate, Duda needs to work on his lateral movement, but his feet are good, and he doesn’t have that extreme awkwardness most kids his size and age have. He hasn’t played much high-quality hockey, and it shows at times. Last season, Duda started out playing for the Philadelphia Revolution (Empire League) but left mid-season to join the Chicago Young Americans midget major team. Duda, who attended Kitchener’s spring rookie camp, has a way to go, but with patience could pay off. We don’t believe he has a team for the upcoming season yet.
Americans in NHL Draft
By our count, 61 Americans were selected in this weekend’s NHL draft in St. Paul, Minn. We also counted 61 last year, but the distribution was slightly different. Last year, 11 Americans were taken in the first round, whereas in this year’s first round only five U.S. kids were taken – and we’re including big Northeastern d-man Jamie Oleksiak, who is a dual citizen. In the second round, the numbers were down too, from 11 last year to eight this year.
Of the Americans, this is where they came from:
USHL – 14
Major Junior – 12
NTDP – 11
Minnesota HS – 10
NCAA – 8
New England Preps – 3
Mass HS – 1
Wisconsin HS – 1
Shattuck-St. Mary’s – 1
-- For the record there were three Canadians drafted out of the NCAA, which makes a total of 11 kids drafted out of U.S. colleges – eight Americans plus the following Canadians: North Dakota D Dillon Simpson, RPI D Patrick Koudys, and Brown D Dennis Robertson.
-- There was also a Canadian (Philippe Hudon) and a Czech (Petr Placek) drafted out of prep schools. Add them to the three Americans – Robby O’Gara, Stephen Michalek, and Colin Sullivan – and that gives you five players drafted out of prep school.
-- Nine U.S.-born overagers were drafted. TJ Tynan (2/92), Blake Coleman (11/91), Garrett Noonan (1/91), Brian Ferlin (6/92), Chase Balisy (2/92), Max McCormick (5/92), Aaron Harstad (4/92), Brad Navin (6/92), and Ryan Dzingel (3/92). They are also denoted with an asterisk below.
Those overagers can provide inspiration for some of the US kids who were ranked fairly highly by Central Scouting but were passed over this weekend, e.g. forwards Colten St. Clair (Fargo), Adam Reid (NTDP), and Austin Wuthrich (NTDP); defenseman Matt Killian (Delbarton); and goaltender Matt McNeely (NTDP).
U.S. Players Selected in 2011 NHL Draft
1/14 Dal -- Jamie Oleksiak, D, Northeastern (NCAA)
1/15 NYR – JT Miller, C, NTDP
1/20 Phx -- Connor Murphy, D, NTDP
1/21 Ott -- Stefan Noesen, RW, Plymouth (OHL)
1/22 Tor – Tyler Biggs, RW, NTDP
2/33 Fla – Rocco Grimaldi, C, NTDP
2/34 NYI – Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown (USHL)
2/36 Chi – Adam Clendening, D, BU (NCAA)
2/39 Ana -- John Gibson, G, NTDP
2/43 Chi – Brandon Saad, LW, Saginaw (OHL)
2/47 SJ – Matt Nieto, LW, BU (NCAA)
2/60 Minn – Mario Lucia, LW, Wayzata HS
2/61 Ott – Shane Prince, C, Ottawa (OHL)
3/64 Fla – Vince Trocheck, C, Saginaw (OHL)
3/66 CBJ – *TJ Tynan, C, Notre Dame (NCAA)
3/70 Chi – Michael Paliotta, D, NTDP
3/72 NYR – Steven Fogarty, C, Edina HS
3/73 Car – Keegan Lowe, D, Edmonton (WHL)
3/75 NJ – *Blake Coleman, C, Indiana (USHL)
3/82 LA – Nick Shore, C, Denver (NCAA)
3/83 Ana – Andy Welinski, D, Green Bay (USHL)
3/91 Fla -- Kyle Rau, C, Eden Prairie HS
4/95 NYI -- Robbie Russo, D, NTDP
4/97 Mont -- Josiah Didier, D, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
4/98 CBJ – Mike Reilly, D, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
4/99 NJ -- Reid Boucher, C, NTDP
4/101 Van – Joseph Labate, C, Holy Angels HS
4/104 Cgy – John Gaudreau, LW, Dubuque (USHL)
4/107 Buf – Colin Jacobs, C, Seattle (WHL)
4/110 LA – Michael Mersch, LW, Wisconsin (NCAA)
4/112 Nash – *Garrett Noonan, D, BU (NCAA)
4/116 Phila – Colin Suellentrop, D, Oshawa (OHL)
4/121 Bos – *Brian Ferlin, RW, Indiana (USHL)
5/128 CBJ – Seth Ambroz, RW, Omaha (USHL)
5/129 NJ – Blake Pietila, LW, NTDP
5/130 Tor – Tony Cameranesi, C, Wayzata HS
5/131 Minn – Nick Seeler, D, Eden Prairie HS
5/133 SJ – Sean Kuraly, C, Indiana (USHL)
5/135 Dallas – Troy Vance, D, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
5/134 NYR – Shane McColgan, RW, Kelowna (WHL)
5/137 Buff – Alex Lepkowski, D, Barrie (OHL)
5/151 Bos – Rob O’Gara, D, Milton Academy
6/154 Fla – Edward Wittchow, D, Burnsville HS
6/161 Minn – Stephen Michalek, G, Loomis-Chaffee
6/163 Car – Matt Mahalak, G, Plymouth (OHL)
6/172 Nash – *Chase Balisy, C, Western Michigan (NCAA)
6/173 Ott – *Max McCormick, LW, Sioux City (USHL)
6/174 Pitt – Josh Archibald, W, Brainerd HS
6/177 Wash – Travis Boyd, C, NTDP
6/178 TB – Adam Wilcox, G, Green Bay (USHL)
7/187 Winn – *Aaron Harstad, D, Green Bay (USHL)
7/189 NJ – Patrick Daly, D, Benilde-St. Margaret’s HS
7/190 Tor – Garrett Sparks, G, Guelph (OHL)
7/194 SJ – Colin Blackwell, C, St. John’s Prep
7/196 Phx – Zac Larraza, LW, NTDP
7/197 Buff – *Brad Navin, C, Waupaca HS (Wisc.)
7/198 Mont – Colin Sullivan, D, Avon Old Farms
7/199 Chi – Alex Broadhurst, C, Green Bay (USHL)
7/203 Tor – Max Everson, D, Edina HS
7/204 Ott – *Ryan Dzingel, C, Lincoln (USHL)
7/207 Wash – Garrett Haar, D, Fargo (USHL)
Road to College Coming Up
Chuckie Hughes’ and Dan Donato’s Road to College gets underway Thursday at Babson College. This tournament, which has its own little niche, is useful to college coaches for the simple reason that all players on hand are uncommitted.
The camp, which offers both an on-ice showcase and off-ice component (in the form of SAT/ACT prep and college planning workshops), had 34 players last summer who have since committed to Div. I schools including Andrew Cerretani (Maine), Cam Spiro (BC), Anthony DeConcilys (Brown), Tommy Dwyer (Holy Cross), Matt O’Connor (BU), Noel Acciari (Providence), Andrew Tegeler (UMass), Jimmy Vesey and Devin Tringale (Harvard), Mike Doherty (Yale), and Tommy Davis (Princeton).
Another 25 players from last summer found homes at NESCAC schools. The rosters of Bowdoin College and Connecticut College are filled with kids who played in this tournament.
So much for the past. Once again this season, the tournament’s core group will come from the New England preps. Some of the uncommitted rising seniors will be Nick Finn (Westminster; drafted by Sioux City), Brendan Burke (St. Seb’s), Kevin Salvucci and Matt Salheny (Tabor), John Stevens (Salisbury), Kyle O’Brien (Cushing), Emilio Audi (Westminster), Max Franklin and Tim Boyle (Nobles), Devin Albert (Belmont Hill) and some very good rising juniors including Garrett Hehir (Cushing), Mark Hamilton (Salisbury), Dan Doherty (Belmont Hill), and Nick Ellis (Pomfret).
Canadian players of interest to both major junior and the NCAA who will be on hand include ’95 F Anthony DiFruscia (a second round OHL pick who is heading to Salisbury), ’94 F Zach Pryzbek from Hill Academy (OHL rights are held by Barrie), ’94 D Jonathan Laser (rights also held by Barrie), ’93 F Kyle Dutra (OHL rights are owned by Sarnia), and ’95 F Connor Brown (the Ottawa 67s own his rights). Also, Pembroke Lumber Kings ’93 goaltender Jamie Phillips, who played for the Royal Bank Cup winning Pembroke Lumber Kings, will be on hand. Phillips was a fourth round pick for Sarnia in 2009.
From the EJHL, Tyler Lovejoy and new d-man Ori Abrahamson (from Brampton) are coming from the Breakers, Ben Kaplan (graduating from St. Paul’s) will be playing for the Monarchs, Matt Solomon and Mike Hawkrigg come from Bridgewater, and big Peter MacIntyre come from the South Shore Kings.
This year, there will be 10 players from the Ontario Provincial League, another 10-12 from Minnesota high schools, and about 10 from the EJHL. A couple of the kids on hand will be heading out to the BCHL, a couple will go to the CCJHL in Ottawa, and the NAHL. D John Furgele (played in Bismark; drafted by Dubuque), F Liam McDermott (Cleveland Barons; on the Des Moines’ affiliate list), and goalie Noah Klag from Team Comcast will all be present. Minnesotans include F Andrew Commers and D Eric Schurhamer, who come from Class A state champion St Thomas Academy, and F Zach Doerring from Blake School, who was drafted by Fargo. (Yes, he’s the younger brother of incoming Vermont freshman D Blake Doerring.)
Practice on Thurs. June 23rd runs from 5:45 to 10:00 pm. Here's the game schedule:Fri. June 24th (2-7 pm), Sat. June 25th (2-7 pm), and Sun. June 26th (11-4 pm).
Needless to say, there’s been a lot of movement this spring, with still more to come. Here’s the latest we have:
Cornell will have two new assistants. On Tuesday, Mike Schafer hired Quinnipiac long-time assistant Ben Syer (meaning you can add Q-pac to the list of schools seeking an assistant). The top candidate for the position of the Big Red’s second assistant looks to be former Cornell forward Topher Scott, who, after playing a few years of minor pro, served as a volunteer at Miami last season.
Norm Bazin’s assistants at UMass-Lowell will be Jason Lammers, a well-travelled man who most recently has been at Colorado College, and Cam Ellsworth, an assistant at Sioux City (USHL) last season.
Greg Gardner, an assistant at Niagara for the last five seasons, and Scott Garrow, a long-time assistant at Cornell, will comprise Bob Prier’s staff at Princeton.
At Ohio State, Steve Brent has resigned after 13 years and will be taking a position outside of hockey. The most likely candidate for the spot is Layne LeBel. An assistant under Buckeyes’ head coach Mark Osiecki at Green Bay (USHL), LeBel went on to serve as an assistant on Dave Poulin’s staff at Notre Dame for a couple of years. This past season, LeBel was a volunteer assistant for the Buckeyes. We have also heard the name of NTDP assistant coach Joe Exter – the program’s goalie guru – in connection with this job.
Harvard has to replace Bobby Jay. We’ve heard the names of ex-Harvard goalie John Daigneau, an assistant at Canisius last season, and Northeastern assistant Albie O’Connell. The latter is particularly intriguing given what is -- or isn’t -- happening at Northeastern.
New Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson has hired Michigan alum Bill Mukalt for his staff. Last season, Mukalt, who was recruited to Michigan by Pearson in the early '90s, was head coach/GM of the New Mexico Mustangs, an NAHL expansion team.
Look for UMass assistant coach Red Gendron to take the open spot at Yale. He and Keith Allain have crossed paths working for USA Hockey – as well as in the pro game -- over the years. As for UMass, we keep hearing Blaise MacDonald will be coming on board as an assistant. Makes sense. He and Toot Cahoon share a BU connection. At any rate, if MacDonald does indeed go to UMass, the Minutemen will have three guys – Cahoon, MacDonald, and Len Quesnelle -- who have been NCAA Div. I head coaches.
St. Lawrence still has to fill the slot created by Prier’s departure to Princeton. We’ve heard Greg Carvel is high on the school’s wish list. Carvel, the captain of the Saints in ’92-93, was fired this spring after seven years as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
For the University of Connecticut assistant’s position opened up by the hiring of Joe Dumais as an assistant at Union, we have heard the name of former long-time Providence assistant Dave Berard.
For the open head position at Hamilton College, vacant since Bazin’s hiring at UMass-Lowell, we are hearing the names of both Phil Grady, who retired after 24 years behind the Hamilton bench in 2008, and his son, Brian Grady. The younger Grady, a Hamilton alum, is currently the head coach at Morrisville State (SUNYAC). We are also hearing the names of current Hamilton assistant Graham Johnson, former Clarkson head coach George Roll, former Clarkson assistant Greg Dreschel, and current Army assistant Rob Haberbusch.
Former Union forward Joel Beal has joined the Dutchmen as a volunteer assistant. Beal has been an assistant at Albany Academy the past couple of years. He's also been the head coach of the Troy-Albany midget minor AAA team.
A couple of Boston area hockey players were taken in last week’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Dexter School’s John Magliozzi, who’ll be pitching next at the University of Florida, is a righty who was chosen in the 35th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Former Belmont Hill goalie Matt Gedman was chosen in the 45th round by the Boston Red Sox, the team for which his father, Rich, was a catcher throughout the ‘80s. The younger Gedman, a second baseman, was a senior at UMass-Amherst this season and led the Atlantic-10 in hitting with a .402 average.
The Major League Baseball Draft runs 50 rounds, making it a rather different beast than the NHL Draft.
In case you missed it, Wayne Gretzky’s son, Trevor, a 6’4” left-hand hitting first baseman for Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California, was drafted in the 7th round by the Chicago Cubs. He’s committed to the San Diego State Aztecs, coached by Tony Gwynn.
Florentino Commits to Friars
6’2”, 200 lb. Anthony Florentino, who will be a junior at the South Kent School this coming season, has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’13.
Florentino, who made his final pick from between UMass-Amherst and Providence, is a 1/30/95 birthdate and West Roxbury, Mass. native. Before going to South Kent last fall, Florentino attended Xaverian. In March, Florentino attended the NTDP evaluation camp and played very well.
A big kid for his age, Florentino skates well, and has offensive skills. How those offensive skills develop over the next couple of years will tell a lot, but there’s plenty of upside.
“He has the size and physical presence to be a force,” says South Kent head coach Eric Soltys. “Anthony – whose family advisor is Phil Lecavalier -- could play in the NHL someday. He’s not an end-to-end guy. He’s more a first-pass and join-the-rush guy. He just came in here with a lot of raw talent. He’s a sponge; just wants to get better and better. Special things happen to special kids, and he’s a special kid.”
Plante Leaving Hebron for USHL
Matt Plante, the head coach at Hebron for the last four years, is leaving boarding school life for the green pastures of Indiana, where he will join the staff of Kyle Wallack, the new head coach of the Indiana Ice.
Plante, 34, is an ’02 graduate of Quinnipaic, where he was coached by Wallack. Before coming to Hebron, Plante was an assistant at Wesleyan and UConn.
Wallack Named Head Coach of Ice
Kyle Wallack has been named the new head coach of the Indiana Ice (USHL).
A Yale assistant for the last five years, Wallack talked to the Ice about the position last summer after Jeff Blashill was hired away by Western Michigan, but the time wasn’t right, so Charlie Skjodt, brother of team owner Paul Skjodt, served as head coach over the past season.
“I wasn’t ready to do it (last summer),” said Wallack, adding, “It happened, just a little later than expected.”
“I’m excited to be a head coach. Keith (Allain) was very supportive. Working with him at Yale was unbelievable, and we had some unreal success.”
The Yale Fall Prep Showcase, by the way, will continue this coming season with Cushing, Gunnery, NMH, Culver, and Northwood already signed on. There will be five more teams added to the tournament, which takes place on Nov. 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Also, speaking of Yale, the Bulldogs have a commitment from 6’0”, 175 lb. Avon Old Farms defenseman Griffin Martin, who will be going into his junior year. Martin, a ‘94 from Fairfield, Conn., is a steady defensive defenseman. A good skater with good hockey sense, he was paired down the stretch with Colin Sullivan, another Yale recruit. In 27 games, Martin had a 0-2-2 line.
New Union College head coach Rick Bennett has his staff in place, having signed on Joe Dumais, 28, a former Quinnipiac captain and an assistant at UConn for the last three years; and Jason Tapp, the former BU goaltender. Tapp, married to local TV anchorperson Nicol Lally, has been in the Albany area the past couple of years, during which time he volunteered at Union, and had great success fine-tuning Keith Kinkaid’s game. Tapp will continue to work with the goalies. Dumais will be the chief recruiter.
Union also has the first recruit of the Bennett regime, and he’s a local boy, too. Jeff Taylor, a ’94-born LD who will be a senior captain at Albany Academy is a 6’0”, 175 lb. native of Clifton Park, NY. Taylor, an offensive defenseman who is responsible in his own end, had a 7-28-35 line in 36 games last season. He will join the Dutchmen in 2013-14 after a year in junior hockey. The Dubuque Fighting Saints hold his USHL rights.
Brian Wiseman has been named as an assistant at Michigan, replacing Mel Pearson who, after an assistant at Michigan for 23 years, took the head coaching job at Michigan Tech, his alma mater.
Wiseman, a ’94 Michigan graduate, was a Div. I assistant at Princeton in the Len Quesnelle era. Most recently he has been an assistant at San Antonio (AHL).
Two other former Michigan forwards, Matt Herr and Bill Muckalt, both ’98 grads, were also finalists for the position.
Look for Jamie Russell, who resigned this spring after seven years as head coach at Michigan Tech, to be named as an assistant on Nate Leaman’s staff at Providence Colleg
Russell, a native of Kamloops, BC, has years of experience. A 44-year-old former Michigan Tech defenseman, he has coaching Div. I for 17 years – five years as an assistant at Ferris State, four years at Cornell, followed by eight as a head coach at his alma mater. In 2007, after Tech finished 18-17-5, Russell was named WCHA co-coach of the year.
Ben Barr, who came over with Leaman from Union, is the Friars’ other assistant. The former Shattuck and RPI forward was named earlier this spring.
Correct us if we're wrong, but by our count the Vancouver Canucks have eleven former NCAA players who have played at least a couple games in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, while the Bruins have just two. For Vancouver, these are the guys: Mason Raymond (Minn-Duluth), Ryan Kesler (Ohio State), Chris Higgins (Yale), Tanner Glass (Dartmouth), Victor Oreskovich (Notre Dame), Jeff Tambellini (Michigan), Kevin Bieksa (Bowling Green), Christopher Tanev (RIT), Andrew Alberts (BC), Keith Ballard (Minnesota) and Cory Schneider (BC). For Boston, it's just Rich Peverley (St. Lawrence) and Tim Thomas (Vermont).