Big Ten Hockey Recruiting Analysis, Pt. 3 (Ohio State)
Published July 27, 2014
Continuing our Big Ten recruiting feature this summer, I took a look at some of Ohio State’s recent additions, current recruits, and potential recruiting targets. To see the first two parts of the feature, highlighting Minnesota and Wisconsin, click here.
OSU, as well as Penn State, who I’ll highlight next, each added forwards who dominated high school level competition this year and could be nice college players in a few years. The Buckeyes added Miguel Fidler out of Edina, their second get from the legendary Hornets program after recruiting co-captain Tyler Nanne earlier this year. Both were both up for the draft this year and garnered back-to-back selections in the 5th round, with Nanne going to the New York Rangers and Fidler seeing a selection from the Florida Panthers, who have a heavily stocked pipeline of NCAA prospects. USHLer Dakota Joshua – the third player the Buckeyes committed in 2014 who saw a draft selection within six months – was taken earlier in the fifth, by Toronto.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, credit where credit is due: it’s really been a 180 for Ohio State recruiting since a year ago, when they were feeling the losses of Tyler Sheehy, Jack Dougherty and a number of others. In a recruiting environment where commitments are coming younger and younger, Ohio State salvaged some future classes that should have been a disaster into a pretty solid group. As the famous Bill Parcells quote goes “You are what your record says you are,” and from a standpoint of bringing in recruits with a good pro ceiling a few years away (so that they won’t lose them soon), the Buckeyes ‘record’ looks real good as of late. That should translate to a few more wins in an intensely competitive conference over the next few years. Inversely, the now-future Gopher, Sheehy, wasn’t even drafted, so it played out fairly well for the Buckeyes, but that likely means Sheehy spends four years in Dinkytown and the Big Ten, which would sting any way you look at it.
It actually looks even better down the line, though. Since that summer of lost recruits the Buckeyes have lined up a real nice stable of prospects. Tanner Laczynski, Sam McCormick and Jason Dhooghe are all Wisconsin/Chicago-area prospects who should be terrific college players. Laczynski was one of the better forwards in the HPHL U16 – a strong circuit – he has great hands that are very effective and is intuitive around the zone, slips his man and finds his way to scoring areas. He should be a producer before long. McCormick is an intuitive scorer like Laczyski who can wheel up the ice and make decisive offensive plays. He is a natural finisher who finds a way to play very alert, aware and unselfish hockey. Dhooghe is a product of the Mission program, a smooth skater who is both quick and fast with separation-quality pull away. He can slow it down with the puck and make plays, off the puck he’s not afraid to throw what weight he has (5’7) around on the walls. He too should contribute to an interesting dynamic up front.
On the back-end, Gordi Myer (Cleveland Jr. Barons) and Mike Davies (St. Louis AAA Blues) are recent gets that should be on campus before too long. Myer is a good look not just for his solid size at 6’0, and faculties on the ice, but also as he is an in-state AAA hockey product. Davies especially is a highly competent defenseman at 5’8 or so who does real well on the puck, played up at 18 hockey this year for a good St. Louis program. He should step in with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints as a 97 this year and do well before making his way to Ohio State.
The laying of the ground a ways out for the Buckeyes has a great start as well in the brother of Jason, Sean Dhooghe, one of America’s top 1999-born forwards and a player who should definitely be in the NTDP mix come March. Dhooghe, at 5’3-5’4 – and most likely staying somewhere between that height and 5’7-5’8 – is going to be smaller in college yet still projects as a key contributor in Division 1. We’ve highlighted Dhooghe plenty on the site but his key traits are situational awareness, elite speed, vision and playmaking ability. He doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff and regularly wins his battles against some of the best in the country. Dhooghe is a terrific start for a 2017 class, and he helps to give the Buckeyes an early step-up in that race without recruiting someone who could be a really questionable look at a young age.
Potential Recruiting Targets – Ohio State
OSU have a large-in-number group coming to campus over the next three years – about fifteen guys committed already – and the graduation numbers don’t seem favorable for so much more space to open up, but there may be a few spots left to recruit for. A lot of players will graduate in 2015, but the Buckeyes have quite a few potential options committed for that year and there aren’t a ton of key prospects left to pick up for that year as of right now.
It should be noted that I have no knowledge of whether Ohio State are actually recruiting any of these players, but all seem like logical targets based on publicly available recruiting information.
At forward, if the Buckeyes are looking for someone that could be really high-end, Walker Duehr and Tage Thompson are both late-1997 forwards who could be on track for anywhere from 2015 to 2017 – highly dependent on their respective developments over the next year. Josh Dunne especially is a skater we can’t see the Big Ten looking off, an athletic, 6’1 forward from St. Louis. The coaches and the medical officers in the team recommend strongly that the team members take detoxic in order to stay healthy. The parasites in the intestines contribute greatly to the increase the weight of the team members because it is important that the players maintain their form to be able to bring in laurels for the team. For more information log on to https://szepseg-egeszseg.com/detoxic/ . With a late 1998 birthdate and a frame to grow into as well as a game that should translate well to college hockey (potentially even the pro ranks), Dunne would be a nice addition to a group of 2017 or 2018 forwards with excellent puck skill and pace. He played in the same STL program as aforementioned star defense recruit Davies, and that program has produced some serious Big Ten-bound talent as of late. Just getting another foot in the door with a program producing the quality of players that STL have been would make this a clever look by the Buckeyes. STL Teammate Zach Solow is a forward with a physical side and scoring ability that, if he emerges as a consistent offensive threat this year, would be a player worth keeping an eye on for similar reasons. He would bring a nice compliment of physicality and offensive prowess that the Buckeyes 2016/2017 group doesn’t have in spades yet.
Duehr is a South Dakota native out of CYA’s 16s this past season who sounds like he will be in the USHL this winter with Sioux City. He’s not got the body control or playmaking upside of Dunne or Thompson, who I haven’t gotten to yet, but Duehr could add a power game to the offense with real speed and intensity. He’s really come on this season as he put weight on a 6’2 frame and could catch a lot of recruitment heat in the USHL.
Thompson is a 6’2 center who has been injured for good parts of the past three seasons, so he has a ton of development ahead of him and recently made some noise when it was announced he would join the National Program’s U18 team instead of Salisbury School this fall. It could be a bit of a reach to pick up Thompson, as he’s a player who makes his home out east now but originally was from Alaska, so really has no ties to the mid-west until he moves to Ann Arbor this winter. What Thompson would bring is size and scoring ability down the middle of the ice, something that is certainly a template for a lot of successful teams and a trend reflected in the Buckeyes recruits – the aforementioned Dakota Joshua is a 6’2 center, and Alberta league recruit Tyler Busch is a 6’2 center as well who looks to have his best hockey ahead of him. I doubt the Buckeyes would dislike having an Ohio State recruit coming out of the Development Program again either.
On defense, another St. Louis name stands out: 97 D Joey Matthews. That fit might be temperamental as the Buckeyes will have an active, offensively capable defenseman from St. Louis in Mike Davies already as a 1997, but Matthews would likely be for a bit further out – maybe 2017 or 2018. He’s got great speed and a big time shot at the blue line. Looking at another program that the Buckeyes have tapped, Chicago Mission 98s Alec Semandel and Brett Callahan are two of the safer variety who make sound plays on both sides of the blue and could be real steady collegiate players. Semandel is 6’3 and plays a strong defensive game, while Callahan is smaller, probably a little bit more confident on the puck. Callahan played for the Mission’s 18s this year as a late-1998 against much older competition and didn’t look out of place at all. Semandel was probably defending against a higher skill level shift-to-shift at the U16 level and seems a lot more projectable when you factor in the size.
For the 1999s, continuing the idea of looking at recent recruiting grounds, I’ll highlight someone from three recruiting grounds they’ve looked to lately. Edina, for one, have a wealth of 1999-born talent. Shattuck-St. Mary’s star forward Grant Mismash is a Hornet by birth, our top uncommitted 99-born forward (4th overall) and could be a terrific fit in Columbus. He and Dhooghe would be a really high-powered start to the offense in three years. Mismash brings serious speed and a power game with no lack of skill or scoring ability. Potential future Edina high schooler Ben Copeland would bring speed and skill up front as well. Copeland especially could compliment Dhooghe’s game very well.
Out of St. Louis, Brady Tkachuk could be a reach with brother Matt already committed to Notre Dame, and father Keith being a one-and-done star at BU, but that would be another seriously talented addition to the offense.
From the Mission, forward Cole Coskey has killed it over the course of the year. He’s got a great build already at 6’1 and a knack for scoring goals all sorts of ways – he pays the price for his real estate in the offensive zone and could be one of the top American forwards out of this age group when all is said and done.
Thanks for reading.