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College Hockey Commitments – September 2013

A new month, a new season, a new way to cover college hockey commitments. The plan is to keep this page updated with every college hockey commitment that goes down in September, with a few insights where applicable.

97 F August Von Ungern-Sternberg commits to Brown – September 30

Former Cardigan Mountain (Jr. Boarding School – NH) forward August Von Ungern-Sternberg has committed to Brown. August skated with the Idaho Jr. Steelheads of the WSHL this past year, where he had 12 points in 17 games as one of the youngest skaters in the league. He made it to national camp in upstate NY this summer and picked up 3 points in 5 games there against the best in his age group. A Cardigan graduate in 2012, he skated alongside some noteworthy uncommitted skaters such as 97 F Charley Borek (Choate) and 97 F Ace Cowans (Groton). Brown’s going after it pretty hard this month.

94 D Ben Tegtmeyer commits to Brown – September 29

From West Kelowna, Brown nets yet another commit this month in former Breck (MN-HS) stand-out Ben Tegtmeyer. After heading north to the Alberta circuit last year, Tegtmeyer jumped west to the Warriors mid-season and produced a bit, returning this year to garner a commit early in the season. Won’t be the last time we hear from West Kelowna, who ice top uncommitted prospect Liam Blackburn among a few others, including Saskatchewan-born winger Matt Anholt.

95 F Jeff Wight commits to Connecticut – September 28

Merritt Centennials forward Jeff Wight has made his college decision out of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials. Per UConn Hockey Broadcaster Will Moran, the second-year forward – who has a 4-2-6 line in just 7 games – will arrive in 2014 or 2015. Wight is already 6’2, 185 lbs at the age of 17, but is a late 95.

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93 F Braeden Russell commits to Brown – September 26

Former Oakville Blades veteran, now in the BCHL, 6’3 forward Braeden Russell has committed to Brown University. Lots of Canadians committing this month.

94 F Jordan Heller commits to Bemidji State – September 26

Bemidji native Jordan Heller has committed to his hometown program after moving West to Aberdeen of the NAHL for a season. In his final two years playing MN-HS, Heller had been a consistent point-per-game producer but saw his production drop off a predictable amount in the NAHL this past year.

93 F Dominic Trento commits to UMass – September 26

UMass nets an EJHL veteran (four years) in forward Dominic Trento, who has steadily improved in production to becoming an impact, point-per-game guy for the New Jersey Hitmen this past season.

97 F Jason Dhooghe commits to Ohio State – September 26

The Buckeyes land one of many to commit division one from the Chicago Mission program this season in 1997 forward Jason Dhooghe. It will be interesting to see if younger brother Sean (a 99) follows in his brother’s footsteps.

97 F Marcus Vela commits to UNH – September 25

Marcus Vela, a 6’1 forward in his first season with the Langley Rivermen (at age 16), has already given his commitment: New Hampshire. He had 80 points in 30 games last season, so there’s that.

97 F Michael Floodstrand commits to Harvard – September 24

Harvard nets an NTDP newcomer in Chicago Mission product Michael Floodstrand. The early 97 born is 5’8 and has a point-per-game clip through three games with the NTDP this season.

96 D Bradley Bell commits to RPI – September 24

RPI picks up their third Canadian commitment this week – this time from Ontario – in Sudbury Nickel Baron (NOJHL) defenseman Bradley Bell.

97 F Tarek Baker commits to Minnesota – September 23

Minnesota picks up a huge get out of Verona, WI, in Omaha U16 captain Tarek Baker. Our initial report described Baker as: “Natural athlete has an explosive stride that gets him to top speed extremely quickly. Rocks opposing skaters on the forecheck and is just tough as nails, going wherever it takes to come back with the puck and make something happen. Is dominant in the transition game as no one can match his combination of velocity and physicality.”

This weekend, we said this about Tarek on OTB Elite following this weekend’s showcase: “We were pleasantly surprised to find Tarek playing with Omaha instead of Janesville of the NAHL, where he had tendered for this season. The high skill, compact, focused skater with speed outworks everyone on the ice and was flat-out dominant here shift-to-shift, posting 18 points in just 5 games. Backchecks hard, can deke his way up and down the ice and release a hell of a shot off the transition that rings off some metal with enough of a clamor to rattle any netminder.

Omaha captain disguises his intent around the ice and wheels around the zone awaiting a play to develop, though there was a bit of individualism here inherent with that – not enough to call him selfish by any measure, however. Thrives in traffic, elusive and seems magnetized to the puck. Places his shots beautifully. Intense competitor who finishes really hard checks. Is going to be a hell of a college player. If there’s a downside it’s that at this level, where he simply should not be playing at this stage of his development, he seemed more intent to chase the puck down all over the ice and follow the puck carrier than he was to slip into open ice.”

That last comment came out a little prescient unintentionally – Tarek will be making his debut with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL this weekend.

96 G Alec Dillon commits to RPI – September 23

Victoria Grizzlies back-up netminder Alec Dillon has committed to play his college hockey in Rensellaer for coach Seth Appert, following his junior hockey career. The 6’6 goaltender is largely unproven at the junior hockey level but clearly has some size you can work with.

95 F Casey Jerry commits to Minnesota State – September 22

Mankato picks up a high school hockey stand-out in Casey Jerry, who played for River Falls (WI-HS) last year and tallied 33 goals in just 24 games, adding 29 assists as well. Jerry is with Cedar Rapids of the USHL this year. Jerry announced the news via his twitter. There are going to be a lot more commitments to come in the next few days as the NAHL showcase has concluded while the USHL’s newest talent are starting to make a name for themselves in the best junior hockey circuit in the country.

Scout Dan Shrader noted: “Has some offensive ability but it doesn’t show consistently. Good player, just has to put it together every night. He’s got skill and quickness. I liked him last year for [Team Wisconsin].”

95 D Anthony Walsh commits to Yale – September 22

Chicago Mission product Anthony Walsh, who spent last season playing a handful of games for Green Bay, has committed to Yale. Walsh was playing up with the Mission U18s two years ago at the age of 15 and has clearly impressed Yale coach Keith Allain’s staff to start off his second season in the USHL. He announced it via his twitter.

97 G Ryan Larkin commits to Miami – September 21

Honeybaked U18 has a number of surprisingly young talents that impressed pretty much all of Division 1 this week in Blaine, but it was goaltender Ryan Larkin’s efforts both in a starting role as well as in relief against TI and the Chicago Mission which garnered a big commit – on the bus ride home, no less. We didn’t catch the netminder play, unfortunately (par for the course with over 80 teams there), but he’s 6’1 and playing for one of the best AAA programs in the country alongside fellow underage prospect Mike Latorella (a 98) in nets, so this could be a nice get for the Redhawks.

95 F Max Willman commits to Brown – September 20

Feature: Williston’s Max Willman commits to Brown

96 F Josh Blanchard commits to St. Cloud State – September 19

Yet another from the Penticton Vees, this time it’s forward Josh Blanchard committing to St. Cloud for the fall of 2015 or 2016. The 5’8 forward picked up a 29-26-55 line in 39 games in Midget with the Okanagan Rockets last season and is in his first full year with the Vees. I haven’t seen Blanchard live, but he’s clearly got some offensive talent. He’s also featured in this aptly-titled video: “Coastal Showcase Sick Shoot-Out Goal“.

It’s been a stellar start to the season commits-wise for the Vees, but that’s been no shocker to anyone. There are still a few more to come out of Penticton, including forward Max Coatta. Of note, Blanchard’s former Okanagan Rockets program is where Penticton Vees (BCHL/NCAA) and Everett Silvertips (WHL) prospect Tyson Jost, a prolific-scoring 98, is skating now. Blanchard had also been listed by the Silvertips.

94 D Jared Wilson commits to RPI – September 19

Defenseman Jared Wilson, a 6’3 skater who has a 2-4-6 line in 5 games from the blue, has committed to play his college hockey in Troy. Wilson, who currently leads all BCHL blueliners in points, is a Calgary native and a product of his local Calgary Royals AAA program. USHR says that Engineers coach Seth Appert caught Wilson play on the 18th and jumped. 2014 seems like the logical arrival date.

96 F Dylan Malmquist commits to Notre Dame – September 18

Feature: Edina Star Dylan Malmquist commits to Notre Dame

97 D Kris Myllari commits to Penn State – September 17

Penn State is becoming major junior’s worst enemy at this rate with top QMJHL prospect AJ Greer developing like a future pro and now a stud defenseman in Kris Mylarri. A scout who had been filling us in on Ontario prospects for our October Select 70 noted the following about the 2nd round OHL draft pick: “Very good skater who plays with the poise and presence of a veteran – even as a 16 year-old CCHL rookie. Can play in all situations and makes great puck decisions. Smart and solid in his own zone, has a good stick and isn’t afraid to play physical. I would think he’s a top 4 guy at Penn State, growing into the top pair as he develops.”

Suffice it to say he won’t be making our next Select 70 now, but he certainly will have the Kingston Frontenacs kicking themselves for not being able to make the pick count. The word on arrival date looks to be fall of 2016, but who knows for the 6’1, 170 blueliner until it gets closer to the date.

93 D Trey Phillips commits to Vermont – September 17

Per Chris Heisenberg’s list, Vermont picks up another from one of their favorite recruiting hotbeds, the AJHL. Trey Phillips is a 5’10 defenseman who played a game for his Canmore Eagles in 2009-10 and has spent every subsequent season with them, improving his offensive numbers each season. He’s been listed as both a defenseman and forward.

94 D Matheson Iacopelli commits to Western Michigan – September 17

Big (6’2) defenseman from just outside Detroit has played for Little Caesers and Belle Tire, picking up 26 goals and 20 assists playing with the latter last season. Will be skating with the Muskegon Lumberjacks this season.

92 D Nolan Valleau commits to Bowling Green – September 15

Another former OSU commit from the Mark Osiecki days, Nolan Valleau, has found a collegiate home for this season in Bowling Green. The 6’2 late 1992 birthyear split last season between Des Moines and Chicago of the USHL after a good year with Port Huron of the NAHL. The Novi, MI native adds a much-needed four years of eligibility to a fairly old d corps in Bowling Green that will see a ton of turnover within two years.

95 F Tipper Higgins commits to Army – September 12

The final piece of Berkshire (NE-Prep) star returning forward line has committed – Tipper Higgins choose Army. Craig Puffer (UVM), Charlie Corcoran (Brown) and Tipper Higgins (now Army) were one of the more dominant lines in high school hockey last season and Higgins, a South Burlington, VT-native now gives even more credibility to a team that will look to really make a run this year.

95 F Scott Conway commits to Penn State – September 12

Penn State picks up a dual-citizen (British/Canadian) in forward Scott Conway, who is with the Indiana Ice this season. Kevin Conway, his father, was playing pro hockey for the “Basingstoke Bison”, an hour west of London, when Scott was born and thus the dual citizenship. A forward with quick hands and a scoring touch, Conway has plied his trade for Belle Tire and Victory Honda since crossing the pond a number of years ago. He spent last year in juniors with the Texas Tornados, where he continued to flex his offensive muscle. Conway should be in State College for the fall of 2014.

For much, much more on Conway’s commit – Thank You Terry: Conway, Son of British Legend, Joins 2014 Class

96 D Seamus Donohue commits to Air Force – September 11

Following a set of performances in the Elite League where he raised his play as the games went on, St. Thomas Academy defenseman Seamus Donohue has committed to Air Force. Our re-cap for the defense and goalies isn’t slated to go up yet so I won’t reveal where Seamus is ranked, but this is what we felt about the up-and-coming blueliner:

Donohue has really come on strong as of late. His decision-making was a question mark for us last season and that has become less of a concern for us, specifically in his own end, but it’s still something hampering his effectiveness. That said, Donohue is a creative, resourceful blue liner who can usually get the puck out of his zone and onto someone’s tape with efficient, non-telegraphed passes. In the offensive zone, he was too trigger happy for our taste – not that he released the puck whenever he got it, but Donohue seemed too willing to bite at a potential opening even though he may be the only defender back and the puck regularly was blocked and thrown the other way for an odd-man rush. Donohue positions himself well offensively but struggled a bit to be effective regardless of where he was. Lots of natural talent, the odds are stacked firmly on Donohue’s side.

That was after the weekend’s slate of games, but last night Donohue started getting those pucks through and even got an entire article detailing his offensive exploits from the good folks at MN Hockey Hub. Donohue was able to score twice in the first period and it bodes extremely well for Seamus that he has adjusted to become effective in Elite League play so quickly.

 

93 D John Furgele commits to New Hampshire – September 11

John Furgele, an NAHL veteran and now in his second year with the Hitmen, has committed to the University of New Hampshire. A smaller defenseman, Furgele re-discovered a potent scoring touch last year in Wayne and will spend another year there before moving on to Durham.

95 D Matt O’Donnell commits to Vermont – September 11

Per Ted Ryan of the Burlington Free Press, Loomis-Chaffee (NE-Prep) senior defenseman Matt O’Donnell has committed to UVM. O’Donnell led all Pelican blue-liners in scoring and finished the season 3rd for all skaters. The California native is an alumnus of the LA Jr. Kings and Jr. Selects programs.

 

95 F Michael Laidley commits to St. Lawrence – September 11

OJHL rookie Michael Laidley gives his commitment to St. Lawrence following a successful midget career which saw him finish his career as captain for the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves. The Sudbury Wolves bantam product had a 21-20-41 line in 31 games last season and clearly has showed a little something to the Saints coaching staff.

93 D Chris Rygus commits to Clarkson – September 11

Yet another from Penticton, defenseman Chris Rygus will join Ben Dalpe in Potsdam next season after committing today. The Vees alternate captain spent last year in Nanaimo. A big (6’3) blueliner from Ontario (Dalpe is also from the province), Rygus has progressed up the junior hockey ranks with success, going from the OJHL, to the Maritimes Circuit before making his eventual entrance to the BCHL last year.

94 F Ben Dalpe commits to Clarkson – September 10

Penticton sends another to the college ranks in 94 forward Ben Dalpe. The BCHL rookie had a great two years with Pembroke of the CCHL, exploding in his second for well over a point-per-game and is slated for a 2014 arrival.

96 F Chris Brown commits to Boston College – September 10

Boston College picks up a goal-scorer out of Michigan in Cranbrook’s (MI-HS) Chris Brown. Brown, a good-sized (6’0) forward with speed, seems to find a way to score goals from all over the zone with a laser of a shot that he flips off in no time. Scored 23 goals and 27 assists in just 31 games for a dominant Cranbrook team which boasts Miami commits Austin and Alex Alger, as well as Michigan commit Sam Miletic. While Cranbrook did blow out a number of teams in the MI-HS circuit, Brown was not often the beneficiary of those games (statistically) and typically got his goals in the tighter affairs. Looks to be a nice pick-up for the Eagles. Older Brother Patrick is a senior Eagle hockey player right now.

97 D Jarod Hilderman commits to Minnesota-Duluth – September 9

A product of legendary Saskatchewan boarding school, Notre Dame, big (6’1) defenseman Jarod Hilderman gives the Penticton Vees yet another commitment for the new season. A rookie Vee, the 16-year-old won’t make it to Duluth for a little while but his size and uptick in scoring at the end of his midget hockey career indicate their may be some real potential in the blue liner.

97 F Sam McCormick commits to Ohio State – September 8

Notre Dame Academy junior forward commits to Ohio State after two good seasons in the Wisconsin HS circuit. McCormick broke out for 27 points in 22 games last season. Sam is following his brother Max to Ohio State, who is an Ottawa Senators draft pick and in his junior year as a Buckeye.

 

95 F Trevor Yates commits to Cornell – September 6

Per his twitter, Deerfield Academy (NE-Prep) star Trevor Yates has committed to Cornell. The Beaconsfield, QC native spent a year with the well-known Lac St. Louis Tigers Midget Espoir program in 10-11, before heading down to Deerfield in 11-12 where he put up a respectable 9-16-25 line in 25 games played. Yates as a junior was a power forward who was particularly tough on the puck and scored a few nice goals when I caught him that season. While the 6’0, 187 forward doesn’t project as a pure scorer, Yates clearly broke out offensively his senior year for both the Big Green (scoring 18 goals in prep), as well as for his U18 Neponset Valley River Rats team, where he was a key contributor in their title-winning run through nationals.

Yates is the second Neponset Valley River Rat (U18 National Champs) to commit this month, following the commit of Mile Gendron a few days ago.

 

95 D Anthony Conti commits to Alaska Anchorage – September 4

Alaska-Anchorage picks up their second commit from the Penticton Vees this week, after picking up what looks like a diamond-in-the-rough Quebeçois goaltender in the Vees’ Olivier Mantha in late August. Conti is a big (6’2, 190) defenseman who skated in the same BC Midget Circuit that Liam Blackburn (#52 uncommitted) skated in, as well as top WHL prospect Matthew Barzal, and this will be his first full go-around in the BCHL. Last season, Conti posted an 18-30-48 line in just 35 games for the Vancouver NW Giants.

First-year Head Coach Matt Thomas has some talented partners in his recruiting efforts, as Shattuck alum TJ Jindra hailed previously from Notre Dame (no slouch in the recruiting game) and new assistant Josh Ciocco is about as familiar with the uncommitted player pool as it gets. Watch out for the Seawolves in the coming months while they work to really right the ship, as it all starts with the recruiting.

97 D Jake Gingell commits to Michigan Tech – September 4

Michigan Tech has snagged a good young defenseman in 16-year-old Jake Gingell, who played for Compuware U16 last season. The in-state prospect was selected by the always-talent-savvy Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL draft, in the 13th round, but it looks like it will be the USHL’s Omaha Lancers whose pick he will be rewarding. Gingell, a 5th round pick of the Futures draft this year, will likely spend a few seasons in the league before heading to Tech following his USHL career, but likely starting after this year. Gingell is now the youngest player committed to Tech. There are three 1996 birthyears committed to spend their college career in Houghton, but no 1997s or younger.

96 F Michael Houle commits to Bowling Green – September 3

A second Detroit Honeybaked product has committed in as many days, as 17-year-old Michael Houle commits to Bowling Green. The 6’2, 150 forward was selected by Green Bay of the USHL in the later rounds and will likely see a few years in the league to fill out his body and game after this season. Houle is the cousin of fellow BGSU commit Brandon Hawkins.

96 D Miles Gendron commits to Connecticut – September 3

Rivers (NE-Prep) forward-turned-defenseman Miles Gendron has made his college decision and it is UConn. The 6’2, 175 blueliner is dynamic in the final third and should only get better in his own end. The Neponset Valley River Rat broke out and came second on his Rivers team in scoring in 2012-13, with 12 goals plus 16 assists for 28 points in 28 games.

98 F Mitch Lewandowski commits to Michigan State – September 2

Michigan State picks up another top offensive talent from last season’s U14 National Champion Detroit Honeybaked squad in 5’8 forward Mitch Lewandowski. Somehow, that team has three players (Noah Lalonde and Mitch Eliot as well) now committed to Michigan State in what will surely be viewed as a coup for the Spartans in a few years time. The question is will any more players from that team commit? That Honeybaked bantam squad (featured in THN last year), has plenty of uncommitted talents still on the board, which is a weird thing to say about what was a U14 team a few months ago, but regardless. Keep your eye out for Pat Khodorenko, a WHL 2nd round draft pick and our #24 uncommitted prospect, as well as the Pastujov brothers and a few others from this roster.

97 F Colt Conrad commits to Western Michigan – September 1

One of Manitoba’s best prospects has chosen the NCAA. Per Chris Heisenberg, Colt Conrad (6th round pick of the USHL’s Fargo Force) has committed to Western Michigan. Conrad is a 16-year-old center who posted a 25-42-67 line in just 39 games playing for Pembina Valley of Manitoba’s AAA Midget Hockey Circuit. The year prior, the 5’8 forward put up 79 goals and 71 assists in 53 games playing Bantam, and also posted 36 points in just 8 games playing in a Canadian High School circuit that year. The young forward has had division one attention for a few months and will be headed to Shattuck-St. Mary’s this season, so we’ll include some more notes when we get a look at him ourselves later this month. Conrad was a 3rd round pick of the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes, so his heading south wasn’t exactly predictable.