Thursday, May 30, 2019

UNH Commit Jack Ring: A Big, Speedy Forward

Jack Ring
2020 or '21 UNH Commit
"Jack has pro potential with his size and speed." Tim Lovell, Boston Advantage U18 Head Coach
"He is a big kid that is extremely fast and has the ability to get in on the forecheck quickly and create havoc for opposing teams defenses." Joe Lovell, Northeast Generals Head Coach
Jack Ring Forward, 6'4", 205 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Hingham, Massachusetts
DOB: 12-18-2000 Turned 18 in December
NHL Central Scouting 2019 Final Rankings: 207th North American Skater
2019 United States Hockey League Phase II Draft: 9th Round, 137th Overall by Sioux City Musketeers
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
2019-20 Team: Boston Advantage U18
                       ~ Forward/Center
Commits to UNH: March, 2019 at Age 18 years, 3 months.

2018-19 Highlight Reel

Last season, Jack Ring made a very successful transition from defenseman to forward. His performance attracted the attention of college coaches and NHL scouts. At 6'4", 205 lbs., Ring was an imposing center for the Boston Advantage U18 team. The major midget team is a member of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, which includes 27 of the top teams in the United States, as well as the East Coast Elite League.

In 29 Tier 1 EHL games, Ring scored 9 goals and 12 assists. Among all league players, Ring tied for 13th in goals, T-17 in assists, and T-20 in scoring. In the 9-Team ECEL, Ring played in 17 games, tied for 4th in goals (9), had the 6th most assists (10), and T-5th in scoring (19). These video highlights show his ability to carry the puck with speed into the offensive zone and to score goals:



Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Jack Ring, 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?

Jack Ring: I’ve spent a lot of time in New Hampshire growing up and have family in that area. Once I visited the campus it was an easy choice for me. I also always dreamed of playing hockey for a top program like UNH.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Jack Ring: I had a few schools reach out and locally had discussions with a couple other Hockey East programs in the area. I was focused on UNH from the start, so this kept things pretty simple.

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?

J. Ring: We all agree a year or two of Juniors is needed to best prepare me to be a more effective player at UNH. Targeting 2020 or 2021.

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

J. Ring: My strengths at this point would be speed, hands and hockey IQ. I am told I see the ice very well. I am focused on improving the accuracy of my shot.

Lowry: I've read that you converted from a defenseman to forward this past season with the Boston Advantage U18 team. What do you like about playing forward?

J. Ring: I think playing forward gives me more opportunity to be productive offensively. I enjoy handling the puck and setting up plays. I still like the opportunity to play defense on the power play which I still continue to do at times.

Lowry: You signed to play for the Northeast Generals in the North American Hockey League next season and you had an opportunity to play a couple games with them this season. How much of an adjustment is it to move up from midget to junior hockey?

J. Ring: I think the size and strength of the players is really the thing that makes the biggest difference. The game is still played the same so if you can see it and think it quickly, you can have an advantage.

Lowry: In the recent United States Hockey League Draft, you were selected by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 9th Round. Do you plan to attend the Musketeers’ training camp this summer?

J. Ring: Yes, I do plan on attending camp in June.

Lowry: You've grown up playing hockey for Coaches Joe and Tim Lovell and the Boston Advantage Hockey Club. What are some of the most important lessons you've learned, both on and off the ice?

J. Ring: Discipline and hard work. The Lovells are demanding guys and expect a lot of their players at every age level.

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

J. Ring: I am a graduate of Hingham High 2019. Math is a strong subject for me and I am thinking business or criminology would be interesting to me.

Coach's Assessments
"Jack has pro potential with his size and speed and has really made himself a better player through the work he has put in at Lovell Hockey during the Spring and Summer’s over the last 5 years. He will need to add some weight and strength over the next year in order to become that impact forward that we expect him to be." Tim Lovell, Boston Advantage U18 Head Coach
"He is a big kid that is extremely fast and has the ability to get in on the forecheck quickly and create havoc for opposing teams defenses. He has also grown into a 200 foot player that can put the puck in the net and he will be a huge addition for us next year." Joe Lovell, Northeast Generals Head Coach

Youth & Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Jack Ring  (F) 2018-19 Boston Advantage U18 Tier 1 EHL 29 9 12 21 26
East Coast Elite League 17 9 10 19 -
Northeast Generals NAHL 1 0 0 0 0
2017-18 Boston Advantage U18 Tier 1 EHL 25 0 5 5 6
East Coast Elite League 15 1 3 4 -
2016-17 Boston Advantage U16 Tier 1 EHL 32 1 5 6 16
East Coast Elite League 8 1 0 1 -

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

UNH Commit Robby Griffin: A High IQ, High Effort Player

Robby Griffin
2019 UNH Commit
"He pushes the pace offensively, especially through the neutral zone. Shows mobility and a quick stick near the net. Played 2 seasons in the National Collegiate Development Conference against older players where he learned to move without the puck and play in traffic. High IQ." Neutral Zone
Robby Griffin Forward, 6'0", 176 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Burlington, Massachusetts
DOB: 1-8-2001 Turned 18 in January
2017 United States Hockey League Futures Draft: 2nd Round, 19th Overall by Sioux Falls Stampede
2017 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft: 12th Round, 217th Overall by Saint John Sea Dogs
Neutral Zone Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
2018-19 Team: Boston Junior Bruins (NCDC)
                       ~ First Line Center; First Power Play Unit
Commits to UNH: May, 2019 at Age 18 years, 4 months.

2018-19 NCDC Highlight Reel

At the beginning of the 2018-19 season, the large majority of players in the National Collegiate Development Conference were either 18, 19 or 20 years old. Robby Griffin (DOB: 1-8-2001), playing his second season in the NCDC, was only 17. He primarily played center on the Boston Junior Bruins' starting lineup and first power play unit and finished the regular season with 8 goals and 34 assists in 50 games. Griffin tied for 8th in NCDC scoring and assists and played in the league's All-Star Game.

The Junior Bruins won the NCDC Playoffs and the 2018-19 Dineen Cup Championship. Griffin tallied 2 goals and 7 assists during the 8-game run. He scored the second most assists and points in the league playoffs. These video highlights show a sample of Robby Griffin's goals and assists from his final season of junior hockey:

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Robby Griffin, 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?

Robby Griffin: When I stepped on the campus and spoke with Coach Souza he seemed extremely relatable, straightforward and trustworthy. I can see myself fitting in well in the environment in general, as well as the on the team and in the program itself. I like the trust that they have in me as a player and felt a lot of trust in the coaching staff.

Mike Lowry: In March, 2016, when you had just turned 15, you verbally accepted an athletic scholarship offer from Northeastern University. What factors entered into your decision to reopen your college search?

Robby Griffin: Things just change sometimes. As a freshman in high school it is tough to make a decision that early and choose a college. And as a senior in high school, I still loved the program but I just felt there could possibly be a better fit. It was a tough decision but after talking to my parents and advisor a lot I decided it was the best option for me.

Lowry: When you renewed the recruiting process, what college programs did you consider? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Griffin: UNH was my main option even from the beginning of that process. I went up for a camp there years ago so I had some familiarity with the place and I remember liking the campus and the facilities. Once I met the staff and felt the trust they had in me, it really cemented my decision to pursue it. After visiting UNH I knew it was the right fit.

Lowry: You have signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH and plan to enroll this coming Fall. How far along are you in the process of applying for NCAA eligibility and admission to the University of New Hampshire?

Griffin: I am pretty close to being done with the process. There are a lot of steps to take but academically and athletically I should be cleared within the coming days/weeks and I am already excited to be heading up there this fall.

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

Griffin: Entering school as a younger freshman, my strengths are my hockey IQ, skating, and my playmaking and defensive abilities. I see myself as a two way center who can be trusted in all areas of the game, reliable and coachable. I believe that I can create space for myself and make my teammates around me better players. I have been working a lot on being a little more aggressive which includes using my shot more, and playing more physical. I will continue to work on those facets over this summer.

Lowry: Last season, as the starting center for the Boston Junior Bruins NCDC team, you scored 8 goals and 34 assists in 42 regular season games and 2 goals and 7 assists in 8 playoff games. How would you describe your skills in the core areas of a centerman (e.g., faceoffs, passing, forechecking, and assisting your defensemen below the faceoff circles)?

Griffin: Not to reiterate too much from the previous question but as a center I believe my best ability is to be able to be adaptable and versatile. It is a position where you need to be at your best all over the ice and I accept that pressure and love it. I take pride in winning face-offs, using my stick to redirect a pass, or simply to calm the play down and make good passes through the neutral zone to get our team into the offensive zone. Offensively, as a center it is important to control the puck and distribute well to your wingers and I believe I consistently do this as well

Lowry: Over the last three summers, you participated in the USA Hockey Selects Player Development Camps. How do you think your skills compare with the other top US forwards born in 2001? In which skill area have you shown the most improvement?

Griffin: Those camps were always humbling as I feel the 2001 class is one of the strongest, with a lot of dynamic forwards all around the nation. I believe there are a lot of good players and I am glad to be a part of that group. I believe my game will translate well to the next level.

Lowry: You earned a number of hockey achievements at a relatively early age. A couple months after your 15th birthday, you verbally committed to a Hockey East school. A year later, you were selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United States Hockey League Phase I Draft. You could have pursued a junior hockey career in a number of leagues in the US and Canada. What were the main reasons you chose to remain at home in Burlington, Massachusetts and play for the Boston Junior Bruins in the National Collegiate Development Conference?

Griffin: I’ve always taken a different path from the main pack and I am very glad. Even back in squirts, playing town hockey rather than jumping to elite right away always helped. I believe that everyone ends up in the same place and that the better players always rise to the top with how they play, not where they play.
The NCDC is a challenging new league as a younger player especially and I believe it definitely got me ready for college hockey. I love my hometown and have close bonds with many friends and having the ability to stay at home and graduate in my hometown is a dream come true while still playing competitive hockey. The Junior Bruins have always had my trust and I believe they really care about their players, it’s more than just winning to them. .

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

Griffin: My biggest academic strength is being the leader in groups and working well with people/communication. I am also strong with numbers and technology. I am going to major in business administration and probably specify a specific branch of that later on. I see myself thriving there and loving it along the way.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

From the NCDC Fall Beantown Classic, October, 2018
"Robby is the best prospect and probably the best player in the NCDC as a 2001. He does not jump off the ice at you as he does not force his skill on the game. He is really smart stays around the puck and jumps to chances. Stole a puck Saturday and quickly buried it top corner. Elite shot. Plays center and liked to be the F3. Sneaks in and out of scoring areas. Settles in scoring spots. His stride is excellent as he gets every bit of his legs. Pushed pace on the rush and in the zone made smart passes. He moved the puck board to board and stretched defenses to create space. He has improved getting to tough areas and has learned to carve out space in the net front and win pucks on the wall. High IQ, high effort player who is tough, talented and skilled. He is a hockey player who consistently makes plays. Lots more upside."
From the USA Hockey Select 17 National Development Camp, July, 2018
"Griffin, the longtime Boston Jr. Bruins star forward, made his third straight national camp and got off to a slow start but was better and better as the week went on. He is a talented forward who has deceptive speed, strong edges and high-level hockey IQ. He scored a beautiful top corner short side snipe looking off a pass on a 2v1 coming out of the corner on the power play. He’s a skilled passer because of his touch on his passes and his poise to allow the play to develop. He’s got a bit of an understated style; he isn’t flashy but he’s got a rare ability to make plays both in open ice and in traffic and can play a lot of different roles. He excelled on the power play and the penalty kill, he won face-offs, he supported the puck on breakouts and played a detailed defensive game especially in front of his own net."

Youth & Junior Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Robby Griffin  (F) 2018-19 Boston Junior Bruins NCDC 50 8 34 42 22
Playoffs 8 2 7 9 8
USA Select 17 5 1 1 2 0
2017-18 Boston Junior Bruins NCDC 49 8 15 23 18
Playoffs 6 1 3 4 0
USA Select 16 5 3 2 5 2
2016-17 Boston Junior Bruins USPHL 16U 28 14 33 47 32
Playoffs 3 0 2 2 0
USA Select 15 3 1 2 3 0
2015-16 Boston Junior Bruins USPHL 16U 30 7 26 33 4
Playoffs 2 0 1 1 0

Friday, April 19, 2019

UNH Commits Update 4-19-2019: Final 2018-19 Statistics

Will Margel
USA Hockey
18U Championship
Tim Stützle
German Development League
U20 Championship

News & Notes

USA Hockey National Championships:

Will Margel - From April 3-8, Will Margel and the Selects Hockey Academy/Central Connecticut Selects 18U team competed in the 2019 USA Hockey Tier I National Championship. They won two games and lost one in Pool Play, defeated #1 ranked Shattuck St. Mary's 8-6 in the Quarterfinals, beat the Yale Jr. Bulldogs 6-2 in the Semifinals, and won the Championship Game 3-2 in overtime against the North Jersey Avalanche.

Margel finished the tournament tied for 1st in scoring (13 pts), tied 2nd in assists (8) and tied 3rd in goals (5) in 6 games. These video highlights show all of his goals plus two assists from the Shattuck St. Mary's victory:



On Wednesday, Will Margel signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH. He is a senior at the South Kent School. Next season, he will play junior hockey and enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2020. Margel has not yet decided where to play next year. In May, 2017, he was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the 9th round of the USHL Futures Draft.

Robert Cronin - A month after Robert Cronin's season with The Gunnery School ended, he rejoined the Yale Junior Bulldogs 18U team in the USA Hockey Nationals. They won all three games in Pool Play and beat the Mid Fairfield Jr. Rangers 7-2 in the Quarterfinals.

That set up a matchup against Will Margel and Central Connecticut Selects in the Semifinals. Robert Cronin scored both of the Yale Jr. Bulldog's goals and tied the game 2-2 late in the second period. However, the Selects team scored 4 unanswered goals and won 6-2. Will Margel scored the Selects' second and sixth goals. Across the Bulldog's five games, Robert Cronin scored 6 goals and an assist. He tied for 2nd in goal-scoring in the tournament. Here are all of his goals:



After Cronin graduates from The Gunnery later this spring, he plans to play one or two seasons of junior hockey before enrolling at UNH. He anticipates playing in either the United States Hockey League or British Columbia Hockey League next year. As an undrafted prospect, it will be interesting to see if he is selected in the United States Hockey League annual draft on May 7th and/or the North American Hockey League draft on June 4th.

Liam Devlin - Another UNH commit to compete in the USA Hockey Tier I 18U National Championships was Liam Devlin. After his season with The St. Sebastian's School was over, he rejoined the Boston Junior Eagles 18U team for the tournament. The Jr. Eagles won all three games in the Pool Play including a 4-1 defeat of Margel and the Central CT Selects. Devlin scored their 4th goal. In the Quarterfinals, the Jr. Eagles lost to Northwood Prep 3-6. Overall, Liam Devlin tallied 2 goals and 3 assists in 4 games.

Next year, Liam Devlin will be a senior captain for St. Sebastian's. Following his senior year, Devlin plans to play one year of junior hockey then enroll at UNH in Fall 2021. So far, he has been drafted by the South Shore Kings in the National Collegiate Development Conference. He will be eligible for the upcoming USHL and NAHL's drafts.

David Sacco - UNH commit David Sacco competed in the Tier I 16U National Championships. After his sophomore hockey season with Lawrence Academy ended, Sacco rejoined the Cape Cod Whalers 16U team. The Whalers won all three games in Pool Play but lost to the Pittsburgh Pens Elite in the Quarterfinals. Pittsburgh went on to win the 16U Championship. Sacco tallied 2 assists for the Whalers in 4 games.

Next year, David Sacco will be a junior at Lawrence Academy. When he committed to UNH last August, he indicated that he plans to enroll at UNH in either the Fall of 2020 or 2021. In January, 2018, Sacco was drafted by the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in the National Collegiate Development Conference Futures Draft. He will be eligible for the upcoming USHL and NAHL's drafts.

German Development League U20 Division I Championship:

Tim Stützle - In the middle of March, Tim Stützle and the Jungadler Mannheim won the 2019 DNL U20 Division I Championship. In the opening, best-of-three series, the Young Eagles beat the Eisbären (Polar Bears) Juniors Berlin two games to one. Stützle tallied 2 goals and 2 assists in the decisive third game.

Mannheim faced Kölner Junghaie (Young Sharks) in the championship round. Jungadler won the first game 3-2 and Stützle assisted on the first goal. In Game 2, Mannheim overwhelmed Berlin 6-2 to cap off the championship. Stützle scored 2 more goals and 2 assists. Stützle finished the playoffs tied for 2nd in scoring (11 pts), 2nd in assists (7) and tied 2nd in goals (4) in 5 games.

Here are Stützle's game-winning third goal and insurance fifth goal in the final playoff game:



Tim Stützle is on track to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2020. Last May, he was selected by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 2018 USHL Phase I Draft. He will be eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

2018-19 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2019 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2019. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ 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.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2019 Commits
Kalle Eriksson 9/15/99 (D) Madison Capitals USHL 31 4 12 16 14
Omaha Lancers USHL 24 1 12 13 6
Lucas Herrmann 8/1/00 (F) Madison Capitals USHL 53 14 8 22 52
Nolan McElhaney 4/22/99 (D) Omaha Lancers USHL 5 0 0 0 2
Chase Stevenson* 1/13/99 (F) Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 32 9 22 31 26
Playoffs 10 1 7 8 12
Surrey Eagles BCHL 25 10 12 22 37
2020 Commits
Aidan Curran 1/22/01 (F) NH Jr Monarchs NCDC 50 12 37 49 36
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 2
Zack Jones 3/31/01 (F) Boston Bandits NCDC 50 4 31 35 20
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
Will Margel* 3/16/01 (F) Selects Academy 18U Overall 64 45 55 100 18
USPHL 18U 5 4 7 11 4
Playoffs 4 1 4 5 0
BEAST Series 10 9 5 14 8
NE Regionals 5 3 3 6 -
USA 18U Nationals 5 4 7 11 4
Tim Stützle 1/15/02 (F) Mannheim Young Eagles DNL U20 21 23 32 55 30
Playoffs 5 4 7 11 4
Team Germany U20 Intnl - - - - -
Connor Sweeney 5/5/00 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 26 7 15 22 20
Playoffs 2 0 1 1 -
Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 1 2 0 2 0
Little Bruins 18U Tier I 18U 9 1 2 3 2
Mass Districts 2 1 0 1 -
Marek Wazny 2/21/00 (F) Maryland Black Bears NAHL 53 7 13 20 28
2020 or '21 Commits
Nick Ardanaz 5/30/02 (D) Delta Prep CSSHL 33 5 25 30 18
Playoffs 3 0 1 1 0
Vernon Vipers BCHL 3 0 0 0 0
Nicholas Cafarelli 12/31/01 (F) Cushing Academy NE Prep 31 17 24 41 18
Playoffs 2 1 3 4 2
Eastern MA Senators 18U Tier I 18U 4 1 0 1 -
Mass Districts 3 2 0 2 -
Jack Ring 12/18/00 (F) Boston Advantage U18 T1EHL 29 9 12 21 26
ECEL 17 9 10 19 -
Northeast Generals NAHL 1 0 0 0 0
David Sacco 1/3/02 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 23 13 15 28 32
Playoffs 2 1 0 1 -
Cape Cod Whalers 16U Mass Districts 1 1 1 2 -
USA 16U Nationals 3 0 2 2 0
2021 Commits
Liam Devlin 1/7/01 (F) St. Sebastian's NE Prep 27 8 17 25 2
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 -
Boston Jr. Eagles EHF Selects 11 3 5 8 8
Mass Districts 3 3 0 3 -
USA 18U Nationals 4 2 3 5 17
Cy LeClerc 5/14/02 (F) Seacoast Spartans 16U ECEL 17 25 18 43 -
Overall 60 55 57 112 -
2021 or '22 Commits
JP Turner 1/31/03 (F) Avon Old Farms NE Prep 25 5 8 13 0
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
NV River Rats 16U Mass Districts 3 1 2 3 -
Morgan Winters 12/8/01 (F) Tabor Academy NE Prep 23 13 21 34 4
Little Bruins 18U Tier I 18U 7 0 0 0 0
Mass Districts 1 0 0 0 -
2022 or '23 Commits
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) Boston Advantage U16 T1EHL 28 5 7 12 4
ECEL 15 6 4 10 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent


Sunday, April 14, 2019

UNH Commit Lucas Herrmann: A Hard-Working, Gritty Forward

Lucas Herrmann
2019 UNH Commit
"Hermann had a level of snarl that at times helped him and at times did not..The 2000 was not intimidated by older players. He was not huge or heavy but very strong and skated well..He had some nice tools, soft hands and is a solid prospect." Neutral Zone
Lucas Herrmann Forward, 6'2", 187 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
DOB: 8-1-2000 Turns 19 in August
Current Team: Madison Capitols (USHL)
                       ~ First/Second Line Center; First Power Play Unit
Commits to UNH: April, 2019 at Age 18 years, 8 months.

2018-19 USHL Highlight Reel

During the 2017-18 season, Lucas Herrmann was a 17-year-old senior in high school playing his first year of junior hockey in the North American Hockey League. He tallied 6 goals and 19 assists in 54 games. One month after the season ended, the Madison Capitols selected Herrmann in the 5th round (80th overall) of the 2018 United States Hockey League draft.

Over his first 21 games in the USHL this season, Hermmann centered the Capitols' first line in seven games. His offensive production was limited to 2 assists. Herrmann turned it around beginning on January 17th. Over the final 32 games of the season, he scored 14 goals and 6 assists. Six of the goals came on Madison's power play, another was an overtime, game-winner, two were game-tying goals, and one came in a shootout. When Herrmann committed to UNH last week, Madison head coach Garrett Suter said:
"We drafted Lucas knowing he could do big things for us, and when he finally broke through, the flood gates opened. Not only has he been producing on the ice, but off as well. When we traded [Josh] Boyer at the deadline, Lucas stepped up and filled the hole as an alternate captain.”
These video highlights show how tough and productive Lucas Herrmann can be in front of the opposing goalie:

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Lucas Herrmann, 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?

Lucas Herrmann: Thank you! I chose UNH because I really felt comfortable on campus, with the coaches, and with the players. They have a historic hockey program and is a very strong academic school.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Lucas Herrmann: I was talking to a few schools and had visits lined up but once I went to UNH, I felt at home and knew I did not want to be anywhere else.

Lowry: Do you plan to enroll at UNH next Fall? How far along are you in the process of applying for NCAA eligibility and admission to the University of New Hampshire?

Herrmann: Yes, I will be enrolling in the Fall. I have not started applying yet. We have 2 games left in the season this weekend and I will be starting that process after we finish up here in Madison.

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

Herrmann: I would say I am a 200 foot player. I do well in the face off circle, I am physical and get to the dirty areas. I am trying to improve on my agility and am always trying to improve my overall strength.

Lowry: Over the first 21 games in this, your first season in the United States Hockey League, you tallied 2 assists for the Madison Capitals. Then you went on a run of scoring 13 goals and 6 assists in 25 games. What factors have lead to this dramatic increase in offensive production?

Herrmann: I had a slow start to the season and the bounces were not going my way and I started to grip the stick a little bit. I broke my jaw in November and had to sit out 9 games and I learned a lot and came back after Christmas with more confidence in myself and the team. I stopped thinking about scoring because I was so excited to play again and I started to put it all together.

Lowry: You and teammate Kalle Eriksson, a defenseman and fellow UNH commit, are key players on the Capitals' power play. Would you describe Eriksson's skill set?

Herrmann: Kalle is a very talented player. I have never seen someone so calm and fluid on the ice. He is a solid defenseman and is very offensive as well. He is a key component on our team and especially on our power play. He can get the puck through traffic and on net every time. I’m very excited I get to play along side him for 4 more years.

Lowry: Last season, you played for the Odessa Jackalopes and Topeka RoadRunners in the North American Hockey League. Why did you decide to move over to the USHL this season? What differences do you see between the NAHL and USHL?

Herrmann: I really enjoyed my time in the NAHL. I met a lot of amazing people and had some awesome coaches. I decided to move to the USHL because it is known as the premier league for junior hockey. I wanted to be able to take my game to the next level and I believe that this league would give me the opportunity to do so.
The main difference between the NAHL and the USHL is the physicality. The NAHL South especially is a very tough division to play in. The USHL is a faster paced game with a lot of skill.

Lowry: You attended the Nichols School in Buffalo as a sophomore and junior and played for Head Coach Jamie Printz. A number of forwards coached by Printz have gone on to succeed at higher levels. Frankie Cefalu played 4 years at UNH. Andrew Poturalski was an All-American at UNH and is a leading scorer in the American Hockey League. Sean Malone was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres and plays in the AHL. How did Coach Printz help your development?

Herrmann: Coach Printz and all of my coaches I had in my 3 years playing at Nichols really helped me find what kind of player I have to be to be successful. They worked with my on how to use my frame to protect pucks and drive the net and they helped me work on my weaknesses every practice. Nichols does an amazing job shaping kids as players and students.

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

Herrmann: I have always been a strong student in the math and science departments. I am very interested in the sciences and history. I am leaning towards being a business major but I am also thinking about the sport studies program.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

From the NAHL Showcase, October, 2017
"Hermann had a level of snarl that at times helped him and at times did not. He walked the line for sure. The 2000 was not intimidated by older players. He was not huge or heavy but very strong and skated well. He worked and finished his checks. He was thrown out of one game for a hit from behind, which resulted in limited viewing. He had some nice tools, soft hands and is a solid prospect."
From Lawrenceville Holiday Tournament, January, 2017
"He is not pretty but gets the job done. Lucas is an average skater with a good shot that he can get off in a crowd. He had a dynamite weekend and was one of the top scorers through hard work and grit. The work ethic is high end and he goes to all the right places and does all the little things to help his team win. A really solid 200ft player who gets in on the forecheck and takes the body, plays a pretty direct game and drives the net."

Junior Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Lucas Herrmann  (F) 2018-19 Madison Capitals USHL 53 14 8 22 52
2017-18 Odessa Jackalopes NAHL 37 2 10 12 82
Topeka RoadRunners NAHL 17 4 9 13 31
2016-17 Nichols School CISAA 14 6 7 13 16
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Nichols School CISAA 9 2 1 3 4
Playoffs 3 0 2 2 0

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

UNH Commit J.P Turner: A Rugged, Pure Scorer

J.P. Turner
2021 or '22 UNH Commit
"Uses his body well on the cycle; picks pucks with ease. Can drag and fire and is a pure scorer. Good sense up the ice with a scorer’s blade. 2003 is mature, prepared, balanced, rugged and direct. High ceiling." Neutral Zone
J.P. Turner Forward, 5'11", 190 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Falmouth, Massachusetts
DOB: 1-31-2003 Turned 16 in January
2018 National Collegiate Development Conference Draft: Boston Bandits
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Team: Avon Old Farms School/Neponset Valley River Rats U16
                       ~ Forward
Commits to UNH: March, 2019 at Age 16 years, 2 months.

2017-18 Highlight Reel

When J.P. Turner was in junior high school in Falmouth, Massaschusetts, he served as manager for the high school hockey team. His Dad, John Turner, was the longtime Assistant Coach of the Falmouth Clippers. As a freshman in the 2017-18 season, J.P. lead FHS in goals (22) and assists (21). He was the 10th highest goal scorer in Massachusetts High School hockey. The Clippers won the Atlantic Coast League Title and the Boston Herald named Turner to the ACL All-Star Team.

Here's a link to J.P. Turner's Highlight Video of his freshman season at Falmouth High School.

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview J.P. Turner, 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?

J.P. Turner: The main reason I chose UNH was the coaching staff. I had seen them over the past year and heard they had interest. I took an unofficial trip to campus with my dad last spring to check it out and get a feel. I followed up that visit in January and attended the UNH vs. Maine game, which was awesome! I really felt the campus life and hockey culture was a great fit for me. Also UNH has a great business program and that is what I plan on studying.

Mike Lowry: Your Mom's sister, Colleen Coyne, was an All-American hockey and lacrosse player at UNH in the early 1990's and a gold medalist in women's hockey at the 1998 Olympics. What advice did she give you as you evaluated college hockey programs?

J.P. Turner: She told me to make the best decision for me and the decision that felt right. Obviously she was rooting for UNH, but did not want to put pressure on me.

Lowry: What other college programs were you considering? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Turner: I did visit other Hockey East Schools. I knew last spring at my visit, that UNH was the offer I was looking for.

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?

Turner: As for a target date, we haven't really nailed that down yet. One of my personal goals has always to play Division 1 hockey as a natural freshman, but at the same time I want to know when I hit the ice up there that I am going to make an impact and contribute.

Lowry: In your recently completed sophomore season at Avon Old Farms School in central Connecticut, you scored 5 goals and 8 assists. At this stage in your hockey development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Turner: I think my strengths are my size and strength along with my shot. I need to improve my skating, with becoming more explosive and a more powerful stride. Working on my wall play since I recently moved to the wing this season. I also need to work on getting a quicker release for my shot.

Lowry: You grew up playing hockey in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Your Dad, John Turner, is a longtime coach and administrator for the Falmouth Youth Hockey League and assistant coach of the Falmouth High School hockey team. What's the best piece of hockey advice he's given you?

Turner: With my dad being so involved with Falmouth Youth Hockey it turned me into a rink rat as soon as I could walk. When I was younger, he coached the Bantam “A” team so I would always sneak in his car and go to practices with him whether I was watching or skating. He also coached my town teams growing up from mites to peewees.

There are a few things that come to mind with the best advice I’ve gotten from him. One is that you never know who is watching. That drives me to always be my best whether it is a practice or a game because you never know who’s snooping around the rink. Another piece of advice I received was never forget where you came from. I’ve always taken pride in Falmouth Youth Hockey and playing for my town. It’s a great program and supported heavily by a great community with fantastic people. It is definitely a special feeling and he’s installed that mindset and culture for me since day 1.

Lowry: As a 16-year-old with a 5'11", 190 pound frame, you've been described as a strong, power forward. When you played pee wee and bantam hockey for the Boston Junior Terriers, you were coached by one of the most rugged forwards to play in the NHL - Mike Grier. He was an All-American at Boston University and played in 1,060 games over a 14-year NHL career. He's now an Assistant Coach with the New Jersey Devils. What are some of the important things he taught you about being a power forward?

Turner: Coach Grier was unreal to play for! His hockey IQ is off the charts and I tried my best to absorb everything he taught us. He never raised his voice. He would start talking and all of us would just skate towards him from all over the ice! When Coach was talking, you went to him, you wanted to hear what he was saying because you knew you would learn something.

Coach always stressed the importance of playing a 200 ft game and being aggressive on the fore-check, make them make mistakes. He taught me a lot about being a big presence in front of the net and getting in the dirty areas. We all learned a lot from coach Grier about hockey but we also learned about being good teammates and having a positive locker room. The atmosphere was always fun! Not only is he a tremendous coach, but he is a tremendous person and role model for a kid to have and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for him.

Lowry: You are eligible for the United States Hockey League draft in early May. You've already been drafted by the Boston Bandits in the National Collegiate Development Conference. Can you envision a scenario in which you would leave Old Avon Farms prior to your graduation year in order to play junior hockey?

Turner: As of right now, I don’t envision a scenario in which I leave Avon prior to graduation. We have a strong group of players for the next two seasons. We all definitely have our eyes on winning a New England championship and are all bought into doing so.

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

Turner: I plan on a 2021 graduation date. I think I'm a strong math student but I really love history and politics. I love class discussions and having to persuade people into agreeing with my arguments. I am looking into studying business at UNH.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

From the Avon Old Farms Christmas Classic, December, 2018
"Not yet a featured player, Turner played power play and popped two goals in the first game including one on the man-up. He is a scorer, can snap it home and looked strong/prepared after an excellent bantam season in 2017-18. He picked pucks from the wall and scrums with ease. Used his body well on the cycle and always looked to the net. Can drag and fire and his line had some of the best shifts on the second day as he worked with Heinke and Shamburger. The 2003 was a factor here and that says a lot. Good sense up the ice with a scorer’s blade. Took an offensive slash which should not happen but overall, he looked prepared and made plays as a younger player"
From the Masschusetts Tier 1 Midget Playoffs, November, 2018
"Big, strong power winger that gets up and down the ice well. He plays a heavy game and is physical in all situations. Plays direct and fights through traffic to get to the net. Scored two goals in the semi’s on similar plays off 2-1’s. He has above average skill with the puck and can make defenders miss in space. He is rugged along the wall and doesn’t hesitate to play in the dirty areas. Will need to continue getting quicker and being more mobile side-to-side but has as much upside as anyone here."

Youth Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
J.P. Turner  (F) 2018-19 Avon Old Farms NE Prep 25 5 8 13 0
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
NV River Rats 16U Mass Districts 3 1 2 3 -
2017-18 Falmouth High School Mass HS 22 22 21 43 14
Boston Junior Terriers USA 14U Nationals 3 0 2 2 4
USA Selects 15 4 2 0 2 6

Friday, March 22, 2019

UNH Commits Update 3-22-19: Spotlight on Stützle & Margel

Tim Stützle
2020 UNH Commit
Will Margel
2020 UNH Commit

Player Spotlight - Tim Stützle

During the U20 German Development League's regular season, 17-year-old UNH Commit Tim Stützle (DOB:1/15/2002) missed 14 games due to injury. Nevertheless, Stützle tied for 4th in league scoring (55 points) and tied for 3rd in goals (23) and assists (32). In terms of Points per Game (2.5), Goals per Game (1.09) and Assists per Game (1.52), Stützle lead the league.

Tim returned to the Jungadler Mannheim U20 lineup in time for the DNL Playoffs. In the semifinals, Stützle tallied 2 goals and 2 assists in the decisive third game against the Berlin Junior Polar Bears (see video highlights). On Wednesday, the Young Eagles beat the Kölner Young Sharks 3-2 and Stützle assisted on the first goal. To date, he is the second leading scorer in the DNL U20 Playoffs.



Jungadler Mannheim is one victory away from winning the U20 Championship. Last season, Stützle and the Young Eagles won the DNL U19 Title.

Tim Stützle is on track to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2020. Last May, he was selected by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 2018 USHL Draft. He will be eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

Player Spotlight - Will Margel

At the 2019 Beantown Spring Classic two weekends ago, Will Margel added 3 assists to his season's totals and reached the magic number of 100 points. He is now the all-time top, regular season scorer in the history of the Selects Hockey Academy U18 team. He leads the franchise in regular season goals (45), assists (55), and points (100). These totals exceed those of notable alumni such as Shane Pinto, a University of North Dakota commit who could be a 2nd round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and Kyle Haskins, a Michigan State commit.

The Selects Academy is an affiliate member of the United States Premier Hockey League. In late February, Margel and the 18U team won the 2019 USPHL 18U Championship. Will tallied a goal and 4 assists in 4 games including the game-winning assist against Newbridge Academy, the game-tying goal in the semifinal game against the Skipjacks, and the game-tying assist in the Championship game against the Jersey Hitmen. Last year, Margel and the Selects Academy team won the USPHL 16U Championship.

From April 3-8, Margel and his Selects Academy 18U teammates will compete in the 2019 USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championship in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They represent the Central Connecticut Youth Hockey Association. They enter the tournament as the 7th-ranked Tier 1 18U team in the country.

Will Margel, who just turned 18 on March 16th, will graduate from the South Kent School this spring. Last May, 2017 he was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL Draft. He is on track to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2020.

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2019 UNH Commit Chase Stevenson and the Trail Smoke Eaters finished the BCHL regular season in late February. Stevenson played in 57 games and his 53 points were the 16th highest in the league. He also tied for 13th in assists (34).
Trail won the opening round of the 2019 BCHL Playoffs and are currently tied, 2 games apiece, with the Vernon Vipers in the quarterfinal round. Stevenson has scored a goal and 6 assists in 7 playoff games. He signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH and is on track to enroll next Fall.

United State Hockey League:

~Since his mid-season trade from the Omaha Lancers to the Madison Capitals, Kalle Eriksson has doubled his assists from 12 to 24 and quadrupled his goals from 1 to 4. Eriksson is projected to enroll at UNH next Fall but he has not yet signed a National Letter of Intent.

New England Prep School Hockey:

Connor Sweeney:
Sweeney and the Lawrence Academy Spartans won the final two games of the regular season to earn the Independent School League, Keller Division Title. In these games, Sweeney scored the game-winner against St. Sebastian's and added a goal and assist in the victory over Tabor Academy. Lawrence lost to KUA in the semifinals of the Elite 8 Playoffs. Sweeney tallied 1 assist in two playoff games. The graduating senior at Lawrence Academy plans to play junior hockey next season and enroll at UNH in Fall 2020.

David Sacco:
Sacco, a sophomore teammate of Connor Sweeney's at Lawrence Academy, tied for 3rd in scoring (29 points) and tied for 2nd in goals (14) on the 5th-ranked Spartans. He scored the team's first goal in the 2-1 overtime win over Northfield Mount Hermon in the Elite 8 quarterfinals.

Robert Cronin:
Robert Cronin, a graduating senior at The Gunnery, tallied the 3rd most assists (35) in New England Prep School Hockey. He also tied for 2nd in scoring (54 points). The 6th-ranked Highlanders lost to KUA, the eventual champions, 1-0 in the Elite 8 quarterfinals.

Liam Devlin:
Devlin, an 18-year-old junior at St. Sebastian's, was the 6th leading scorer (26 points) on the 3rd-ranked Arrows squad. They lost to Dexter in the Elite 8 quarterfinals. Devlin will be one of St. Sebastian's captains next season.

John "JP" Turner:
JP Turner, UNH's newest commit, is a 16-year-old sophomore at Avon Old Farms. He finished the season as the team's 5th leading scorer (5G, 8A, 13Pts). The Winged Beavers lost to Deerfield Academy 1-4 in the Large School quarterfinals.

Morgan Winters:
Winters, a 17-year-old sophomore at Tabor Academy, lead the team in scoring (34 points) and assists (21), and tied for 2nd in goals (13). Tabor did not qualify for the New England Prep Playoffs.

North American Hockey League:

Marek Wazny, a 19-year-old forward with the Maryland Black Bears, scored a goal in this Top 5 NAHL Play of the Week last week:



National Collegiate Development Conference:

~ 2020 UNH Commit Aidan Curran, an 18-year-old rookie in the NCDC, finished the regular season tied for 10th in league scoring (49 points) and 6th in assists (37).

~ 2020 UNH Commit Zack Jones, also an 18-year-old rookie in the NCDC, finished the regular season tied for 11th in league assists (31).

Canadian Sport School Hockey League:

~ Nick Ardanaz, a 16-year-old defenseman with the Delta Hockey Academy Midget Prep team in British Columbia, finished the regular season as the 6th leading scorer (30 points) among all CSSHL defensemen. He also tied for 4th in assists (25).

2018-19 Statistics

NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2019 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2019. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ 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.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2019 Commits
Kalle Eriksson 9/15/99 (D) Madison Capitals USHL 31 4 12 16 14
Omaha Lancers USHL 24 1 12 13 6
Nolan McElhaney 4/22/99 (D) Omaha Lancers USHL 5 0 0 0 2
Chase Stevenson* 1/13/99 (F) Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 32 9 22 31 26
Playoffs 7 1 5 6 8
Surrey Eagles BCHL 25 10 12 22 37
2020 Commits
Aidan Curran 1/22/01 (F) NH Jr Monarchs NCDC 50 12 37 49 36
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 2
Zack Jones 3/31/01 (F) Boston Bandits NCDC 50 4 31 35 20
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
Will Margel 3/16/01 (F) Selects Academy 18U Overall 64 45 55 100 18
USPHL 18U 5 4 7 11 4
Playoffs 4 1 4 5 0
BEAST Series 10 9 5 14 8
NE Regionals 5 3 3 6 -
USA 18U Nationals - - - - -
Tim Stützle 1/15/02 (F) Mannheim Young Eagles DNL U20 21 23 32 55 30
Playoffs 4 2 5 7 6
Team Germany U20 Intnl - - - - -
Connor Sweeney 5/5/00 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 26 7 15 22 20
Playoffs 2 0 1 1 -
Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 1 2 0 2 0
Little Bruins 18U Tier I 18U 9 1 2 3 2
Mass Regionals 2 1 0 1 -
Marek Wazny 2/21/00 (F) Maryland Black Bears NAHL 49 6 12 18 28
2020 or '21 Commits
Nick Ardanaz 5/30/02 (D) Delta Prep CSSHL 33 5 25 30 18
Playoffs 3 0 1 1 0
Vernon Vipers BCHL 3 0 0 0 0
Robert Cronin 8/15/00 (F) The Gunnery NE Prep 31 19 35 54 2
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 -
Yale Jr. Bulldogs 18U BEAST Series 9 2 4 6 4
USA 18U Nationals - - - - -
David Sacco 1/3/02 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 23 13 15 28 32
Playoffs 2 1 0 1 -
Cape Cod Whalers 16U Mass Regionals 1 1 1 2 -
USA 16U Nationals - - - - -
2021 Commits
Liam Devlin 1/7/01 (F) St. Sebastian's NE Prep 27 8 17 25 2
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 -
Boston Jr. Eagles EHF Selects 11 3 5 8 8
Mass Regionals 3 3 0 3 -
USA 18U Nationals - - - - -
2021 or '22 Commits
JP Turner 1/31/03 (F) Avon Old Farms NE Prep 25 5 8 13 0
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
NV River Rats 16U Mass Regionals 3 1 2 3 -
Morgan Winters 12/8/01 (F) Tabor Academy NE Prep 23 13 21 34 4
Little Bruins 18U Tier I 18U 7 0 0 0 0
Mass Regionals 1 0 0 0 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent


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