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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

UNH Commit Damien Carfagna: A Fleet-Footed, Smart Defenseman

Damien Carfagna
2021 or '22 UNH Commit
"Tall defender. Athletic. Makes smart plays all over the ice. Escapes pressure in his own end by using quick feet. Not afraid to take open ice and has the ability to beat defenders in space." Neutral Zone
Damien Carfagna (Pronounced: CAR-FAHN-YA; just like how one would say "Lasagna")
Defenseman, 5'10", 161 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Wood Ridge, New Jersey
DOB: 12-12-2002 Turned 17 in December
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Teams: Lawrence Academy/Neponset Valley River Rats U18
Commits to UNH: January, 2020 at Age 17 years, 1 month.

2019-20 NE Prep Highlight Reel

This year, Damien Carfagna enrolled as a junior at Lawrence Academy. He plays left defense on the Spartans' second unit, quarterbacks their first power play unit, and kills penalties. In this highlight reel, Carfagna wears #93 in the blue jersey. The first two clips are from the championship game between Lawrence and Dexter at the Watkins/Cushing Holiday Tournamant. Clip #1 shows Carfagna moving the puck at the top of the power play umbrella and earning the secondary assist on fellow UNH Commit David Sacco's goal. In Clip #2, Carfagna snaps a wrist shot from the left point and Conor Lovett converts the rebound for Lawrence's game-winning goal.

The next sequence of 5 video clips are from a December 19th game against Cushing Academy. They show Carfagna:
1) Stealing the puck on the backcheck, making the breakout pass, and firing the wrist shot which is redirected for Lawrence's first goal.
2) Picking up the loose puck in the defensive end, initiating the rush, then keeping the puck in the offensive zone.
3) Firing another wrist shot from the left point.
4) Making a long, stretch pass out of the defensive end.
5) Winning a 1-on-1 battle on the penalty kill.

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Damien Carfagna, 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?

Damien Carfagna: First off, thank you. I chose UNH for several reasons. It is a beautiful campus, it offers great academic programs that I was interested in and its hockey program has enjoyed a rich tradition and has a bright future. I was, in particular, very impressed with the coaches, who have multiple years of professional experience. There is so much I can learn from them.

Mike 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?

Damien Carfagna: We have not really talked about when I would be coming in as a freshman. We will discuss that more as I get closer to joining the team.

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

Carfagna: My skating ability is what has gotten me this far in my hockey career. My feet help me get of trouble and create plays. I also feel that I do a good job at breaking out and regrouping the puck. I also have worked hard to study the game and I think I make good decisions. The thing that I have to improve on most would be my shot, which is accurate but needs to get heavier, but I believe that will come with getting stronger off the ice.

Lowry: You participated in the 2017 USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp and the 2019 Select 17 Camp. How do you think your skills compare with the other top US defensemen born in 2002?

Carfagna: Both of those camps were great experiences for me as I was able to be around and compare myself to some of the best players in the country at my age. USA Hockey does a great job of making sure every player gets exposure at the camps. I feel that these camps allowed me to prove myself against the best and pushed me to work even harder. I think my skills compare well with some of those top players. As a younger 02, I was usually smaller than many of them but I feel that has helped me to develop other strengths that will serve me well in the future.

Lowry: When you were 12 years old back in February, 2015, you competed in the prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament as a member of the New Jersey Devils 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?

Carfagna: The Quebec Pee-Wee International Tournament is probably the funnest hockey related event that I have been a part of. There was plenty of free time to go snow tubing and to play pond hockey. I loved playing in front of 12,000 people every game and competing against the best competition in the world. This was my first time actually playing against international teams.

Lowry: Growing up in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, just down the road from the Meadowlands, were you a Devils fan? Who was your favorite player? You've worn jersey #93 for several years. Is there a significance to your choice of numbers?

Carfagna: I am not a Devils fan, I am a Flyers fan. My dad was a Broad Street Bullies fan growing up and I branched off of that. My favorite player is Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars because I play a similar game to him. I wore the number 9 when I was younger (and at Don Bosco) but that number wasn’t available when I switched teams after the squirt years so I chose the number 93. My uncle had worn 93 because he loved Doug Gilmour. I had some success with it and decided to stick with it.

Lowry: Last season, you helped lead the Don Bosco Prep team to the New Jersey Non-Public School Championship. You scored 6 goals and 31 assists in 28 games and were named to the Third All-State Team. What were the main reasons you decided to leave your hometown and pursue your academic and hockey careers at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts?

Carfagna: I had a great experience at Don Bosco Prep and it was very hard to leave. It’s a special place and I learned a great deal from my coaches about hockey and about life. I felt, though, that I was ready for a different challenge academically and athletically, and Lawrence Academy provided that opportunity, and along with it, important exposure to college and professional scouts.

Lowry: So far this season, you've scored 2 goals and 8 assists in 10 games and Lawrence Academy is tied for 1st in the latest New England Prep School Poll. How have you helped contribute to the Spartans' success?

Carfagna: We've gotten off to a very good start this year, and I have worked my hardest to help the team win. We play a team game and have a lot of talented players that all contribute to our success in their own way.

Lowry: Last May, you attended the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) tryout camp as an undrafted player, made one of the camp's All-Star teams, but did not make the final roster or affiliates list. Do you plan to play in the USHL, BCHL, NAHL or other junior league before enrolling at UNH?

Carfagna: The camp in Muskegon was an eye-opening experience for me being my first USHL camp. This camp allowed me to realize how much work I would need to put in so that I can compete in the USHL. I would predict that I play at least one year of juniors in one of these leagues, if not another league. The USHL, NAHL, and BCHL all have a great track record of preparing players for college hockey and beyond.

Lowry: You're listed as a junior at Lawrence Academy. Do you plan to graduate from high school in Spring, 2021? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Carfagna: I plan on graduating in the spring of 2021. My biggest academic strengths so far have been in English and history. I am interested in majoring in Sports Management, Business, or Communications, but I am still a long way away from deciding that.

Neutral Zone Scouting Reports

From the Groton-Lawrence Holiday Tournament, December, 2019
"(Damien) comes to Lawrence from Don Bosco in New Jersey and opened some eyes this weekend. He is a tall defender that still has some to fill out. He makes smart plays all over the ice. He escapes pressure in his own end by using quick feet and then snaps passes to his wingers. He is always in the right position and doesn’t waste many movements in either zone. Not afraid to take open ice and has the ability to beat defenders in space. He made several nice plays in transition to hit forwards in stride. Good keeps at the offensive blueline. Athletic and used his feet to create shot opportunities. He will be an interesting player to follow over the season."
ISS Princeton Showcase Top 25, December, 2018
"Another smart defender for the Mercer Chiefs, Carfagna showed good anticipation in the defensive zone by stepping into shooting and passing lanes. His skating ability allows him to move laterally with ease and he showed his closing speed. He has a very active stick which he does a nice job of touching puck and going into transition."

Youth Hockey & Prep School Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Damien Carfagna  (D) 2019-20 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 10 2 8 10 -
NV River Rats 18U Beast Series 10 2 1 3 2
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0
2018-19 Don Bosco Prep New Jersey HS 28 6 31 37 -
Mercer Chiefs 16U AYHL 16U 22 1 12 13 20
2017-18 Mercer Chiefs 15U AYHL 15U 27 4 11 15 14
T1EHL U15 3 1 0 1 0

Thursday, January 09, 2020

UNH Commits Update: 1-9-2020

Cy LeClerc
4 Goals in 4 Games
Nick Cafarelli
2 Goals in 3 Games
Timo Bakos
2 Goals in 4 Games
News & Notes

National Collegiate Development Conference:

~ 2021 UNH Commit Cy LeClerc, a 5'8", 163 lbs., left-shot center for the Islanders Hockey Club, has scored 4 goals and 6 assists in his last 5 games. The 17-year-old rookie's 20 assists ties him for 5th in the NCDC and he is tied for 8th in goals (10) and points (30). Here's a video of his last 4 goals:



British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Nick Cafarelli has scored 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games with the Wenatchee Wild. He increased his scoring totals to 15 goals and 21 assists in 35 games. Among all BCHL rookies, Cafarelli is tied for 4th in goals, 4th in assists, and 3rd in points. Here are video highlights of his last 2 goals:



United States Hockey League:

~ Timo Bakos, a 6'2", 178 lbs., left-shot center from Augsburg, Germany, committed to UNH in September. Over his last 4 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede, Bakos has scored 2 goals and an assist, and upped his season totals to 5 goals and 4 assist in 26 games. As these video highlights show, Bakos possesses two characteristics preferred by UNH head coach Mike Souza - powering to the net and finishing with a goal:



Minnesota High School Hockey:

~ Last Saturday, Carsen Richels and the Blaine High School Bengals faced off against rival Centennial HS. The senior captain scored his 9th and 10th goals of the season in the losing effort. Blaine, Centennial, and Elk River/Zimmerman (UNH Benton Maass's former high school) are tied for first in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Here's a video of Richel's goals:



New England Prep School Hockey:

~ 2021 UNH Commit David Sacco and the Lawrence Academy Spartans handed top-ranked Dexter Academy their first loss of the season on Sunday in the championship game of the Cushing Academy/Edward Watkins Tournamant. Sacco scored Lawrence's first goal of the game (see video highlight below) and the Spartans hung on for a 5-4 victory. In the new U.S. Hockey Report New England Prep Poll, Lawrence (9-1-0) and Dexter (11-1-0) are tied for first.



~ Yesterday, Damien Carfagna (DOB: 12/12/02), a 5'10", 161 lbs., left-shot defenseman for Lawrence Academy, committed to UNH. The 17-year-old junior from Wood Ridge, New Jersey, is projected to enroll in the Fall of either 2021 or '22. Carfagna is the second leading scorer among the Lawrence defensemen with 2 goals and 8 assists in 10 games. Last season, he helped Don Bosco Prep win the New Jersey Non-Public Ice Hockey Championship. Neutral Zone tweeted this condensed evaluation of Carfagna: "Tall DMan. Smart plays all over the ice. Escapes the forecheck and can run a power play. Accurate passer. Athletic w/high ceiling." In the video highlight of David Sacco's goal (see above), Carfagna, #93, can be seen quarterbacking the Lawrence Academy power play.

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 14 4 9 13 0
Madison Capitols USHL 12 1 0 1 2
2020 or '21 Commits
Alex Gagne*
8/12/02 (D)
4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 17 1 4 5 12
Carsen Richels* 10/3/01 (F) 4.0 Blaine High School Minn HS 10 8 12 20 2
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
Nicolas Ardanaz
5/30/02 (D)
3.75 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 37 1 18 19 4
Nicholas Cafarelli
12/31/01 (F)
3.5 Wenatchee Wild BCHL 33 14 19 33 27
Aidan Curran
1/22/01 (F)
4.0 NH Jr Monarchs NCDC - - - - -
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 40 2 7 9 27
2021 Commits
Timo Bakos
7/28/00 (F)
4.0 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 23 4 3 7 6
Robert Cronin
8/15/00 (F)
3.75 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 22 1 3 4 6
Liam Devlin
1/7/01 (F)
3.75 Chicago Steel USHL 23 4 1 5 18
Cy LeClerc
8/17/02 (F)
3.75 Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 29 7 16 23 4
Jack Ring
12/18/00 (F)
3.5 Northeast Generals NAHL 29 2 12 14 8
David Sacco
1/3/02 (F)
3.75 Lawrence Academy NE Prep 6 3 7 10 -
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 10 2 8 10 -
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 9 6 6 12 -
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 7 2 8 10 -
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 7 3 2 5 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.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

UNH Commits Update: 12-28-2019

Carsen Richels
2.00 Pts/Game
David Sacco
1.67 Pts/Game

1 or More Points Per Game Club

As 2019 draws to a close, these 6 UNH Commits are scoring at a pace of least 1 point per game:

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Carsen Richels, the senior captain of the Blaine High School Bengals, has played 10 games in the AA Large School Class of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). The 6'2", 201 lbs., left-shot winger has tallied 8 goals, including one hat trick, and 12 assists for the 8th-ranked Blaine Bengals. His 2.00 Points Per Game average is tops among all UNH Commits. Last season, as a junior, Richels' scoring pace was 2.86 Pts/Game (42G, 41A, 29Gms). He had 3 hat tricks and a 4-goal game during the 2018-19 campaign.

~ 2021 UNH Commit David Sacco and the Lawrence Academy Spartans are off to a fast start in the 2019-20 New England Prep School season. The 6'1", 196 lbs. junior is the Spartans' Alternate Captain and starting center. Lawrence has a 5-1-0 record and are ranked 5th in the latest Neutral Zone New England Prep Poll. Sacco leads the team in scoring with 3 goals and 7 assists and his 1.67 Points Per Game average ties him for 16th among all NE Prep players. Last season, as a sophomore at Lawrence Academy, Sacco posted 1.16 Pts/Game (14G, 15A, 25Gms).

~ 2021 or '22 UNH Commit Morgan Winters, the starting center for the Tabor Academy Seawolves, leads the team in scoring with 2 goals and 8 assists in 7 games. His 1.43 Points Per Game scoring average is the third highest in the current group of UNH Commits. Winters, a 5'10", 160 lbs., left-shot forward is a junior at Tabor. Last season, he recorded 1.26 Pts/Game (13G, 21A, 27Gms)

~ 2021 or '22 UNH Commit JP Turner and Avon Old Farms are also off to a fast start in the New England Prep School League. The Winged Beavers have a 9-1-0 record and are ranked 4th in the latest Neutral Zone New England Prep Poll. JP Turner, who turns 17 next month, is a 6'0", 190 lbs., right-shot center. In 9 games, he has already matched his scoring output from last season. Turner has scored 6 goals and 6 assists for a 1.33 Points Per Game average. As a sophomore, he posted 0.52 Pts/Game (5G, 8A, 25Gms).

~ 2020 UNH Commit Will Margel was acquired by the Coquitlam Express (BCHL) in mid-November. Since then, he's primarily played on Coquitlam's top line and has scored in 11 out of 13 games. Margel has scored 4 goals and 9 assists for a 1.00 Point Per Game average. That's second best on the Express team. Massimo Rizzo (North Dakota commit, Carolina Hurricanes draftee) is first with 1.09 Pts/Game. At 32-5-0, Coquitlam has the best record in the BCHL.

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Nick Cafarelli has scored 14 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Wenatchee Wild. In his rookie BCHL season, the 5'10", 185 lbs., right-shot forward has primarily played center on Wenatchee's second line. His 1.00 Points Per Game Average is best on the team. Cafarelli is tied for 8th in BCHL goal-scoring and tied for 13th in scoring.

2019-20 Statistics


Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2020 Commits
Will Margel*
3/16/01 (F)
Coquitlam Express BCHL 13 4 9 13 0
Madison Capitols USHL 12 1 0 1 2
2020 or '21 Commits
Alex Gagne*
8/12/02 (D)
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 17 1 4 5 12
Carsen Richels* 10/3/01 (F) Blaine High School Minn HS 10 8 12 20 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
Nicolas Ardanaz
5/30/02 (D)
West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 37 1 18 19 4
Nicholas Cafarelli
12/31/01 (F)
Wenatchee Wild BCHL 33 14 19 33 27
Aidan Curran
1/22/01 (F)
NH Jr Monarchs NCDC - - - - -
Bonnyville Pontiacs AJHL 13 0 4 4 4
Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL 11 1 4 5 0
Connor Sweeney
5/5/00 (F)
Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 40 2 7 9 27
2021 Commits
Timo Bakos
7/28/00 (F)
Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 23 4 3 7 6
Robert Cronin
8/15/00 (F)
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 21 1 3 4 6
Liam Devlin
1/7/01 (F)
Chicago Steel USHL 22 4 1 5 18
Cy LeClerc
8/17/02 (F)
Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 29 7 16 23 4
Jack Ring
12/18/00 (F)
Northeast Generals NAHL 29 2 12 14 8
David Sacco
1/3/02 (F)
Lawrence Academy NE Prep 6 3 7 10 -
Cape Cod Whalers U18 EHF Selects 9 5 2 7 18
Mass Regionals 2 0 2 2 0
2021 or '22 Commits
JP Turner
1/31/03 (F)
Avon Old Farms NE Prep 9 6 6 12 -
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)
Tabor Academy NE Prep 7 2 8 10 -
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)
Boston Advantage U18 ECEL 7 3 2 5 0
Mass Regionals 2 1 0 1 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
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.

Friday, November 22, 2019

UNH Commits Update: 11-22-2019

Carsen Richels
Signs UNH NLI
Alex Gagne
Signs UNH NLI

News & Notes

National Letter of Intent:

The signing period of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) program began November 13th and ends August 1st. Some of the key provisions of the NLI are:
~ The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution.
~ The prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year.
~ The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid to the student-athlete for one academic year, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules.
~ A recruiting prohibition is applied after a prospective student-athlete signs the NLI. This prohibition requires member institutions to cease recruitment of the prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution.
~ If the student-athlete does not fulfill the NLI agreement, he/she has to serve one year in residence at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports.

In the last week, forward Carsen Richels and defenseman Alex Gagne signed an NLI with the University of New Hampshire. Richels and Gagne are seniors in high school so have the potential to enroll as "true freshmen" at UNH next Fall. Forward Will Margel, who graduated from South Kent Prep School last spring, signed an NLI with UNH in April.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2020 UNH Commit Will Margel scored 45 goals and 55 assists in 64 games last season with the Selects Academy 18U - the team that won the 2019 USA Hockey Tier I National Championship. In May, the Madison Capitols selected him in the 1st Round (#7 overall) of the USHL Draft. Margel started at left wing in the Capitols' season opener and scored his first USHL goal in Game 5. However, that was the last point he registered for the Capitols and his playing time diminished. Madison currently has the worst record in the USHL.
The Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League acquired Margel from the Madison Capitols on November 7th and put him on their top line with Massimo Rizzo (North Dakota commit, Carolina Hurricanes draftee) and Connor Gregga (Minnesota State commit). In his first 3 BCHL games, Margel has scored 2 power play assists. Coquitlam currently has the best record in the BCHL.

~ Over his last 7 games with the Wenatchee Wild, 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Nick Cafarelli has scored 3 goals and 7 assists. Overall, he has 12 goals, including 7 power play goals, and 14 assists in 24 games. Cafarelli is tied for 6th in BCHL goal-scoring and 12th in scoring.

United States Hockey League:

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Alex Gagne signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH on November 17th. The 6'3", 196 lbs., left-shot defenseman has played in 10 of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders' 16 games, has scored 4 assists, and has a +/- rating of +1.
Gagne is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. Although the NHL Central Scouting Service has not included him on their "Players to Watch" lists, former NHL defenseman Ian Morin, the Director of Neutral Zone's NHL Draft coverage, projected Gagne as a late third round selection in the NHL Draft next June. In addition, Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst and contributor for the Sporting News ranked Gagne #108 in his 2020 Preliminary Rankings.

Minnesota High School Hockey:

~ 2020 or '21 UNH Commit Carsen Richels signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH on November 13th. The 6'2", 201 lbs., left-shot winger recently completed his fall season in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League. He scored 8 goals and 11 assists in 19 games.
In the updated November "Players to Watch" list, the NHL Central Scouting Service continued to rate Carsen Richels a 'B' Prospect meaning he's a candidate to be selected in the 2nd or 3rd Round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Richels' first game of his senior season with Blaine (MN) High School is on November 27 against Hill-Murray HS. Last season, as a junior, he scored 42 goals and 41 assists in 29 games.

New England Prep School Hockey:

~ 2021 UNH Commit David Sacco recently completed his fall season with the the Cape Cod Whalers U18 split-season team. He scored 5 goals and 2 assists in 9 Eastern Hockey Federation Selects games and 2 assists in the 2019-20 18U Tier I National Bound Massachusetts Hockey State Championship. The Whalers were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The NHL Central Scouting Service continued to rate David Sacco a 'C' Prospect in their updated November "Players to Watch" list. He is a candidate to be selected in the 4th, 5th or 6th Round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Sacco begins his junior season with the Lawrence Academy Spartans on December 6th. Last year, he repeated his sophomore academic year and was listed as a sophomore on the hockey roster. He scored 14 goals and 15 assists in 25 games.

~ 2021 or '22 UNH Commit JP Turner and the Neponset Valley River Rats U16 team won the 2019-20 16U Tier I National Bound Massachusetts Hockey State Championship. Turner scored a goal and 2 assists in the 3 tournament games.
JP Turner begins his junior season with Avon Old Farms on December 4th against Williston-Northampton. Last season, as a sophomore, he scored 5 goals and 8 assists in 25 games.

2019-20 Statistics


Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2020 Commits
Will Margel*
3/16/01 (F)
Coquitlam Express BCHL 3 0 2 2 0
Madison Capitols USHL 12 1 0 1 2
2020 or '21 Commits
Alex Gagne*
8/12/02 (D)
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 10 0 4 4 8
Carsen Richels* 10/3/01 (F) Blaine High School Minn HS - - - - -
MPLS ST PAUL UMidwest HSELH 13 6 9 15 8
Playoffs 3 2 0 2 0
Elite League All-Star Team International 3 0 2 2 0
Nicolas Ardanaz
5/30/02 (D)
West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 26 1 5 6 2
Nicholas Cafarelli
12/31/01 (F)
Wenatchee Wild BCHL 24 12 14 26 18
Aidan Curran
1/22/01 (F)
Bonnyville Pontiacs AJHL 11 0 4 4 4
Salmon Arm Silverbacks BCHL 11 1 4 5 0
Connor Sweeney
5/5/00 (F)
Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL 28 1 5 6 17
2021 Commits
Timo Bakos
7/28/00 (F)
Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 12 2 1 3 0
Robert Cronin
8/15/00 (F)
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 10 0 0 0 2
Liam Devlin
1/7/01 (F)
Chicago Steel USHL 15 1 1 2 18
Cy LeClerc
8/17/02 (F)
Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 21 4 12 16 2
Jack Ring
12/18/00 (F)
Northeast Generals NAHL 24 2 11 13 4
David Sacco
1/3/02 (F)
Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Cape Cod Whalers U18 EHF Selects 9 5 2 7 18
Mass Regionals 2 0 2 2 0
2021 or '22 Commits
JP Turner
1/31/03 (F)
Avon Old Farms NE Prep - - - - -
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)
Tabor Academy NE Prep - - - - -
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)
Boston Advantage U18 ECEL 4 2 1 3 0
Mass Regionals 2 1 0 1 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
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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