Friday, October 12, 2018

UNH Freshman Eric Esposito: A Hard-Nose, Tenacious Player

Eric Esposito
UNH Forward #12
"Eric is a hard-nose tenacious player who had a great season last year in the USHL. As team captain he led the Youngstown Phantoms to the USHL finals." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"A tough, hard nosed competitor." Neutral Zone
Eric Esposito UNH Jersey #12
Forward, 5'11", 183 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: West Haven, Connecticut
DOB: 8-24-1998 Turned 20 in August
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
                  ~ Captain; 1st & 2nd Line Left Wing
Commits to UNH: July, 2014 at Age 15 years, 11 months
"Meet Eric Esposito: UNH's Newest Recruit"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Report
"A tough, hard nosed competitor who is relentless on the forecheck, finishes checks and has deceptive speed. The former Loomis Chaffee star has played a bottom six role in the USHL this season (2016-17) but done so with grit and energy. He'll likely be passed in this years NHL draft but our scouts are confident his best hockey is ahead of him." Neutral Zone
Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Eric Esposito  (F) 2017-18 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 60 23 10 33 109
Playoffs 11 4 5 9 10
2016-17 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 52 9 7 16 123
Playoffs 5 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 48 2 8 10 36

Thursday, October 11, 2018

UNH Freshman Ryan Verrier: A Mobile, Athletic Defenseman

Ryan Verrier
UNH Defenseman #3
"Ryan is a mobile defenseman and had a great season in the USHL leading his team in points by a defenseman. He will add to our athleticism on our blue line." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"Ryan has excellent feet, above average straight line speed, great lateral movement and a good defensive stick." Neutral Zone
Ryan Verrier UNH Jersey #3
Defense, 6'0", 185 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Reading, Massachusetts
DOB: 11-19-1998 Turned 19 last November
Neutral Zone Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
                  ~ 1st Defensive Pairing
Commits to UNH: September, 2016 at Age 17 years, 10 months
"Ryan Verrier, Mass High School Star, Commits to UNH"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Report
"Ryan played a solid all around game. He stayed square when defending and he has great lateral movement and a good defensive stick. His gaps were good and he closed space quickly in his end. He has excellent feet and above average straight line speed. We liked his balanced game and understanding on when to jump up in the play as he does not force things on the offensive end. He made good outlets and used the net to his advantage in his end." Neutral Zone
Junior Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Ryan Verrier  (D) 2017-18 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 56 4 14 18 60
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
2016-17 Salisbury School NE Prep 29 7 18 25 -
Playoffs 1 1 0 1 -
Mid-Fairfield U18 18U Nationals 5 3 1 4 2
2015-16 Austin Prep Mass HS 22 11 16 27 -

UNH Freshman Will MacKinnon: A Strong, Physical Defenseman

Will MacKinnon
UNH Defenseman #5
"Will has great leadership attributes. He is a strong defenseman that can move the puck. He will bring character to our team on and off the ice." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"He plays a mature, deliberate game..a strong, powerful skater..a heads up defender who can handle the puck under duress..smooth hands and offensive instincts." Neutral Zone
"Will’s done a great job, he’s a real hard working young man, a physical defenseman." Danton Cole, Former Head Coach, US National Team Development Program U17, Current Head Coach, Michigan State University
Will MacKinnon UNH Jersey #5
Defense, 5'11", 200 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Plymouth, Michigan
DOB: 4-13-2000 Turned 18 in April
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
                  ~ Alternate Captain; 1st & 2nd Defensive Pairing
Commits to UNH: May, 2018 at Age 18 years, 1 month
"Physical Defenseman Will MacKinnon Commits to UNH"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Report
"He (MacKinnon) plays a mature, deliberate game and you can tell he’s taken full advantage of the program's (National Team Development Program U17) strength and conditioning as he won nearly every puck battle. His best attribute is his shot; he has great power and an instant release which makes him a scoring threat even from the blue line. He’s strong on his skates and on his stick and did a nice job keeping pucks in the offensive zone and seemed to have developed great sense for when to pinch and when to retreat.

He played a puck possession game here (USA Hockey Selects 17 Camp) and carried the puck up ice regularly to lead or compliment the rush and showed smooth hands and offensive instincts. What we really liked was that he played hard; he didn’t act like he was above everyone else because of his NTDP resume. He blocked shots on the penalty kill, he went into the corners and dug out pucks and battled all week long. While he’s a strong, powerful skater, he’ll need to get quicker and more agile in order to find top four minutes in the USHL."
Neutral Zone
Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Will MacKinnon  (D) 2017-18 Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 57 2 8 10 127
Team USA U18 Hlinka Cup 4 0 0 0 4
2016-17 USA NTDP U17 Overall 56 1 3 4 33
USHL 34 1 0 1 12
WHC-17 5 0 0 0 0
USA NTDP U18 Overall 1 0 1 1 0
2015-16 Honeybaked U16 HiPerfHL 23 1 6 7 30

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

UNH Freshman Jackson Pierson: Thinks Quick, Moves Quick

Jackson Pierson
UNH Forward #11
"Jackson is a two-way player that sees the ice well. He has leadership qualities as he was the captain for the No. 1 ranked High School team in the nation at Culver Military Academy." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"Pierson can turn on a dime, he can pull away from defenders in any zone either from quick bursts or straight-line speed and he’s got exceptional pace to his game. He thinks it quick, he moves it quick." Neutral Zone
“Jackson is REALLY athletic. His biggest strength now is his brain. He thinks the game so much. He is playing chess and the other players are playing checkers." Steve Palmer, Head Coach, Culver Academy
Jackson Pierson UNH Jersey #11
Forward, 5'9", 175 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Zionsville, Indiana
DOB: 9-10-1999 Turned 19 in September
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Culver Academy (U.S. Prep)/Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
                  ~ Culver Captain and Starting Center
Commits to UNH: May, 2017 at Age 17 years, 8 months
"Culver Academy's Jackson Pierson Commits to UNH"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Report
"Pierson is one of the fastest skaters in the tournament (2018 18U Nationals); he can turn on a dime, he can pull away from defenders in any zone either from quick bursts or straight-line speed and he’s got exceptional pace to his game. He thinks it quick, he moves it quick and he can process the game and make plays at full speed. He had a few nice spin moves down in the corners to create separation and has an elusive stick that he can isolate defenders 1v1 and get around them (sometimes with ease).

He has improved his lower body strength and balance and was better here in traffic than when we saw him earlier in the year. Our only knock here would be that the did try and do too much and has a bad habit of constantly going 1v1 on defenders instead of pulling up and looking for passing lanes or easier lanes to the net. His speed and skill are headed to Durham, NH next year where he should flourish on the Olympic sheet after he adapts to the college game."
Neutral Zone
Junior Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Jackson Pierson  (F) 2017-18 Culver Academy Indep Prep 39 24 50 74 -
MidAm Tourney 4 3 4 7 -
18U Nationals 4 3 2 5 2
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
2016-17 Culver Academy Indep Prep 36 28 34 62 -
18U Nationals 4 2 4 6 2

Thursday, October 04, 2018

UNH Freshman Filip Engarås: A Clever Two-Way Center

Filip Engarås
UNH Forward #16
"Filip is a two-way player that is excellent on faceoffs. He was the center on a talented line for his team and led them to success. He was a two-year team captain that will bring leadership qualities." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
“Filip Engarås is a clever two-way center who reads the game well." Carl Larsson, Swedish scout for Future Considerations
Filip Engarås (Pronounced En-GAR-is) UNH Jersey #16
Forward, 6'0", 194 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
DOB: 5-16-1999 Turned 19 in May
Last Team: Skellefteå AIK J20 (Swedish Super Elite League)
                  ~ Captain and Starting Center
Commits to UNH: May, 2018 at Age 19 years
"Filip Engarås: UNH Hockey's First Swedish Player"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Report
“He is a clever two-way center who reads the game well. Has really great skating abilities and good work ethic. Has improved his release and is now a good shooter, combined with the smartness which he uses to find unexpected passes. I am excited to see his future development as he is that kind of guy that really works hard, on and off ice. He is certainly determined to have a good hockey career.” Carl Larsson, Swedish scout for Future Considerations

Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Filip Engarås  (F) 2017-18 Skellefteå AIK J20 Super Elite 42 22 23 45 34
Playoffs Super Elite 3 2 0 2 6
Team Sweden U19 Intl 4 2 0 2 6
2016-17 Skellefteå AIK J20 Super Elite 38 10 9 19 14
Playoffs Super Elite 2 0 0 0 0
Skellefteå AIK J18 All-Swedish 1 1 0 1 0
Playoffs All-Swedish 3 3 1 4 0
Skellefteå AIK J18 Elite 2 0 2 2 0
2015-16 Skellefteå AIK J20 Super Elite 10 0 1 1 0
Skellefteå AIK J18 All-Swedish 11 3 0 3 8
Playoffs All-Swedish 2 1 0 1 2
Skellefteå AIK J18 Elite 16 7 12 19 14
Team Sweden U17 Intl 6 1 1 2 6

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

UNH Freshman Ty Taylor: BCHL Goalie of the Year

Ty Taylor
UNH Goalie #35
"Ty is a goaltender with natural ability. He had a tremendous year in Vernon where he was named the BCHL Goalie of the Year. He brings competitiveness, athleticism and size." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"A tall, athletic, composed netminder with body control, sound positioning and technique." Neutral Zone
"Ty has excellent size and composure in goal. He tracks the puck extremely well and moves minimally to avoid over playing." Pasco Valana, Coach, Elite Goalies Canada
Ty Taylor UNH Jersey #35
Goalie, 6'4", 200 lbs. Catches Left
Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia
DOB: 7-5-1999 Turned 19 in July
2018 NHL Draft: 7th Round, 214th Overall by Tampa Bay Lightning
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Vernon Vipers (British Columbia Hockey League)
                  ~ Starting Goalie
Commits to UNH: February, 2018 at Age 18 years, 7 months.
"Ty Taylor: Top Goalie in BCHL Commits to UNH"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Reports
"Taylor is a big goalie who covers a lot of net, plays sharp angles and absorbs the puck giving him solid rebound control. He has good body control and athleticism and did a nice job of holding his posts and never getting out of position." Neutral Zone
"Ty has worked with me and with Rob Fuchs. Ty has excellent size and composure in goal. Smart goaltender who has always had to work hard at every step of his career. Does not take things for granted. He tracks the puck extremely well and moves minimally to avoid over playing." Pasco Valana, Coach, Elite Goalies Canada

Junior Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Wins Loss GAA SVS%
Ty Taylor  (G) 2017-18 Vernon Vipers BCHL 31 23 5 1.87 .931
Playoffs BCHL 10 6 4 2.46 .929
2016-17 Vernon Vipers BCHL 29 13 12 2.96 .908
Playoffs BCHL 1 0 0 2.17 .857
2015-16 Delta Hockey Academy CSSHL 18 15 3 1.46 .943
Playoffs CSSHL 2 0 0 3.50 .896


Sunday, September 30, 2018

UNH Freshman Angus Crookshank: A Fearless Scoring Force

Angus Crookshank
UNH Forward #6
"Angus is a skilled player with a high compete level and an ability to find the back of the net. He has a strong work ethic and tremendous upside." Mike Souza, UNH Head Coach
"He scores big goals and has the ability to make big plays too." Bobby Strum, Ottawa Senators Amateur Scout
"Sturdy, fearless forward with good hands and a nose for the net who can finish in a variety of ways." Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
Angus Crookshank UNH Jersey #6
Forward, 5'11", 180 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: North Vancouver, British Columbia
DOB: 10-2-1999 Turned 19 in October
2018 NHL Draft: 5th Round, 126th Overall by Ottawa Senators
Neutral Zone Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Stars
Last Team: Langley Rivermen (BCHL)
                  ~ Starting Center
Commits to UNH: April, 2016 at Age 17 years, 6 months.
"Angus Crookshank Commits to UNH"

2017-18 Highlight Reel



Scouting Reports
"He’s committed to the University of New Hampshire and they’re really excited to get him there. He’s going to have an important role. He’s 5-foot-10, but he plays bigger. He’s relentless, he plays with a lot of energy and pace, compete and nose for the net. He scores big goals and has the ability to make big plays too." Bobby Strum, Ottawa Senators Amateur Scout
"Sturdy, fearless forward with good hands and a nose for the net who can finish in a variety of ways. Crookshank, who is committed to the University of New Hampshire, played top-line minutes and saw significant time on the power play. He is a strong skater with good speed and is difficult to knock off the puck. Once in full flight, Crookshank maintains control of himself and doesn’t look like an erratic player who will make low-percentage plays — he will stop on a dime with his head up to look for cutters or make a quick directional change towards the cage. Once he’s inside the circles, Crookshank can unload a lethal shot with an incredibly quick release, but also has a high success rate when he takes the puck strong to the net, especially when he goes to his backhand. As good a goal scorer as he is, Crookshank has excellent vision and is capable of executing passes that lead to quality scoring chances." Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst; Sporting News
Junior Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Angus Crookshank  (F) 2017-18 Langley Rivermen BCHL 42 22 23 45 34
Playoffs BCHL 6 3 4 7 6
Team Canada West WJAC 5 2 3 5 6
Team West Prospects CJHL 1 0 1 1 0
2016-17 Langley Rivermen BCHL 31 9 12 21 14
Playoffs BCHL 6 2 1 3 0
2015-16 Langley Rivermen BCHL 4 1 0 1 0
Playoffs BCHL 1 0 0 0 0
Burnaby Winter Club Prep CSSHL 35 42 19 61 56
Playoffs CSSHL 4 3 2 5 0


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

UNH Commits Update: Final 2017-18 Statistics

Joey Cipollone
Angus Crookshank
Filip Engarås
Eric Esposito
Drew Hickey
Will MacKinnon
Jackson Pierson
Ty Taylor
Ryan Verrier


As the hockey players committed to the University of New Hampshire gear up for a new season, it's a good time to reflect on the progress they made last season. The scoring and penalty minute statistics from the 2017-18 season are shown for each UNH Commit in the table below. The data is grouped according to the year the player is projected to enroll at UNH.

The first section features the 2017-18 statistics for the 9 freshmen currently taking classes at the Durham campus and practicing with the 2018-19 Wildats at the Whittemore Center. The Class of 2022 includes 5 forwards, 3 defensemen, and a goalie. All of them took their games to a higher level last season. Each player's statistics from 2016-17 and other previous seasons can be viewed by clicking their name.

The remaining sections of the table show the statistics for UNH commits projected to enroll in the Fall of 2019 and beyond. These include the three players who verbally committed to UNH since the end of the 2017-18 season - Aidan Curran, David Sacco, and Liam Devlin.

Mike Souza (UNH '00), who is beginning his first season as the head coach of the UNH men's hockey program, was extensively involved in recruiting almost every player on this list. When Souza was hired as associate head coach in the summer of 2015, he joined fellow associate head coach Glenn Stewart (UNH '94) as the primary recruiters. Stewart joined the UNH coaching staff in the summer of 2014. Of the 19 UNH commits included in this table, only incoming freshmen Joey Cipollone and Eric Esposito committed to UNH before Souza and Stewart became UNH coaches.

Final 2017-18 Statistics

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone* 3/29/97 (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 49 25 30 55 44
Playoffs 6 4 1 5 4
Angus Crookshank* 10/2/99 (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 42 22 23 45 34
Playoffs 6 3 4 7 6
Team Canada West WJAC 5 2 3 5 2
Team West Prospects CJHL 1 0 1 1 0
Filip Engarås 5/16/99 (F) Skellefteå AIK J20 SuperElit 40 16 18 34 16
Playoffs 3 2 0 2 0
Team Sweden U19 Intl 4 2 0 2 6
Eric Esposito* 8/24/98 (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 60 23 10 33 109
Playoffs 11 4 5 9 10
Drew Hickey 10/8/97 (D) CT Jr Rangers NCDC 47 7 27 34 40
Playoffs 5 0 0 0 0
Will MacKinnon 4/13/00 (D) Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 57 2 8 10 127
Jackson Pierson* 9/10/99 (F) Culver Academy Prep 39 24 50 74 -
MidAm Tourney 4 3 4 7 -
18U Nationals 4 3 2 5 2
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Ty Taylor* 7/5/99 (G) Vernon Vipers BCHL 31 23W 5L 1.87 .931
Playoffs 10 6W 4L 2.46 .929
Ryan Verrier* 11/19/98 (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 56 4 14 18 60
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn 9/11/99 (D) Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 14 0 0 0 0
Sioux City Musketeers USHL 32 1 5 6 17
Nolan McElhaney 4/22/99 (D) Cushing Academy NE Prep 31 13 34 47 32
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 2
EMass Senators 18U Nationals 5 3 1 4 26
Chase Stevenson 1/13/99 (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 40 12 11 23 25
Playoffs 4 1 0 1 2
2019 or '20 Commits
Connor Sweeney 5/5/00 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 29 8 14 22 10
Playoffs 3 1 2 3 0
Marek Wazny 2/21/00 (F) Burlington Cougars OJHL 37 7 17 24 28
Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
2020 Commits
Aidan Curran 1/22/01 (F) NH Jr Monarchs USPHL 16U 22 11 30 41 18
Tier 1 EHL 27 9 30 39 4
USPHL 18U 5 1 1 2 0
Liam Devlin 1/7/01 (F) St. Sebastian's NE Prep 30 10 17 27 -
Boston Little Bruins MHSL U18 7 2 1 3 -
Zack Jones 3/31/01 (F) Boston Bandits USPHL 16U 26 22 31 53 20
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 0
NCDC 10 1 0 1 0
Tim Stützle 1/15/02 (F) Mannheim Young Eagles DNL U19 25 18 29 47 8
Playoffs 5 4 4 8 2
MacPhr 2 1 3 4 0
Team Germany U18 Intl 2 2 0 2 4
U18 Worlds 5 1 3 4 2
Team Germany U17 5 Nations 4 2 5 7 2
Team Germany U16 Intl 6 4 3 7 -
2021 or '22 Commits
David Sacco 1/3/02 (F) St. John's Prep Mass HS 23 12 14 26 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent


News & Notes

Team Assignments for 2018-19 Season

2019 Commits:
~ Lucas Bahn - West Kelowna Warriors (British Columbia Hockey League)
~ Nolan McElhaney - Omaha Lancers (United States Hockey League)
~ Chase Stevenson - Surrey Eagles (BCHL)

2019 or '20 Commits:
~ Connor Sweeney - Lawrence Academy (New England Prep School League)
~ Marek Wazny - Maryland Black Bears (North American Hockey League)

2020 Commits:
~ Aidan Curran - New Hampshire Junior Monarchs (National Collegiate Development Conference)
~ Liam Devlin - Boston Junior Eagles (U18 Elite Fall Season); St. Sebastian's School (New England Prep)
~ Zack Jones - Boston Bandits (NCDC)
~ Tim Stützle - Mannheim Young Eagles U20 (German Development League U20 - "DNL U20")

2021 or '22 Commits:
~ David Sacco - Lawrence Academy (New England Prep)


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