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College Hockey Commitments – January 2014

By   /  January 7, 2014  /  Comments Off

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New commitment page, same deal. This page will be updated as January’s Division 1 commitments come in and you can find the earlier commitment pages below. Limited advertising opportunities are available, click here to inquire.

Dec/13 - Nov/13 - Heisenberg 2014 list - S70 Listing Oct/13 - S70 Graduates - S70 Newsletter

96 F Ryan Donato (#3) commits to Harvard

After a few months with no clear indication, Dexter star forward Ryan Donato made it official: he’ll be playing for his father and Harvard Crimson head coach Ted Donato in Cambridge after next season. With a roster with plenty of pieces for success down the line, like rising stars Sean Malone, Alex Kerfoot, Jimmy Vesey, Kyle Criscuolo and Brian Hart – among others, Donato may be the last piece of the puzzle to help bring Harvard back into national championship contention.

95 F Adam Rockwood commits to Wisconsin

With some forward spots still open for this coming season, the Badgers needed to hustle to find college-ready talent to step in this season. They did just that in picking up one of the BCHL’s pre-eminent playmakers, Coquitlam forward Adam Rockwood. His 52 assists in 52 games this season shine, and it appears the NCAA has a good one coming to the league in Rockwood. Our BCHL correspondent Jeff McCarthy scouted Rockwood this weekend, describing him as “a pure playmaker that sees the ice as his chess board. Has patience with the puck, and can handle the majority of the work in the offensive zone, using his hands in tight to deke out defenders and his smarts to create a play to an open forward. Although not a strong skater, he has great edge-work which can help him work around defenders behind the net…finding open ice seems to be no problem for the slim Rockwood.”

98 D Luke Martin commits to Michigan

The strong group of 1998-born defenseman got a lot shallower for college recruiters when the Wolverines picked up STL Blues U16 defenseman Luke Martin this January. A masterful skater with a well-rounded game in a 6’2 frame, Martin joins an excellent class of 2020 headed to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2016 that includes hulking defenseman Griffin Luce and tall, strong forward James Sanchez, among others.

97 F Will Garin commits to Connecticut

Connecticut picked up one of Minnesota’s rising prospects in Holy Family Catholic forward Will Garin, a 5’7 scorer that’s been a staple of the Fire offense for a few years despite only being a sophomore. Garin is one of a number of young rising prospects reaching their stride with Holy Family, including uncommitted prospects John Peterson, Dayton Rasmussen, and other young talents, such as junior defenseman Matt Runyon. A point-per-game player since 8th grade, the 5’11 forward has a 14-16-30 line in just 15 games this season.

95 F Spencer Naas (#67) commits to Connecticut

The Huskies pulled quite the swing in Minnesota this month, picking up three of our highly regarded MN-HS prospects in a short span of time. Naas, a Mr. Hockey finalist and electric scorer, has a gaudy 24 goals in 22 games this season, including 27 assists, though his game does seem to tame when it goes up a level to the Elite League. His skating ability is something to see, a frenetic, lively skater with the ability to break through offensively at what seems like any time, but he can be caught lurking on the perimeter at times as well. In Naas, the Huskies staff acquire a skater who has the potential to push the tempo in Division 1, but could even be a break-out scorer for them if the fit is right. Naas was our #67 ranked uncommitted prospect.

96 D Anthony Wyse commits to Dartmouth

Dartmouth added one for a few years out in Wyse, a 6’3 defenseman with the Boston Advantage U18s that has the athleticism and frame that could spell some real success when he gets to campus in 2016. While he likely doesn’t project as an offensive quarterback or key contributor, Wyse has 22 points in 25 games for the Advantage this season, good for third on the team.

94 D Brian Rideout commits to Nebraska-Omaha

Nebraska-Omaha picked up a serviceable, college ready defenseman in Powell River Kings defenseman Brian Rideout. Described by our own Jeff McCarthy as a “strong and physical two-way defenseman who can log minutes by playing smart and positionally safe hockey,” the late 1994-born defenseman will bring a 6’2 frame and the ability to make a quiet, necessary impact on UNO’s blue line next season.

93 F Christian Horn commits to St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence added former Minnesota forward Christian Horn, who left the program this year, his sophomore season, after joining the roster straight out of high school as a walk-on. In high school, for Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Christian Horn was a prolific scorer both for BSM and in the Elite League, and though he played no NCAA games for the Gophers, he proved his value again this season in the USHL where he helped power the Tri-City Storm’s offense before a trade to Sioux Falls recently, where he’s continued the offensive fireworks. St. Lawrence’s recruiting efforts in picking up Horn are looking shrewd even when one considers that Horn has just three years of eligibility remaining.

93 F Jack Musil commits to Maine

Maine picked up a recruit who hails from the United Kingdom originally in 1993-born forward Jack Musil. Having a great season with the New England Wolves this winter, Musil has been described as an offensive threat and he clearly showed that across the pond before coming to the States a few years ago, where he went to town on their junior-age circuits as an underager.

94 F Casey Miller commits to Sacred Heart

Former UMass recruit Casey Miller has found a new home in Atlantic Hockey’s Sacred Heart. Miller skates on the Islanders Hockey Club’s USPHL outfit this season with a number of D1-bound recruits and though he really isn’t an explosive offensive threat, he can be seen plugging away on the offense and not trying to force a play around the final third.

95 F TJ Moore commits to Holy Cross

The Crusaders looked to a Benilde-St. Margaret’s product – a Minnesota HS that garnered a lot of D1 commitment press this month – in TJ Moore, a forward now with the USHL’s Chicago Steel. An effective, but diminutive, playmaking scorer is the name of Moore’s game, and he does it well. Eyes will look to Worcester when TJ Moore arrives to see how well his game translates to the Atlantic conference.

96 D Matt Burchill commits to Air Force

Air Force continued their efforts in building a class of 2015/2016 in picking up Bay State Breakers (USPHL) defenseman Matt Burchill this week. Burchill’s posted 18 assists for Bay State, good for third on the team. Even more impressive has been Air Force’s ability to tie down so many recruits for down the line, such as forward Matt Pulver, a nice talent who committed earlier this month, and defenseman Seamus Donohue, who some scouts regard as one of the top prospects on the blue line in the state for his birthyear.

93 D Jonathan Kopacka commits to Air Force

While the future is key, the imminent future is integral, and Air Force picked up an experienced blue liner from Metamora, Michigan this month after securing some long-term recruits this season as well. Kopacka is an assistant captain with the NAHL’s Port Huron squad, and he’s found some success all over the sheet since joining Port Huron. Air Force, for their part, have found a lot of success in recruiting the NAHL, and Kopacka’s commitment simply furthers that pipeline.

97 F Alex Whelan commits to Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac picked up the USPHL U16′s leading scorer for the third time this season, as the title has now shifted between three future Bobcats with the commitment of NJ Hitmen forward Alex Whelan. Described as a game-breaking talent, Whelan is strong on his skates and proficient with the puck, finding the net a mind-boggling 33 times in 24 games this season, while picking up 36 assists to boot. With Whelan, Johnny DeRoche and Ryan Finnegan, all top USPHL U16 prospects, headed to Hamden, the future looks pretty explosive for the Bobcats.

98 D Konstantin Chernyuk commits to Maine

Wilkes-Barre’s pipeline of Europeans to the college ranks is furthered as 1998-born prospect Konstantin Chernyuk gave a commitment to Maine this month. A skater whose gone from 5’5 in 2009-10 to 5’11 in 2011-12, and now stands at a very lanky 6’3, Chernyuk’s got massive upside and his height is only one facet of that. While it’s impossible to project him yet, his skating and skill on the puck is impressive for a young skater at such a height and he’s nowhere near filling out his frame. If his game on the puck and looks to create offensively don’t suffer as he gains strength and steadiness as a player, Chernyuk could be a tall, offensive catalyst from the back-end. He plays loose right now and can make some questionable reads, but could be a great one at the end of the day. The St. Petersburg Silver Lions product is a nice pick-up for the Bears, and potentially a sign of things to come if more talented Russians opt to come over.

97 D Grant Gabriele commits to Western Michigan

Western Michigan picks up a nice one in Compuware product Grant Gabriele, a smooth-skating defenseman who is playing a spot role with the highly-talented NTDP U17 team this year. He’s committed for a few years out, 2016, so he’ll be one to watch as Bronco fans can hope he fashions into an impact skater on the back-end.

97 F David Keefer commits to Michigan State

The Honeybaked U16 to Michigan State pipeline gets furthered with the commitment of forward David Keefer, the team’s fourth-leading scorer as of right now. The Spartans are putting a lot of their eggs in a 1997/1998-born recruiting class basket that includes Ryan Bederka, Mitch Lewandowski, Mitch Eliot, Noah LaLonde and now Keefer from that Honeybaked U16 team, as well as Ty Farmer (STL) and another Honeybaked product in Zach Osburn.

96 F Dylan Pavelek commits to Michigan State

Former OSU commit Dylan Pavelek, who dropped his commitment after the Osiecki coaching change, has committed to Michigan State for next fall. The Belle Tire product will be looked to pitch in some offense with his ability to fire it early, but likely won’t be in a starring offensive role for the Spartans, who needed to address a lack of depth at forward for next season.

scouting

96 F Mike Gillespie commits to Niagara

Niagara picks up one of the NJ Rockets scorers this season in Mike Gillespie, a 5’9, 165 lb forward with 77 points in 63 games across the EHL and U19 Rockets outfits. Gillespie is one of a number of Rockets who have or will likely commit to D1 programs this season, including Chad Krys, AJ Drobot (Maine), Cam Dineen (Yale), as well as other stars Jonathan Lazarus and Patrick Harper.

93 D Ori Abramson commits to Boston University

BU adds size and experience to the blue-line with former Providence College recruit Ori Abramson, who left the school with an illness in 2012 and will suit up against the Friars for the Terriers next season. A team that’s struggling to hold their own in Hockey East this season, Abramson adds strength and the ability to defend under duress to a Terriers team that needs it moving forward.

94 F Danny Lopez commits to Holy Cross

The NJ Hitmen send yet another forward to the D1 ranks in 6’3 winger Danny Lopez, who has 27 points in 36 games this season. Lopez joins teammate Michael Laffin as Crusaders recruits headed to campus up front next year, while rival defenseman Tommy Muratore from the Middlesex Islanders should be moving the puck up to the ice from them in purple jerseys before long.

95 F Chris Makowski commits to Mercyhurst

Mercyhurst reached into the USPHL Premier ranks for the PAL Jr. Islanders top D1 prospect in Chris Makowski. A big 6’3 forward who plays with some engagement, Makowski looked like PAL’s best player against the Middlesex Islanders last weekend and plays an offensive game that could be effective in Atlantic by 2015, when he is expected to matriculate.

95 F Charlie Gerard commits to Minnesota State

Minnesota State looked to Ohio for a recruit in Ohio Blue Jackets U18 forward Charlie Gerard. The 5’9 forward from Rocky River, OH is one of the leading scorers in Tier 1 Midget Major, with a 24-12-36 line in 30 games.

93 D Christian Weidauer commits to Alaska-Anchorage

Alaska-Anchorage looked to their BCHL pipeline again for a college-ready defenseman in Christian Weidauer, a 6’2 blue liner from Keswick, Ontario. The long-time Carleton Place Canadiens defenseman is at nearly a point-per-game pace with a strong Prince George team and looks to be another piece of the puzzle as the last-place team in the WCHA works to turn things around fast with a new coaching staff.

97 G Camden Burggrabe commits to Northern Michigan

The Wildcats picked up a local prospect in Marquette, MI native Camden Burggrabe. A 1997-born goaltender plying his trade with Culver Military Academy in Indiana, Burggrabe is a Detroit Honeybaked product who will have a few years to develop before returning to Marquette again in, likely, 2016.

94 D Michael Crocock commits to Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart looked up north for a recruit in Brantford, Ontario minor hockey product Michael Crocock. A 5’10 defenseman who has spent time in the GOJHL, OJHL, CCHL and Maritime circuit, Crocock is back in the OJHL with the Kingston Voyageurs this season and has 10 points in 15 games since joining the team from Summerside of the Maritime league.

94 F Tony Calderone flips from Princeton to Michigan

2012 USHL first overall selection and former Princeton commit has flipped to Michigan for this coming season. A Victory Honda product from Trenton, MI, Calderone has 24 points in 36 USHL showings this season and will have to be considered a real loss for not just Princeton, who committed him in March of 2012, but also the ECAC. There’s a bright light for the ECAC, though, in Quinnipiac commit Landon Smith, who just declined an offer from North Dakota to join at the mid-point of this season. His BCHL leading 37 goals (alongside 31 assists) in 45 games will be a welcome addition of star power to the conference.

97 F Matt Pulver (#29) commits to Air Force

Air Force picks up another good one for the future in Omaha U16 AAA forward Matt Pulver. An athletic, incisive skater in the offensive zone, Pulver should be able to contribute offensively and cut off the air of a breaking-out defenseman with his ability to read the play and get to the smart areas. A former Wisconsin High Schooler that’s moved to the AAA ranks this season, Pulver had 85 points in 47 Wisconsin HS games over two seasons. This year, he’s not producing at the same level, but he’s also not been used to the amount of games in one season and when he arrives at Fairbanks of the NAHL, where he’s tendered next year, he should be well-prepared for the grind of junior hockey before he gets to Dubuque, who own his USHL rights. Pulver was recently ranked #29 in our latest uncommitted 100 ranking.

94 F Alex Cromwell commits to Providence

Providence adds some size on the wing in Fort MacMurray (AJHL) alternate captain Alex Cromwell, a 6’2 winger from Texas. The Dallas Stars product from McKinney, TX, has 11 points in 21 games this season, as well as 36 penalty minutes. The production is a step-up from last year, where he had 13 points in 56 games. In picking up Cromwell, the Friars get an imposing body on the wing, but they also get a player used to being on top, where the Friars want to be for a long time – Fort MacMurray are the #2 team out of all Canada’s Jr. A circuits.

95 F Matt Mendelson commits to Penn State

Penn State netted an in-state product in 5’9, 165 lb forward Matt Mendelson, who has been a bright spot up front for the Lumberjacks and has 26 points in 36 games this season after just 3 in 17 showings last year. Mendelson’s sister, Cara, plays for the Nittany Lions’ women’s team.

95 F Tyler Gernhofer commits to Vermont

The Catamounts, who had been quiet on the recruiting front since late November, picked up a Texas native in Amarillo Bulls (NAHL) leading goal-scorer Tyler Gernhofer this week. Gernhofer has 23 tallies on the season in his second year with the Bulls. Prior to that, he had been with the Dallas Stars Elite club, a program that’s really churning out college hockey talent as of late.

95 D Brien Diffley commits to Boston University

BU, after heading all over the country for their recent recruits, hopped over the Charles River to Cambridge and committed BB&N defenseman Brien Diffley this month. Diffley’s become well-known for his ability to rush the puck up the ice, and it’s his instincts with the puck on the end of his stick, as well as a 6’2 frame to grow into, that had some schools very excited. We had never been sold on Diffley as a high-end D1 player, so this one comes a little bit out of left field when compared to the pedigree that the Terriers last six recruits have shared, though there is certainly a dearth of puck-rushing, college ready blue liners in the uncommitted ranks.

96 F Mike Gillespie commits to Niagara

Niagara University picked up a forward out of the NJ Rockets, a program that’s having a banner year where D1 commitments are concerned. A 5’9 scorer, Gillespie has 77 points in 63 games played between the Rockets U19 team and their Eastern Hockey League team and likely is on track for two seasons out.

96 D Gordi Myer commits to Ohio State

Ohio State picked up an in-state prospect in Cleveland Barons product Gordi Myer, a 1996-born defenseman from Toledo, per Chris Heisenberg.

00 F Oliver Wahlstrom commits to Maine

The most controversial commit of the year has (hopefully) arrived, in 2000-born Oliver Wahlstrom’s commitment to Maine. The North Yarmouth Academy 7th grader sparked some big news in the college recruiting world when he opted to take the same path his father, Joakim Wahlstrom, a former Black Bear himself, did back in 1988. Wahlstrom plays U14 Minuteman Flames with highly regarded 2000-born defenseman Liam Wise, and inspired many to comment on how special of a player Wahlstrom already is, despite how questionable this early commitment is. With over 4 million hits on youtube already, a very respectable point line for a prep school program, and a Division 1 commitment under his belt, it’s hard to deny anyone that Wahlstrom might be “the next one” – maybe even Maine’s next Paul Kariya – but one has to wonder what a commitment really means when it’s given in 7th grade.

We can bemoan the fact that a school offered someone who is a full grade away from freshman year, we can question whether he’s ever going to “pan out”, but in my eyes, this commitment starts to look like it means nothing. A top 2 college-bound recruit for next season, Sonny Milano, switched from Notre Dame to Boston College like it was nothing this winter – it was. AJ Greer flipped from Penn State to BU weeks ago, with no repercussions, and kids will continue to do so, because there really shouldn’t be any. This dynamic of committing so young is watering down the meaning of a commitment and only serving to have talented, upcoming prospects keep the NCAA route at the forefront. That’s gotta be a win where the NCAA’s concerned, but if Wahlstrom and the mass of young recruits committed currently, don’t end up at their initially chosen schools, this is looking like the beginning of the end for a gentleman’s agreement that’s only loosely held together as it is. The recruiting process between a school and their recruits doesn’t stop after a commitment – and that’s even before a rival program or major junior enters the equation.

97 F David Cotton commits to Boston College

The Eagles picked up one of New England’s top pro prospects in a year that has to be considered an ‘up year’, as the league is littered with skaters earmarked for the pro ranks. Cotton is a smart forward with a pro build and a propensity for creating offense, though he still seemed far away from his potential and not as used to his frame when we caught him at Beantown this summer. Now, leading his talented Cushing Academy group in scoring and in prep school’s top 30 scoring chart as a repeat sophomore, Cotton’s in the conversation with Ryan Donato as one of prep school’s top professional prospects. Brother Jason is a 1995 committed to Northeastern and is plying his trade with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors.

96 G Blake Weyrick (#53) commits to Brown

Ojai, California native Blake Weyrick, NHL Central Scouting’s #3 ranked netminder, has landed on Brown for his college hockey. A welcome swing for the Bears, who have been red-hot in the ECAC as far as recruiting goes. Weyrick is a former Shattuck-St. Mary’s stopper who joined the NTDP last season and has attracted attention for, especially, how high-end he could become as he develops. No goaltender is a guaranteed star in college, but Weyrick, who has been 6’3 for a while and is growing into his frame nicely, could be really impressive in a few years.

scouting

96 D Jake Walman commits to Providence

Providence committed a pro prospect out of the OJHL, in 6’1 Toronto native Jake Walman. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens rookie has 24 points (19 assists) in 32 games this season, and 42 PIMs. He’ll head to Providence next season and add to a high-end Friars D corps that already includes John Gilmour (Calgary) and Anthony Florentino (Buffalo), while it adds prospect Terrance Amorosa (Philadelphia) this fall. They’ve also got young prep hockey stars Cam Lee and Spenser Young coming in, making a really talented D pipeline headed to Coach Leaman’s Friars.

On Walman’s commitment, GM Frank Morris told OTB, “…when one of our players, like Jake Walman, commits to Providence, we at the Toronto Jr. Canadiens are extremely happy for them and very proud of their accomplishment. We can only wish Jake all the very best in their future.”

96 F Ted Hart (#15) commits to Providence

Ted Hart, brother of Kevin (Providence) and Brian (Harvard), made his college decision this month and will join one of his brother’s alma mater for his college career. Ted, it has been noted many times, is not similar to either of his brothers in playing style. A gifted playmaker with vision and skill, Hart’s got the same athleticism and hockey sense that clearly runs through the Hart family – it all makes a very appealing package in one prep school player, and a great college player down the line. Hart was our #15 uncommitted prospect this month.

96 D Brandon Hickey commits to Boston University

Boston University got a big pick-up out of the Alberta league this month in draft eligible defenseman Brandon Hickey, of Leduc, Alberta. The 6’2 defenseman is ranked 63rd, tops among all AJHL prospects and well ahead of most D1 commitments. For a season that’s been a rollercoaster for the Terriers, Hickey will be looked to help shore things up on the back-end ASAP – in 9 months, to be exact.

97 F Ryan Dmowski (#29) commits to UMass-Lowell

Lowell picks up another prospect from the Gunnery, this time a highly-touted power forward in junior Ryan Dmowski. Dmowski had 18 goals in 30 games last season and has a mean streak on the ice to go with his D1 frame and heavy shot. He’s been best in the north-south game, where he can be an outlet and threat off the rush, though he has such a weapon of a shot that he can be dangerous at any time in the zone with the puck.

93 G Kasimir Kaskisuo commits to Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota-Duluth found the goalie they’ve been looking for in MN Wilderness (NAHL) stopper by way of Finland, Kasimir Kaskisuo, a 6’2 draft eligible who has played his way onto a lot of radars this winter. The Jokerit (Finland) alumni furthers a line of Europeans heading to College Hockey, and as the amount of college-ready netminders clearly available is extremely small right now, Kaskisuo had been a hotly regarded commodity from the NCHC to Hockey East.

98 F AJ Drobot commits to Maine

Maine committed the NJ Rockets junior programs leading scorer, who also happens to be only 15 years old, when they picked up forward AJ Drobot this week. In 48 games, the Pennsylvania native has 31 goals, and joins Cam Dineen as the second NJR 1998 to commit D1 this season. All eyes turn to star defenseman and teammate Chad Krys now, who has yet to make a college decision.

97 D Steven Ruggiero commits to Penn State

Another 1997 commits to Penn State as they begin to grow a real pipeline of players, this time in well-regarded USHLer Steven Ruggiero. A former Metro Moose (Met) prospect, the 6’3, rangy defenseman from Kings Park has played 14 games for Youngstown this season and is with teammate Bo Pellah, who will be headed to campus next fall. Ruggiero fits the Penn State mold on D pretty well, that is to say: big, pro sized. Five of Penn State’s defensemen this season are over 6’2, and while the Nittany Lions did just commit diminutive scorer Denis Smirnov (below), only five non-redshirted skaters are below 6’0 on the roster this season.

97 F Denis Smirnov commits to Penn State

Penn State furthered a fledgling pipeline from the Wilkes-Barre program that’s brought in so many talented Russians already when they committed Indiana Ice star forward Denis Smirnov this month. The highly skilled, 5’7 winger is capable of some jaw-dropping plays and could be an outstanding college player, but even more relevant here is the trend it’s hinting at. With top 5 uncommitted prospect Ivan Provorov with Cedar Rapids still uncommitted, rising forwards Eugene Fadyeyev and Vladislav Dzhioshvili still in the WBS program, and high-end forward Nikita Pavlychev already committed to State College, this could be an incredible group of imports if they all swung the Nittany Lions way. They’ve even got two potentially very talented goaltenders in NJ Rockets U18 stopper Andrey Svistunov, himself a WBS vet, and well-regarded 1997 Nick Vilardo with the U18s, available just in time for Penn State’s goaltending situation to get fairly shallow.

93 F Teddy McCarran commits to Merrimack

The USPHL sends another prospect to the Division 1 ranks in overage forward Teddy McCarran, with the Islanders Hockey Club. This season, the 6’1 forward from Derry, NH, has 15 points in 27 games, including 10 goals. McCarran is one of the D1-bound players in the USPHL who really stands out, plays with a lot of engagement and is tough to contain. Against Suffolk PAL where I caught him, he had some room to breathe and make plays in the deeper half of the offensive zone and he looked really impressive, though as a 1993 that could be expected.

96 D Blake Hillman commits to Denver

Former Elk River defenseman Blake Hillman, just 17 years old, has committed to Denver. The 6’1 defenseman has 7 points in 21 games this season for Dubuque and looks like another well-scouted prospect from the Fighting Saints, as they picked him up with the 240th overall pick last Spring and 7 months later has a commitment to a D1 power.

94 D Dane Cooper commits to Brown

Brown continued their best-in-ECAC-caliber recruiting in picking up Waterloo Black Hawks alternate captain Dane Cooper this month. The 6’0 defenseman from Chicago is a rugged blue liner that should help Brown on the ice later this year.

96 F Dakota Joshua commits to Ohio State

The Buckeyes grabbed one of the USHL’s youngest uncommitted prospects in Sioux Falls forward Dakota Joshua. The 6’2 Dearborn, MI native has 20 points in 32 games this season, good for 7th on the Stampede, and 12th among U18 skaters in the USHL. Only 1997-born Artem Artemov (Chicago Steel) remains uncommitted above Joshua in the scoring chart, with 13 goals. Joshua is a Honeybaked product who skated for their U16s last season.

93 F Nic Pierog commits to Clarkson

The newest Penticton Vee (and former Surrey Eagle) commits to Clarkson in Nic Pierog. The overage forward, a former Canterbury Saint (NE-Prep), had 38 points in 39 games with the Eagles. To say Clarkson recruits the Canadian Jr. A circuits hard would be an understatement, and Pierog will join Vees teammate Ben Dalpe in Potsdam, as well as a number of fellow BCHLers.

97 F Pat Kramer commits to Merrimack

Merrimack picked up a forward for 2016 in BC High junior forward Pat Kramer. Kramer’s Eagles are undefeated this season, 7-0-2 through 9 games in which he’s put up 18 points. The big scorer brings a winning pedigree to the Warriors and should be a good prospect for them over the coming years. Teammate Ryan Shea, a defenseman with a lot of spark and offensive competence, is attracting a lot of well-earned attention as well, while goaltender Brandon Payzant could reportedly garner a commitment of his own down the line.

96 D Hayden Shaw commits to North Dakota

Former Woodbury (MN-HS) defenseman Hayden Shaw, now with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, committed to North Dakota for two years out this month. Shaw has 18 points through 26 games this season and reportedly chose UND over Minnesota, OSU and Denver, per UND beat writer Brad Schlossman.

94 F Blake Winiecki commits to St. Cloud

St. Cloud snags one of the USHL’s more prolific uncommitted goal-scorers in Waterloo over-ager Blake Winiecki. A Lakeville native, Winiecki scored at a goal-per-game pace in his final year with North, and 36 points in 32 Elite League games over two seasons. The 6’1 center will join the Huskies this fall.

94 F TJ Roo commits to Bemidji State

Former Totino-Grace star forward TJ Roo has committed to Bemidji State after a strong start to his NAHL career. With the Aberdeen Wings, the 5’11 scorer from Coon Rapids has posted 25 points in 26 games after a high school career that saw a whopping 231 points over 100 games, including 86 goals. Roo has scored quite a bit everywhere so far, and the Beavers will be hoping for more of the same.

94 F Evan Peterson commits to Colgate

Former Lakeville North star Evan Peterson, now with the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadiens, chose Colgate this month after a stellar start to a second season of juniors in which he has 66 points in 40 games for the Canadiens. The 6’0 forward from Lakeville by way of Winnipeg will head to campus next fall.

94 F Dylan Hollman commits to UMass

Lowell takes a play from administration rival UMass Amherst and commits an AJHL star in Spruce Grove veteran Dylan Hollman, who has broken out with 35 points (24 goals) in 37 games this season after just 24 points in 60 games last winter. A 6’1 winger from Red Deer, Alberta, who honed his minor hockey years in Red Deer, Hollman is a three-year AJHL vet and will head to campus this fall. He wore an A with Canada West at the WJAC in 2013, scoring 4 goals in 4 games and adding 3 assists to lead the team.

94 D Sean Mostrom commits to Denver

Denver committed a former Providence Academy (MN-HS) star defenseman in Rio Grande Valley (NAHL) skater Sean Mostrom this week. The 6’3 blue liner has 43 PIMs and 8 points in 19 games as coach Jim Montgomery receives a player under the tutelage of former colleague Joe Coombs.

95 F Owen Powers commits to Holy Cross

Choate senior forward Owen Powers committed to Holy Cross this month. The CT Wolfpack U18 forward is third on the Wild Boars in points this year and will be headed to campus in a few years. He had 21 points in 27 games as a junior last winter.

94 F Spencer Foo commits to Union

Union committed an AJHLer in Edmonton native Spencer Foo, of the Bonnyville Pontiacs. Foo, a 6’0 forward, has 24 points in 22 AJHL games this season, a real step up from the 30 in 55 games he had as a rookie. In less than half the games, he’s already scored one more goal (14) than he had last season.

95 D Austin Kosack commits to Ferris State

Ferris State picked up a 1995 for next year in Indiana Ice rookie Austin Kosack. Kosack, an Oakville, Ontario native who tallied 38 assists in 49 games for the OJHL’s Milton Icehawks last season, was a Brampton (now North Bay) draft pick in the 2011 OHL draft. He has 17 points in 30 games for the Ice this year, leading all blue liners and good for 7th on the team.

94 F Joseph McKeown commits to Bowling Green

BGSU picked up a 6’1 OJHLer in 19-year-old forward Joseph McKeown, skating with the Wellington Dukes. The OJHL vet has 22 points in 39 games this season.

94 F Andy Sturtz commits to Penn State

Penn State grabbed a Canadian recruit with plenty of GOJHL experience out of the CCHL in rookie forward Andy Sturtz, who has nearly a goal-per-game pace (14 in 15) and 11 assists to go with that. The 5’11 forward from Buffalo is likely headed to campus in 2015.

95 D Malcolm Hayes (#92) commits to Maine

Maine picked up a top uncommitted defenseman from the prep school ranks today when they secured a commitment from Cushing’s Malcolm Hayes. The newest Black Bear recruit weighs in at 6’2, 215 and made some noise at this summer’s Beantown where his upside was evident against some of the top prospects in the region. A former New Hampton (NH) defenseman, Hayes is clearly well-built and salvaged a lot of plays in a high-tempo environment that was clearly a step up from what he had been used to, improvising terrifically and making his presence felt all over the sheet.

We had him as our #3 defenseman from the Beantown Classic because of what he brought to the table, but wanted to see again how he would progress this season under coach Rob Gagnon and the Penguins. We noted back in November that early reports had been “very, very positive.” Malcolm was our #92 uncommitted prospect and that likely doesn’t accurately reflect where he is now as a prospect.

96 D Tyler Nanne (#9) commits to Ohio State

Edina co-captain Tyler Nanne made his college decision today, committing to play in the Big Ten against his home state’s namesake program and four other formidable conference foes for the majority of his college career. A slick, skilled forward-turned-defenseman who can make jaw-dropping plays with the puck, Nanne has the ability to dictate the tempo of a game with his mastery of the vulcanized rubber and is an unignorable offensive threat. It was evident before, for the past few years, and it was evident in the Elite League this fall, where his hot-and-cold play could be both exciting and frustrating – but the natural ability is undeniable.

With the Hornets this winter, Nanne has a more than competent powerplay quarterback in sophomore Ryan Zuhlsdorf, so he’s able to play further up the zone on the man advantage and show just how lethal he is near the net. A versatile, competent defenseman who has the upside to be a premier college player if he can bring his game on every shift, Nanne could be a key piece of the puzzle in Ohio State’s attempts to establish a high position within the Big Ten in the coming years. Nanne, who was our #9 uncommitted prospect in December, is the grandson of Minnesota hockey legend Lou Nanne and brother of RPI commit Louie Nanne.

97 F Jared Bethune (#29) commits to Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota-Duluth’s other recruit from the north to start 2014 is 5’11 forward Jared Bethune, who leads Warroad in points with 53 in just 14 games this season. A hard-nosed, dynamic pivot with the ability to throw hard, timely passes onto the tape and also drive the net with purpose, Bethune’s a very impactful forward in the final third and processes the game very quickly. He’s tough on the puck and makes a lot of plays offensively. On committing alongside Roth, Bethune noted that what makes them so successful together is Roth’s ability to “make a lot of plays, get to the backdoor – he always seems to find me all over the ice”, and Roth echoed his comments, noting that “whenever I make a pass, he seems to always be there. We just always click.”

Bethune cited UMD as “a school that I’ve always looked at, I like their style, the tradition they have. It’s close to home. And their captain, Joe Basaraba, he’s from my hometown (Fort Frances, ON), he’s a great player and I always wanted to go because of that. When they wanted me and Kobe together, it was a dream come true.”

Bethune also noted that the idea of himself and Roth playing on a line with a guy like Joey Anderson (currently 2017), was an appealing aspect of what UMD could offer them as players. He’ll likely finish out his high school career before heading to juniors for a spell, before arriving in Duluth. Bethune was our #29 uncommitted prospect in December’s top 100 ranking (Elite).

97 F Kobe Roth commits to Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota-Duluth committed Northern Minnesota’s top college hockey prospects this Saturday when both Kobe Roth and Jared Bethune, Warroad teammates, committed together to become Bulldogs. Roth is a 5’7, 140 forward who, despite his slight stature, is the archetypal undersized playmaker with elite offensive vision and finishing ability. He uses his stick skills and hockey sense to get into the right place, throw the puck to smart areas, and is hell to play against because it’s so hard to contain him. Consistently generates chances and develops chemistry with linemates very quickly. It’s evidenced best with Bethune, clearly, as the two have combined for over 100 points in just 14 games this season.

This fall, Roth put up a 4-4-8 line as a junior in the Elite League, on a deceptively thin team where anything more would have been a revelation. For Warroad, Roth leads the team with 24 goals and has 52 points in 14 games this season, already well surpassing his 42 points (23 goals) in 24 games last winter. Originally from Iowa, Roth will likely find his way back to Iowa a few times in the USHL or another junior circuit, but told OTB that he’s likely going to spend another year with Warroad before heading to juniors.

95 D Phil Beaulieu (#61) commits to Nebraska-Omaha

Nebraska-Omaha picked up one of the few remaining senior-aged talents in the Minnesota High School ranks, Duluth East star defenseman-turned-forward (at least temporarily): Phil Beaulieu. Our #61 uncommitted prospect in the country, Beaulieu is a heady, offensively-gifted skater who makes great decisions on the puck and does a lot of the little things right. A quiet skater who can control the game from the back-end, Beaulieu’s clearly answering the bell up front as Duluth East’s second-leading scorer this season. Beaulieu joins a group of MN 1995s (Luc Snuggerud, Steven Spinner, Avery Peterson) who are all making a real impact as seniors in high school hockey, but are also all USHL-caliber players who have sideswiped the elevated level of competition to play a senior year. It’s hard not to love the dedication to the hometown – I named Beaulieu my Mr. Hockey favorite, Gunnar named fellow UNO recruit Steven Spinner his, while UNO’s Snuggerud and Peterson were noted as well - but if this talented group of four don’t end up making the impact they should at UNO, they may be one of the last groups with the freedom to do so.

97 F Michael Davies commits to Ohio State

The other AAA Blues product to commit to OSU this January 6th is current Blues forward Michael Davies, a 5’9, 145 Kirkwood, Missouri native who has 16 points in 23 games playing up with the U18s this winter. Last season, Davies, a Dubuque (USHL) Futures pick and likely soon-to-be roster mainstay, posted 30 points in 38 games. A USHL scout described Davies as an “offensive, puck-moving defenseman with excellent vision. Keeps a good active stick when defending, but what he’s really good at is moving pucks up the ice on the break-out and fishing pucks out. He has a swagger about him too, a good teammate with powerplay quarterback upside if he gets stronger [and develops].”

98 F Michael Fahie commits to Brown

Brown furthered their Nobles pipeline in picking up young star Michael Fahie, a rising playmaker who is currently skating alongside some of Nobles’ biggest guns on a regular shift. While he’s still very slight, Fahie makes some glowing plays with the puck and processes the game with uncanny speed, able to improvise and feed to a teammate or capitalize on a scoring chance very intuitively. Fahie is Brown’s first look for 2017, and it’s a great start for a program that’s already loaded the previous classes with premier prep talent.

96 F AJ Greer commits to Boston University

Boston University’s Kimball Union connection paid off this week, as KUA Co-Captain and star forward AJ Greer gave his commitment to the Terriers. A former Penn State commit as of a few weeks ago, Greer wanted a fit that was both closer to home, but also had a “better hockey tradition”, and no slight to the Nittany Lions, but he certainly landed that with a commitment to five-time national champions BU. A late 1996 birthdate, Greer is another of the numerous 2015 entry draft eligibles that makes 2015 already seem like a very high-end draft year for NCAA hopefuls. Greer brings a multi-faceted offensive game in a 6’3, 205 lb. frame, and while I don’t love player comparisons, over the course of the World Juniors fellow Quebec-area prospect Anthony Mantha (DET, 1st rd 2013), who uses size, speed, hockey sense and an uncanny ability to handle and fire the puck to catch the goalie in an unfortunate position, was reminiscent of Greer, as the younger has shades of the same offensive ability.

This summer, Greer was a stand-out at the Beantown Classic, second only to Dexter’s Ryan Donato (our #3 uncommitted prospect in the country), despite being youngest in the showcase. At the Flood-Marr, I was fortunate enough to catch the first game before Greer’s tournament was cut short with a (not serious) lower body injury. Within minutes of the opening tilt, in an otherwise emotion-lacking game, Greer had created two grade-A scoring chances, both of which were converted and presented KUA with an early 2-0 lead. His ability to use his excellent stick skills to create offense around the sheet is remarkable for such a big prospect and likely will serve him well moving forward. Greer may end up at BU this fall (predictably depending on a myriad of factors), and while it could be trial by fire, it’s hard to doubt Greer. It’s also becoming hard to doubt the Terriers recruiting staff – including assistant coach Steve Greeley – who has pulled in two of (our) top five uncommitted prospects in one week, regenerating a national pipeline of Terrier talent in just a few months.

AJ Greer, Flood-Marr Scouting Report - Over The Boards

Leagues Of Their Own: AJ Greer - Over The Boards

The Most Dangerous Line in Prep Hockey – The Hockey News

97 F Ryan Finnegan commits to Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac lands another high skill, prolific threat in 5’4, 120 Skipjacks U16 forward Ryan Finnegan. The USPHL’s assists leader, a Kansas native, is scoring at a goal-per-game pace in the nascent U16 circuit’s inaugural season and continues another Quinnipiac trend: not shying away from the smaller guys. In snagging Finnegan, Quinnipiac has picked off a rare pull, committing the USPHL U16′s scoring leader not once but twice in a season, after committing the Jr. Bruins Johnny DeRoche, a 5’6 scorer who had been leading the league at the time of his commit (he is now fourth).

With seven skaters 5’9 or shorter on roster, the NCAA’s reigning runner-ups are doing just fine with the little guns – three of their top scorers are among that 5’9 or shorter group, including 5’8 Sam Anas, one of the NCAA’s top freshman. Curiously enough, Anas is a Maryland-area prospect, while Skipjacks HC is, you guessed it, based in Maryland.

93 F Landon Smith commits to Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac landed a premier goal-scorer in BCHL scoring leader Landon Smith, who has 33 goals (and 26 assists) in 37 games for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. A deadly offensive threat alongside Michigan Tech recruit Alex Gillies, Smith himself is a former Denver recruit who has emerged as a serious producer after some lackluster USHL showings through the 2011-2013 seasons. Smith is yet another in a string of British Columbia circuit skaters that have landed at Quinnipiac over the years. There are, potentially, five headed to Hamden next season – with a few more on track for 2015-16. They’ve panned out well for the Bobcats – this season alone, three of the Bobcats five top scorers have honed their trade in the BC circuit.

93 F Kevin Shier commits to Union

A month after helping to save a man’s life on a recruiting trip, it looks like Lakeshore Patriots 20-year-old forward Kevin Shier is done with the recruiting process for good, as he committed to Union this week. In his third full OJHL season, Shier’s settled into a nice groove with the Pats, scoring 42 points (17 goals) in just 33 games and will be headed to Union this Fall.

97 F Neil Doef commits to Princeton

Another CCHL prospect committed to the ECAC, this time young star Neil Doef, a 5’10 scorer from Smiths Falls skating for his hometown Bears. Doef is riding a three-game point streak (3-2-5) to start January, while holding down fourth on his team in scoring against much older competition. It’s the Princeton Tigers that will see Doef join their roster, a few years down the line – potentially as soon as 2015.

96 D Bradley Johnson commits to Ohio State

Ohio State picked up two former AAA Blues this January 6th, the first of which is Brad Johnson, a Chesterfield, Missouri native with the Indiana Ice this season. The 5’10 defenseman has picked up two assists through his only two USHL games this season, in December, while he posted a 5-17-22 line playing up with the STL AAA Blues U18s last Winter. This is an old commit from back in December.

94 G Brett Magnus commits to Harvard

This one went down in the end of December, but there were over sixty commits that month, so once more we’ve spilled into the next month. Harvard picked up a goaltender for this fall in Nepean Raiders (CCHL) stopper Brett Magnus, who is far and away the leader in league save percentage (.930) through 24 games, 11 of which have been wins. This gives the Crimson four goaltenders for 2014-15, meaning Philadelphia Flyers pick and Minot Minotauros (NAHL) stopper Merrick Madsen is either due for another year in juniors, or has a crowded crease for the next four years – Magnus has garnered strong reviews from his play up north.

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About the author

Editor

Jasper covers college hockey recruiting and directs scouting operations at OTB. He is also a columnist for Minnesota Hockey Magazine. You can find him on Twitter as @JasperKozak or @OTBPuckWatch.

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