Friday, October 23, 2020

UNH Commits Update: 10-23-2020

The UNH Men's Hockey Blog

Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which caused all North American hockey leagues to suspend play last March, has delayed the start of the 2020-21 regular season in college hockey and the junior hockey leagues in North America. The UNH hockey team began limited on-ice practice in early October and Hockey East is planning (and hoping) to start the regular season in late November.
Here are the start dates for the junior leagues where the current UNH commits are playing:
United States Hockey League - November 5th
British Columbia Hockey League - Early December
North American Hockey League - September 22nd
National Collegiate Development Conference - October 9th

News & Notes

United State Hockey League:

~ Of all the junior hockey leagues in the United States and junior 'A' leagues in Canada, the United States Hockey League is generally accepted as the top league. For example, over the last three seasons, 50 or more USHL players were selected in each NHL Draft. As the 2020-21 USHL season is set to begin on November 5th, 10 UNH commits are playing for USHL teams. In the ten seasons I've been writing this blog, that's the most. Since the 2011-12 season, the average number of UNH commits playing in the USHL at the end of the season is 5 per season.

~ 2021 UNH commit Timo Bakos, who played last season for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL, has chosen to play this season for EHC Königsbrunn in the Germany4 League.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ While Nicolas Ardanaz and John Evans of the West Kelowna Warriors and Connor Sweeney of the Trail Smoke Eaters have been participating in the BCHL's "Extended Training Camp" games, Cy LeClerc and the Wenatchee Wild have been limited to intersquad scrimmages. Wenatchee (Washington) is the only BCHL franchise in the United States and is prohibited from crossing the US-Canada border because of COVID-19.

2020-21 Statistics

Player NZ** Stars Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2021 Commits
Nicolas Ardanaz
5/30/02 (D)
4.25 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL
Timo Bakos
7/28/00 (F)
3.75 EHC Königsbrunn Germany4 1 0 1 1 0
Robert Cronin
8/15/00 (F)
3.75 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL
John Evans
4/8/02 (F)
4.5 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL
Alex Gagne*
8/12/02 (D)
4.25 Muskegon Lumberjacks USHL
Will Margel*
3/16/01 (F)
3.75 Lincoln Stars USHL
Jack Ring
12/18/00 (F)
3.5 New Jersey Titans NAHL 3 1 1 2 2 -1
Connor Sweeney
5/5/00 (F)
3.5 Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL
2021 or '22 Commits
Liam Devlin
1/7/01 (F)
3.75 Chicago Steel USHL
Cade Penney
3/23/01 (D)
3.75 Green Bay Gamblers USHL
David Sacco
1/3/02 (F)
3.75 Waterloo Black Hawks USHL
JP Turner
1/31/03 (F)
4.25 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL
2022 Commits
Jed Baliotti
2/7/02 (G)
3.75 Green Bay Gamblers USHL
Damien Carfagna
12/12/02 (D)
3.75 Green Bay Gamblers USHL
Aidan Curran
1/22/01 (F)
3.5 Northeast Generals NAHL 2 0 1 1 0 -3
Cy LeClerc
8/17/02 (F)
3.75 Wenatchee Wild BCHL
Morgan Winters
12/8/01 (F)
3.5 Tri-City Storm USHL
2022 or '23 Commits
Brendan Fitzgerald
10/26/03 (D)
4.0 Governors Academy NE Prep
Nick Ring
10/26/03 (F)
3.75 Boston Advantage NCDC 6 2 1 3 2
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2021 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2021. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.

Monday, August 24, 2020

UNH Commit Brendan Fitzgerald: A Puck-Moving, Well-Rounded Defenseman

Brendan Fitzgerald
2022 or '23 UNH Commit
"Smooth, composed, high IQ defenseman..savvy, puck moving, well-rounded..has great balance and quickness..strong stick to steal pucks and break up plays." Neutral Zone
"(Brendan) has good hockey sense, solid puck decisions and vision, shows toughness, reliable defensive game and adds on the offensive side." Russ Bitely, Scout, HockeyProspect.com
Brendan Fitzgerald Defenseman, 5'11", 161 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: North Reading, Massachusetts
DOB: 3-6-2003 Turned 17 in March
2019 USHL Futures Draft: 8th Round (117th Overall) by Chicago Steel
2019 QMJHL American Draft: 2nd Round (24th Overall) by Val-d'Or Foreurs
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Current Team: Governor's Academy (NEPrep)
                       ~ Defense
Commits to UNH: August, 2020 at Age 17 years, 5 months.

2019-20 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Brendan Fitzgerald, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Brendan Fitzgerald: I chose UNH because when I toured in early March I just loved the campus and then I attended the game that night against BC and loved the atmosphere in the rink. I really liked Coach Souza and his staff and I feel they will really help me develop as a defenseman. It just felt like the right fit for me. I also like that they have a good business school and many majors to choose from.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Brendan Fitzgerald: I also visited UConn. Merrimack and UConn were the two other schools that offered me on August 1. They are both great schools and I considered every option, but in the end I went with my gut and the school that felt the best for me.

Lowry: Your two older brothers, Ryan and Casey, committed to Boston College when they were freshmen at Malden Catholic High School and went on to have outstanding college careers at The Heights. What advice did they provide as you were making your decision?

Fitzgerald: My brothers offered me a great perspective when it came to making a decision. Go someplace that they want you and that you feel a connection to. They just want me to enjoy the whole process and enjoy my whole college experience.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for to you enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Fitzgerald: We discussed just being ready for D1 college hockey. If I am ready after I graduate high school in 2022, then they will bring me in. It all depends on my development in the next 2 years.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Fitzgerald: I would say my main strength is my puck moving ability, whether it be breaking out from my own end, transitioning through the neutral zone, or making plays in the offensive zone. I also feel defending the rush is a strength.
I am working hard to improve my skating, become more explosive out of my own end and working on my overall strength.

Lowry: When your Dad - Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and General Manager, New Jersey Devils - was a year older than you are now, he was selected by the New York Islanders in the 1st Round of 1986 NHL Draft. After two productive years at Providence College, he had a long and distinguished playing career with seven NHL teams. What's the best advice he's given you about playing hockey?

Fitzgerald: My Dad has given me a lot of advice over the years, but one thing I always remember is him saying “less is more”. He has constantly taught me not to over handle pucks and try to do too much.

Lowry: Last season, as a sophomore at Governor's Academy, you were one of the top scoring defensemen in New England Prep School Hockey with 7 goals and 25 assists in 32 games. Do you anticipate returning to Governor's for your junior year?

Fitzgerald: I am returning to Governor's for my junior year and hoping that prep school hockey has a season.

Lowry: In May, 2019, the Chicago Steel selected you in the 8th round (117th overall) of the USHL Futures Draft. Do you anticipate playing in the USHL before enrolling at UNH?

Fitzgerald: I am taking it year by year and will see what is best for my development and to prepare me to play at UNH.

Lowry: Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor's Academy students were not able to return to campus following the March break. The hockey team's season had already been completed but academics continued via distance learning. How has the extended pandemic affected you, both on and off the ice?

Fitzgerald: The extended pandemic has been challenging. Like everyone, I had to adjust to remote learning and it was definitely harder to focus being at home with my 3 older brothers around and not in the classroom. The positives are that I have spent a lot of time with my brothers, working out and shooting pucks. The extended time has also allowed me to really focus on strength training for a much more extended time than other years. With no tournaments, national camps or any other games, my focus has been in the gym as much as possible and skating two to three times a week.

Neutral Zone Scouting Report

USA Hockey Select 16 National Camp, July 2019
"Fitzgerald had an impressive showing here as a savvy, puck moving, well-rounded defenseman. He has great balance and quickness defensively to stay tight on his opponent and has a strong stick to steal pucks and break up plays. He has four way mobility and makes great first steps in every direction to get to pucks quick, close on opponents and maintain his gaps through the neutral zone. His backwards acceleration off the blue line is excellent and allows him to be more aggressive and hold the line longer than most. He trusts his feet and knows that he can get off his man and get to the puck or beat an opponent to the corner which allows him to play aggressive without chasing the puck. Brendan has a mature game both with and away from the puck; he’s positionally sound in his own end, he gets his stick in the right position and he will take ice given to him or make the simple pass instead of trying to make a high risk play.

He stood out on the breakout getting back for pucks, turning up ice quickly and moving the puck before the forecheckers had a chance to get in position. He can make opponents miss in open ice and has enough skill to buy time and space for himself carrying the puck up ice or at the offensive blue line, but he’s safe and makes the smart play not the pretty play. We were impressed with his board play because he doesn’t have great size, but he is strong on his stick and on his skates and wins 50/50 pucks and has the composure and skill to pull away from pressure, buy an extra second and make a direct play. He used the boards and hit on several indirect passes through the neutral to spring his forwards for odd man rushes; a skill few have the touch or vision to pull off at this age. Smooth, composed, high IQ defenseman who will making the jump to prep hockey next year at Governors and should have plenty of NCAA attention. Grows on you the more you watch him and appreciate his detailed approach. He had 1 goal on the week which came off a beautiful top corner snipe from the faceoff dot off a catch and shoot on the power play. Drafted in both the QMJHL and USHL."

Youth Hockey, High School & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Brendan Fitzgerald  (D) 2019-20 Governor's Academy NE Prep 32 7 25 32 -
Boston Jr. Eagles 16U EHF 16U AAA Elite 3 0 0 0 2
Team Black USA Selects 16 5 1 0 1 0
2018-19 Islanders Hockey Club 16U USPHL 16U 18 0 6 6 49
Islanders Hockey Club 15U USPHL 15U 1 0 0 0 0
Team White USA Selects 15 - - - - -
2017-18 Malden Catholic Mass H.S. 21 0 11 11 -

Sunday, May 10, 2020

UNH Transfer Tyler Ward: A Skilled, Offensive Talent

Tyler Ward
Transfers to UNH
"Tyler’s small but really quick and dynamic with the puck in open ice. He reads the play well, makes terrific passes and has a deceptively powerful shot." Neutral Zone, January, 2017
“Tyler is a skilled, offensive talent who has become a more complete player. He has a very good release and will add depth to our forward group next season.” Tavis MacMillan, Denver Assistant Coach, April, 2018
Tyler Ward Forward, 5'10", 181 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Kamloops, British Columbia
DOB: 8-19-1999 Turns 21 in August
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
2019-20 Team: University of Denver (NCHC)
                       ~ Left Wing
Commits to UNH: April, 2020 at Age 20 years, 8 months.

2019-20 Denver Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Tyler Ward, via email, about his hockey career and transfer to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): After playing your freshman and sophomore seasons at the University of Denver, you entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. How would you summarize your experience at Denver? What were the main factors that lead to your decision to transfer?

Tyler Ward: My experience at Denver was nothing but positive. The program was first class and I learned a lot in my first two years of college hockey. The main factors in my decision to transfer to UNH was to look for a new opportunity. I am very excited about joining this program.

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on your transfer to the University of New Hampshire. I've read that UNH was your second choice when you committed to Denver in December, 2016. What are the main reasons you chose UNH this time?

Tyler Ward: I have a lot of confidence in the UNH coaching staff, the program, and what this team can do.

Lowry: What other college programs did you consider transferring to? Did other colleges make you an offer?

Ward: I received numerous offers and I appreciated every one of them...but ultimately I feel that UNH is the right fit for me.

Lowry: I understand your preference is to be eligible to play for UNH in the 2020-21 season. If the NCAA does not implement the proposed one-time transfer waiver for Division I men's hockey for 2020-21, do you plan to enroll at UNH this Fall and be on the 2021-22 Wildcats roster?

Ward: I plan on playing as soon as possible. I am very excited to put on the Wildcats jersey.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Ward: I think my strengths are in my speed and my offensive instinct. I am excited to learn from the UNH coaching staff and players and I am always looking to improve my game.

Lowry: In your freshman season at DU, you scored 5 goals including a game-winner, and 10 assists in 38 games. As a sophomore, your goal production doubled to 10 goals including 2 game-winners, and you added 9 assists in 35 games. Can you identify reasons why your goal scoring increased?

Ward: From my freshman to sophomore year, I felt more comfortable and I started to know the game of college hockey more which benefitted me on both sides of the puck.

Lowry: When the 2019-20 season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, DU was ranked #6 in the nation (21-9-6) and destined to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. What was your reaction when the NCAA announced the cancellation of the season?

Ward: It was tough hearing the news that the season was cancelled. You play all year for playoffs and to try and win a national championship and when it was taken away due to something beyond my control, it definitely hurts but some things are bigger than hockey and this was one of them.

Lowry: Both years at Denver, you earned National Collegiate Hockey Conference Academic All-Conference honors and was named an NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in your freshman year. What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Ward: I am planning on majoring in Business. My academic strengths are that I try to stay on top of my work so that I can perform my best on the ice without distraction.

Youth, Junior & College Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Tyler Ward  (F) 2019-20 Denver NCHC 36 10 9 19 6 +12
2018-19 Denver NCHC 38 5 10 15 12 +6
2017-18 Tri-City Storm USHL 60 10 13 23 14 +2
Playoffs 2 1 0 1 0 +1
2016-17 Merritt Centennials BCHL 34 14 16 30 6 -
Playoffs 11 9 7 16 6 -
2015-16 Merritt Centennials BCHL 52 17 10 27 8 -
2014-15 Thompson Blazers BC Major Midget 40 14 13 27 31 -

Saturday, April 18, 2020

UNH Commit John Evans: A Quick, Smooth, Dynamic Winger

John Evans
2021 UNH Commit
"Quick, smooth, dynamic." Neutral Zone
John Evans
Forward, 5'10", 145 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: South Surrey, British Columbia
DOB: 4-8-2002 Just turned 18
2019-20 Team: West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)
                       ~ Winger
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Committed to UNH: March, 2020 at Age 17 years, 11 month.
Projected enrollment: Fall, 2021

2019-20 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview John Evans, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

John Evans: Thank you! The main reasons I chose UNH were because of their first-class coaching staff and hockey program, and the conference they play in. I think Hockey East best suits the style of game I play, and I can’t wait to continue to develop and learn many new things from the coaching staff and my UNH teammates.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

John Evans: I was fortunate to have interest from colleges in each of the Conferences. In the end, however, I decided that UNH was definitely the place I wanted to be in order to pursue my hockey career.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for to you enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Evans: As of right now I am slated to enroll at UNH in 2021-22. I know that if I want to come in and make an impact right away, I will need to get stronger and faster which is what I will be pushing to achieve.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Evans: I think the main strengths in my game are my playmaking ability and my Hockey IQ. I feel like I can see the ice very well and I am able to anticipate plays before they happen. Areas of my game I would like to improve on would be getting quicker and faster, which will come by getting stronger and working hard in the gym.

Lowry: As a 17-year-old rookie in the British Columbia Hockey League, you scored 22 goals, 28 assists in 57 regular season games for the West Kelowna Warriors, plus 2 goals, 1 assist in 5 playoff games. You had the 5th highest points per game (0.88) among BCHL rookies and was named to the All-Rookie Team. I noticed you scored 5 goals, 8 assists in your first 29 regular season games then your scoring jumped to 17 goals, 20 assists in the last 28 games. What factors lead to your dramatic increase in scoring?

Evans: I think that it took me a little longer than I would’ve liked to get used to the faster speed of the game and the stronger players in junior compared to midget hockey. However, when I got used to it and starting producing, I gained a lot of confidence which I carried throughout the second half of the season and into the playoffs.

Lowry: You were an Alternate Captain for the Warriors which is unusual for a 17-year-old rookie. What leadership skills did you bring to that role?

Evans: I tried my best to lead by example on and off the ice. I am very grateful for my coaches and teammates for trusting me in that role, especially being one of the youngest players on the team.

Lowry: Over the last 5 seasons, you and UNH Commit Nick Ardanaz have been teammates - last season with the Warriors and the previous 4 seasons on teams at the Delta Hockey Academy near your homes just south of Vancouver, British Columbia. How has your relationship developed both on and off the ice?

Evans: Nick is one of my best friends and someone who I can count on for anything. We actually first played together on the Burnaby Winter Club AAA Atom team when we were 10 years old. Our relationship has continued to grow, especially these last 5 seasons, and it has been very cool to watch how Nick has developed into the person and player he is today. I am very excited to continue playing with him at UNH.

Lowry: In 2018, the Muskegon Lumberjacks selected you in the 8th round (138th overall) of the USHL Futures Draft. Do you anticipate returning to the West Kelowna Warriors next season or moving to another league?

Evans: As of right now my plan is to return to West Kelowna for another season. I really enjoyed my first season there, and I am excited to return and help the team push for the ultimate goal, an RBC Cup.

Lowry: Do you plan to graduate from high school this Spring? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Evans: Yes, I plan to graduate from high school this spring. In school the subject I enjoy the most is English, and I think that I write pretty well. As of right now I have not decided what I might major in while attending UNH.

Youth, Prep School and Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
John Evans  (F) 2019-20 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 57 22 28 50 16
Playoffs 5 2 1 3 0
2018-19 Delta Hockey Academy Prep CSSHL 35 20 52 72 49
Playoffs 3 0 4 4 0
Surrey Eagles BCHL 8 1 0 1 2
2017-18 Delta Hockey Academy Elite 15s CSSHL U15 36 23 50 73 8
Playoffs 4 2 5 7 2
Delta Hockey Academy Prep CSSHL 5 2 2 4 0
2016-17 Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep CSSBHL 30 11 25 36 0
Playoffs 5 1 1 2 0
2015-16 Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Varsity CSSBVL 23 5 14 19 6
Playoffs 4 1 5 6 0


Friday, April 03, 2020

UNH Commit Cam Gendron: A Long Forward With Net Vision And Touch

Cam Gendron
2020 UNH Commit
"Cam has steadily improved in the NAHL. He wins faceoffs, has reach, is slippery along the wall and is athletic. He backchecks through the middle, finds puck, is tough to play against, and is versatile. Has touch and vision near the net. Has upside and game is improving." Neutral Zone
Cam Gendron
Forward, 6'3", 181 lbs. Shoots Right
Birthplace: Wilmington, Massachusetts
Hometown: Boxford, Massachusetts
DOB: 2-5-1999 Turned 21 in February
2019-20 Team: New Jersey Titans (NAHL)
                       ~ Winger/Center
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Committed to UNH: March, 2020 at Age 21 years, 1 month.
Projected enrollment: Fall, 2020

2019-20 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Cam Gendron, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Cam Gendron: Thank you, I appreciate it! I love UNH and everything they have to offer. From their first class coaching staff and hockey program to the high academic levels they have to offer, UNH was the right fit for me. I also grew up watching a lot of Hockey East games. UNH was always one of my favorites, and I knew if I ever had the opportunity to wear their sweater, it would be something very special. It will be fun to play so close to home and have family and friends be able to come support me while I play.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Cam Gendron: Out of respect for all those other teams, their coaches and programs I would rather not say. Although I am extremely grateful for the opportunity from those teams I am greatly looking forward to getting to UNH and helping the team get back to the Hockey East playoffs.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on Fall 2020 as your date for enrollment at UNH? Have you been offered a National Letter of Intent from UNH?

Gendron: Yes I plan on enrolling to UNH in the Fall of 2020. As of right now there has not been a National Letter of Intent.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Gendron: I am a big forward that will get in on the forecheck, finish my hits, try to create plays and get pucks to the net. I always try to do what I can to help the team win. Whether it's blocking shots, killing penalties, or having a positive attitude on the bench and on the ice, I will always be a good teammate. Some things I need to work on is shooting the puck more. Not waiting for the fancy play and just keep things simple.

Lowry: In your first season in the North American Hockey League last year, you scored 7 goals and 16 assists in 65 games with the New Jersey Titans. Before this season was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, you had scored 16 goals and 18 assists in 50 games. What factors lead to your increased goal-scoring this season?

Gendron: I think a lot to do with it is confidence. For me and many other players, confidence is sometimes hard to find. But, when you have a team and coaching staff that believes in you, confidence will come. Also, the offseason is huge. Making sure I was working out hard and more importantly eating the right foods to maintain good health..

Lowry: When the season ended prematurely, the Titans had the best record in the NAHL (31-13-1). With 8 games remaining in the regular season, you had already clinched a berth in the NAHL Playoffs. What was your reaction when the league announced the cancellation of the season?

Gendron: Honestly one of the biggest heart breaks I have experienced in my hockey career. My teammates, my coaches, our fans and organization were completely broken. With the emotions that were going around in those last days you could see how much everyone cared. Blood, sweat, and tears put into our season that was put to an end so fast.
Although Franchise records were made and personal achievements and goals were reached for my teammates and I, it's hard to put into words what it's like not being able to finish our story. I could not be more grateful for my two years in Jersey, and wouldn't trade it for the world. I made friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Gendron: I'd say History and Math are two of my best subjects. I plan on majoring in Business. Although I know that can change, being a business major is something I have always wanted to achieve.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports
"Cam seems to always be a factor around the other team's goalie. He gets to the net and scores greasy goals. He is a long player and has an excellent reach and a good stick. The 1999 still has some work to do with his skating and overall strength but the has a good frame and his effort is solid. The Boxford, MA skater is an interesting prospect with upside."
St. Sebastian’s Holiday Tournament: Top 70, December, 2017
"Cam added size and grit to the top group of Winchendon. He has great size and a long stride with deceptive speed. He is strong on the puck and used his reach to protect with possession. He has above average skill and played off Fawcett well. Like to see him shoot more as he can fire it when he does. Nice upside for the 1999."

High School & Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Cam Gendron  (F) 2019-20 New Jersey Titans NAHL 50 16 18 34 48 +11
Team East NAHL Prospects 2 1 0 1 0 -1
2018-19 New Jersey Titans NAHL 56 7 16 23 84 +6
Playoffs 9 0 0 0 22 -6
2017-18 Winchendon School NE Prep 28 19 31 50 -
EMass Senators U18 MHSL U18 8 2 2 4 -
2016-17 Winchendon School NE Prep 28 9 22 31 -
EMass Senators U16 MHSL U16 8 1 3 4 -
2015-16 Central Catholic HS Mass HS 17 9 6 15 -
2014-15 Central Catholic HS Mass HS 24 7 14 21 -

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

UNH Commits Update 3-24-20: Final 2019-20 Statistics

The UNH Men's Hockey Blog

Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

At the time of this writing, Johns Hopkins University reports 600 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The death toll worldwide is 18,227 people. The number of confirmed cases in the USA (currently 49,768) and throughout the world (398,107) is rapidly increasing every day. Given the devastation the coronavirus is causing to the physical and emotional health of so many, to say nothing of the associated financial crisis, I have been reluctant to report on the University of New Hampshire hockey program and the young players committed to join it in the coming years. I hope this "UNH Commits Update" provides a welcome diversion for UNH fans.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hockey East cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 season on March 12th, the day before the Quarterfinal Playoff Series was set to begin. On the final day of the regular season, the UNH squad had not qualified for the playoffs so were spared the disappointment endured by the top 8 Hockey East teams and their fans.

9 UNH Commits - Finished 2019-20 Season

The table below shows the final 2019-20 statistics for the 22 recruits committed to pursue a college education at UNH and play hockey for the Wildcats. Nine of the UNH Commits were able to finish their season before Covid-19 forced a cancellation of youth and junior hockey leagues. These players have a green "F" next to their name.

The 5 UNH commits playing high school hockey - Carsen Richels (Blaine, MN HS) and New England Prep School players David Sacco (Lawrence Academy), JP Turner (Avon Old Farms), Damien Carfagna (Lawrence Academy), and Morgan Winters (Tabor Academy) - completed the season.

Nicolas Ardanaz (West Kelowna Warriors) and Nicholas Cafarelli (Wenatchee Wild) played on teams eliminated in the first round of British Columbia Hockey League Playoffs. Jack Ring and the South Shore Kings did not qualify for the National Collegiate Development Conference Playoffs while his younger brother Nick Ring (Boston Advantage U18) completed his season.

13 UNH Commits - End of 2019-20 Season Cancelled

On March 12th, the junior hockey leagues in North America suspended play, until further notice, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019-20 season ended prematurely for thirteen UNH Commits. These players have a purple "X" next to their name on the statistics table.

On March 18th, the United States Hockey League officially cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 season. The USHL teams still had 10-13 remaining games in the regular season. The season ended for UNH Commits Luke Reid (Chicago Steel), Alex Gagne (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Nikolai Jenson (Youngstown Phantoms), Timo Bakos (Sioux Falls Stampede), Robert Cronin (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Liam Devlin. Reid and Devlin's team, the Chicago Steel, had the best record in the USHL (41-7-1) and was the only team to have clinched a playoff berth.

The North American Hockey League was in a similar situation when they cancelled the season on March 17th. Their regular season had 6-10 games remaining. No doubt, this was disappointing news for three of UNH's newest commits. Cam Gendron, Joe Nagle, and Cade Penney were playing for the New Jersey Titans (31-13-1), the NAHL's top team.

The British Columbia Hockey League had just completed the first round of their playoffs when they cancelled the remainder of the season on March 13th. Will Margel was one UNH Commit still playing. His team, the Coquitlam Express (37-17-4), had the third best regular season record in the BCHL and had just swept the Langley Rivermen in the quarterfinal series. Connor Sweeney and the Trail Smoke Eaters (36-17-2) were also still playing. They swept the Prince George Spruce Kings in the quarterfinals.

The National Collegiate Development Conference cancelled their season on March 13th, the day before the NCDC Playoffs were set to begin. Cy LeClerc and the Islanders Hockey Club (29-17-4) and Aidan Curran and the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs had qualified for the NCDC Playoffs.

2019-20 Final Statistics

Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2020 Commits
Luke Reid X
9/26/01 (D)
4.75 Chicago Steel USHL 60 2 17 19 36 +15
Team USA WJAC 6 0 1 1 0
Carsen Richels* F 10/3/01 (F) 4.0 Blaine High School Minn HS 25 27 25 52 12
Playoffs 3 0 1 1 0
MPLS ST PAUL UMidwest HSELH 13 6 9 15 8
Playoffs 3 2 0 2 0
Elite League All-Star Team Internat 3 0 2 2 0
Cam Gendron X
2/5/99 (F)
3.75 New Jersey Titans NAHL 50 16 18 34 48 +11
Prospects 2 1 0 1 0 -1
Joe Nagle X
5/17/99 (D)
3.75 New Jersey Titans NAHL 13 0 2 2 6 -2
Northeast Generals NAHL 38 3 19 22 22 -2
Prospects 2 0 1 1 0 +3
Will Margel* X
3/16/01 (F)
3.75 Coquitlam Express BCHL 30 6 17 23 8
Playoffs 4 2 5 7 2
Madison Capitols USHL 12 1 0 1 2 -10
2020 or '21 Commits
Alex Gagne* X
8/12/02 (D)
4.25 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 38 2 6 8 26 -8
Nicolas Ardanaz F
5/30/02 (D)
3.75 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 58 4 28 32 14
Playoffs 5 0 1 1 0
Nikolai Jenson X
7/28/00 (D)
3.75 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 39 3 2 5 36 -14
Nicholas Cafarelli F
12/31/01 (F)
3.75 Wenatchee Wild BCHL 42 17 23 40 27
Playoffs 5 2 0 2 2
Connor Sweeney X
5/5/00 (F)
3.5 Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 58 2 12 14 37
Playoffs 4 0 1 1 2
2021 Commits
Timo Bakos X
7/28/00 (F)
4.0 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 41 7 8 15 8 -1
Cade Penney X
3/23/01 (D)
4.0 New Jersey Titans NAHL 51 6 24 30 24 +30
Prospects 2 0 0 0 0 -2
David Sacco F
1/3/02 (F)
3.75 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 23 17 23 40 -
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 -
Cape Cod Whalers U18 EHF Selects 9 5 2 7 18
Mass Regionals 2 0 2 2 0
Cy LeClerc X
8/17/02 (F)
3.75 Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 50 22 33 55 8
Robert Cronin X
8/15/00 (F)
3.75 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 44 2 6 8 20 +4
Liam Devlin X
1/7/01 (F)
3.75 Chicago Steel USHL 36 6 2 8 22 +5
Aidan Curran X
1/22/01 (F)
3.5 NH Jr Monarchs NCDC 22 4 21 25 2
Bonnyville Pontiacs AJHL 13 0 4 4 4
Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL 11 1 4 5 0
Jack Ring F
12/18/00 (F)
3.5 South Shore Kings NCDC 15 3 4 7 4
Northeast Generals NAHL 35 3 12 15 8 +1
2021 or '22 Commits
JP Turner F
1/31/03 (F)
4.25 Avon Old Farms NE Prep 25 14 14 28 -
Playoffs 2 4 2 6 -
NV River Rats 16U Beast Series 7 3 7 10 34
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 2
Mass Regionals 3 1 2 3 0
Damien Carfagna F
12/12/02 (D)
3.75 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 26 7 22 29 -
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 -
NV River Rats 18U Beast Series 8 2 1 3 2
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
Mass Regionals 2 0 0 0 0
Morgan Winters F
12/8/01 (F)
3.75 Tabor Academy NE Prep 23 8 20 28 -
NV River Rats 18U Beast Series 7 1 1 2 6
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 2
2022 or '23 Commits
Nick Ring F
10/26/03 (F)
3.75 Boston Advantage U18 ECEL 11 4 3 7 -
Playoffs 4 0 3 3 -
Mass Regionals 2 1 0 1 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
F = Finished the season
X = End of season Cancelled
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2020 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2020. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

UNH Commit Cade Penney: An Agile, Offensive-Minded Defenseman

Cade Penney
2021 UNH Commit
"Cade is becoming the player that we hoped for at 16U. He is a very good skater with good hands who sees the ice very well. His outlets were very strong today as he can buy himself time and spot the opening." Neutral Zone
Cade Penney
Defenseman, 6'0", 165 lbs. Shoots Right
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia
Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania
DOB: 3-23-2001 Turns 19 in March
Current Team: New Jersey Titans (NAHL)
                       ~ Right Defenseman
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Committed to UNH: February, 2020 at Age 18 years, 11 months.
Projected enrollment: Fall, 2021

2019-20 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Cade Penney, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Cade Penney: I was looking for a top school with a top hockey program and UNH definitely has both.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Cade Penney: I was in discussions with various colleges throughout the process. There were schools in MN, PA, NY, MA and NH. The best fit for me was definitely UNH.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Penney: I am focused on my current team's stretch drive to the playoffs and will be discussing the next steps for my UNH career at the end of the season.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Penney: I am told by my coaches that my key strengths are my skating and hockey IQ. I feel I have improved my defensive game and continue to work on this part of my game.

Lowry: In your first season in the North American Hockey League last year, you scored 2 assists in 31 games with the New Jersey Titans. So far this season, you've scored 6 goals and 24 assists in 51 games and have a +/- rating of +30. What factors have lead to your increased scoring and improved play in the defensive zone?

Penney: Last year, when I made the New Jersey Titans, I was only 17 years old and was coming from the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U16 program. Last season was a year of transition for me personally. I was learning to play with many older/larger players. I worked very hard to improve all parts of my game and when the opportunity was there, work hard in the games. This season, I came into camp with confidence and the focus to be a key part of defense. A big focus was to improve my defensive game.

Lowry: When you were 12 years old back in February, 2014, you competed in the prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament as a member of the Lac St. Louis Lions Pee-Wee team. The tourney is known as hockey's version of the Little League World Series and has featured many future Hall of Famers. What are your memories of playing in your first international tournament? You played much of your youth hockey with the Philadelphia Junior Flyers organization. How did you become a member of the Pee-Wee team from Quebec?

Penney: I am Canadian and was born in White Rock, British Columbia then moved to Montreal when I was 2 years old. I started my hockey in Montreal and lived there for 12 years. We moved to the Philadelphia area in 2015 and I have dual citizenship. The Quebec Tournament was a lot of fun. Playing hockey in Canada gave me the love for the game and helped me as I moved to the US hockey system.

Lowry: Last May, you were drafted by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the 6th round of the USHL Entry Draft. Do you plan to try out for the Buccaneers or any other USHL team this summer?

Penney: It was great to get drafted by Des Moines and be part of their tryouts last season. I will wait until the end of the current season before I decide who I will try out for.

Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Penney: I am very interested in business and sports management.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

Motor City Cup U16: Top 35 Rankings, September, 2017
"Cade is a smaller defenseman who can rush the puck up ice and is very efficient on the power play. He has smooth, patient hands, and the vision to create scoring chances. He makes a lot of high pace, skilled plays and looks to be an agile, offensive-minded defenseman at the next level. He was passed over at the USHL Draft, but we don’t see that happening again after this season."
Liberty Bell Games Top 80, July, 2017
"Penny was, as a whole, solid on defense. We didn’t see much on the attack from him which is odd. However, he is a smart player that does the little things well. He is very mobile and positions himself well, keeping forwards to the outside and cutting off the passing lanes on defense. His vision is good, he reads the play, goes through his progressions well and is a very poised player in general. We like that he knows when to join the rush and when not to do it. He has real upside."

Youth & Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Cade Penney  (D) 2019-20 New Jersey Titans NAHL 51 6 24 30 24 +30
Team East NAHL Prospects 2 0 0 0 0 -2
2018-19 New Jersey Titans NAHL 31 0 2 2 26 -8
Playoffs 5 0 0 0 2 -2
New Jersey 87's EHL 4 0 1 1 0
2017-18 Philadelphia Jr Flyers 16U AYHL 16U 20 4 7 11 10
T1EHL U16 28 0 8 8 24
2016-17 Philadelphia Jr Flyers 15U AYHL 15U 28 7 15 22 20
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 8
T1EHL U15 16 4 8 12 10
Playoffs 4 1 1 2 4
Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2