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 (Wenatchee Wild) and Nicholas Cafarelli (West Kelowna Warriors) 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

Friday, January 24, 2020

UNH Commits Update 1-24-20: Spotlight on NHL Draft Prospects

Carsen Richels
NHL CSS Midterm Rank #75
Luke Reid
Midterm Rank #110
David Sacco
Midterm Rank #175
News & Notes

2020 NHL Draft - Midterm Prospect Rankings:

The NHL Central Scouting Service released its 2020 Midterm Draft Prospect Ranking on January 13th. It includes separate lists of 220 North American skaters and 135 European skaters. Three UNH Commits were included on the North American list.

~ Carsen Richels, the 6'3", 210 lbs, left-shot winger for Blaine (MN) High School, is ranked #75 among North American skaters on the 2020 NHL CSS Midterm Rankings. In November, NHL Central Scouting rated Richels a 'B' Prospect, that is, a candidate to be selected in the 2nd or 3rd round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Angus Crookshank, the leading goal scorer (12) on the current UNH team, is the last UNH forward drafted in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators selected Crookshank in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft. Crookshank was ranked #139 among North American skaters on the 2018 NHL CSS midterm rankings.

Carsen Richels signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH in November. The senior captain for the Blaine Bengals has scored 18 goals and 19 assists in 17 games. Because he is scoring at a 2.05 points per game clip and is projected to be drafted in the middle rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft this June, I project that he will enroll as a true freshman at UNH next Fall. Here are video highlights of three goals he scored in his 5-goal game:



~ Luke Reid, the 6'0", 190 lbs., right-shot defenseman for the Chicago Steel (USHL), committed to the University of New Hampshire last week. NHL Central Scouting ranked Reid #110 among North American skaters on the 2020 Midterm Rankings. Like Carsen Richels, Reid was rated a 'B' Prospect by NHL Central Scouting in November. The current UNH squad has two defensemen drafted in the NHL. Max Gildon is a 3rd rounder (66th overall) for the Florida Panthers and Benton Maass is a 6th rounder (182nd overall) for the Washington Capitals. Gildon's NHL CSS midterm ranking was #76 and Maass was #158 in 2017.

Luke Reid has scored 2 goals and 10 assists in 28 games for the first-place Chicago Steel and has a +/- rating of +11. On Monday, Reid competed in the 2020 BioSteel All-American Game which featured many of the top American prospects eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. He was the starting right defenseman for the team representing the United States Hockey League. Look for a feature article and interview with Luke Reid coming soon on The UNH Men's Hockey Blog. He is on target to enroll at UNH next Fall. Here are video highlights of Reid's second goal of the USHL season and his 10th assist:



~ David Sacco, the 6'1", 196 lbs, right-shot center/winger for Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, is ranked #175 among North American skaters on the 2020 NHL CSS Midterm Rankings. In November, NHL Central Scouting rated Sacco a 'C' Prospect, that is, a candidate to be selected in the 4th, 5th, or 6th round of the 2020 NHL Draft.

David Sacco, a junior at Lawrence Academy, has scored 7 goals and 14 assists in 12 games. The Spartans are currently ranked 3rd in New England Prep School Hockey in the USHR Poll and 4th in the Neutral Zone Poll. Here are video highlights of Sacco's two goals, including the game-winner, from Lawrence's 5-4 win over Noble & Greenough School on January 15th:



British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Nick Ardanaz, the 5'10", 160 lbs., left-shot defenseman for the West Kelowna Warriors, has scored 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 6 games. Over his last 18 games, he has scored in all but 5. The 17-year-old Ardanaz (DOB: 5/30/2002) is the youngest among the 28 top-scoring defensemen in the BCHL. His 3 goals and 22 assists in 45 games puts him in a tie for 12th in scoring among all BCHL defensemen. Nick is a senior at Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna and was named the BCHL High School Player of the Month for December.

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Nick Cafarelli scored his 4th game-winning goal of the season last Saturday. He is tied for 4th in BCHL game-winning goals.


National Collegiate Development Conference:

~ In mid-December, the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs announced that Aidan Curran would rejoin their NCDC team "once he’s healthy from an illness that has wiped him out in the early going this year". Last season, Curran scored 12 goals and 37 assists in 52 games with the Jr. Monarchs and was the NCDC Rookie of the Year. In the early part of this season, he played 11 games with the Salmon Arm Siverbacks (BCHL) in September and 13 games with the Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) in late October and into November. In all, he scored a goal and 8 assists. Curran returned to action on January 3rd and has scored in 6 consecutive games with the Jr. Monarchs. He has scored 2 goals, including a game-winner and added 6 assists.

~ 2021 UNH Commit Cy LeClerc has been red hot since early December scoring 10 goals and 10 assists in 12 games with the Islanders Hockey Club. In all, the 17-year-old rookie has scored 14 goals and 24 assists in 36 games and is the 4th leading scorer in the NCDC.

New England Prep School:

~ 2021 or '22 UNH Commit JP Turner, the junior right-shot center at Avon Old Farms, has scored in 13 out of 14 games this season. He has scored 9 goals and 11 assists and is the second leading scorer on the team. With a record of 13-1-0, AOF is ranked 3rd in the Neutral Zone Poll and 4th in the USHR Poll.

2019-20 Statistics


Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2020 Commits
Will Margel*
3/16/01 (F)
3.75 Coquitlam Express BCHL 21 5 13 18 2
Madison Capitols USHL 12 1 0 1 2
Luke Reid
9/26/01 (D)
4.75 Chicago Steel USHL 28 2 10 12 18
Carsen Richels* 10/3/01 (F) 4.0 Blaine High School Minn HS 18 18 19 37 4
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
2020 or '21 Commits
Alex Gagne*
8/12/02 (D)
4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 24 1 4 5 24
Nicolas Ardanaz
5/30/02 (D)
3.75 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 45 3 22 25 6
Nicholas Cafarelli
12/31/01 (F)
3.75 Wenatchee Wild BCHL 39 16 21 31 27
Aidan Curran
1/22/01 (F)
4.0 NH Jr Monarchs NCDC 6 2 6 8 0
Bonnyville Pontiacs AJHL 13 0 4 4 4
Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL 11 1 4 5 0
Connor Sweeney
5/5/00 (F)
3.5 Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 47 2 7 9 29
2021 Commits
Timo Bakos
7/28/00 (F)
4.0 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 30 6 5 11 6
Robert Cronin
8/15/00 (F)
3.75 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 28 2 4 6 14
Liam Devlin
1/7/01 (F)
3.75 Chicago Steel USHL 27 4 1 5 18
Cy LeClerc
8/17/02 (F)
3.75 Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 36 14 24 38 6
Jack Ring
12/18/00 (F)
3.5 Northeast Generals NAHL 35 3 12 15 8
David Sacco
1/3/02 (F)
3.75 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 12 7 14 21 -
Cape Cod Whalers U18 EHF Selects 9 5 2 7 18
Mass Regionals 2 0 2 2 0
2021 or '22 Commits
Damien Carfagna
12/12/02 (D)
3.75 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 13 2 11 13 -
NV River Rats 18U Beast Series 8 2 1 3 2
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
Mass Regionals 2 0 0 0 0
JP Turner
1/31/03 (F)
4.0 Avon Old Farms NE Prep 14 9 11 20 -
NV River Rats 16U Beast Series 7 3 7 10 34
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 2
Mass Regionals 3 1 2 3 0
Morgan Winters
12/8/01 (F)
3.5 Tabor Academy NE Prep 14 6 11 17 -
NV River Rats 18U Beast Series 7 1 1 2 6
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 2
2022 or '23 Commits
Nick Ring
10/26/03 (F)
3.75 Boston Advantage U18 ECEL 11 4 3 7 0
Mass Regionals 2 1 0 1 0
* = 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 "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.
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