UNH Recruits Update: April-20-2015
The National Hockey League's Central Scouting Service released it's Final Rankings for the 2015 Draft on April 8th. Three UNH recruits, Marcus Vela, Liam Darcy and Mike Robinson, made the final rankings. Vela and Darcy are on the list of North American skaters and Robinson is on the North American goalies list.
Player Spotlight - Marcus VelaAt 6'2", 200 lbs. Marcus Vela (DOB: 3-3-1997) from Burnaby, British Columbia has the prototypical build for an NHL forward. After following him throughout the year, the NHL Central Scouting Service has ranked him as the #131 North American skater eligible for the 2015 Entry Draft. Vela was the top-ranked British Columbia Hockey League player in the Final Rankings. In their Midterm Rankings, Vela was #123.
In December, Marcus Vela was selected to play for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge. In a preview of the event, the NHL CSS provided this scouting report on Vela:
"Key on the power play and penalty kill … plays a responsible two-way game … very strong on the puck … solid on face-offs … brings a physical element … plays with a purpose … good vision … high compete level."Vela contributed 2 assists in four games for Canada West and tied for second in scoring on the team.
Vela ended the regular season with 20 goals and 26 assists - the third best scorer on the Langley Rivermen's roster. He more than doubled his offensive production this season. As a 16-year-old rookie last year, Vela scored 11 goals and 11 assists. Vela scored 13 goals in the final 13 games of the 2014-15 regular season. He scored his first BCHL hat trick in the Rivermen's last regular-season home game. Though Langley lost to Salmon Arm 4-3 in overtime, Vela's first goal gave the Rivermen the initial lead and his second and third goals tied the game up. Here's a video of Marcus Vela's hat trick - he is #12 in the dark blue jersey:
It's not possible to predict with certainty whether Marcus Vela will be drafted in the NHL Entry Draft this June in Sunrise, Florida, home of the Florida Panthers. As the 131st ranked North American player, he has a good chance of being drafted in the 4th to 7th Rounds. Last year, the #131-ranked player was Ryan Hitchcock and he was not drafted. However, 9 out of 10 of the players ranked from #132-#140 among North American skaters were drafted somewhere in Rounds 4-7.
Player Spotlight - Liam DarcyLiam Darcy (DOB: 2-26-1997), a 5'11", 175 lbs. defensemen from South Berwick, Maine, recently capped off a four-year career at Berwick Academy just 12 miles up the road from UNH. Over his first three seasons with the Bulldogs, Darcy averaged 6 goals and 16 assists and a point-a-game. Although his point production decreased to 2 goals and 6 assists in 26 games this season, Darcy was still named to the 2014-15 New England Prep All-Star Team by the league's coaches.
On the NHL CSS 2015 Midterm Rankings, which came out on January 20th, Liam Darcy was listed as the #156 North American Skater. In their Final Rankings, Darcy has dropped down to #204. This does not necessarily mean he won't be drafted by an NHL team in June but his chances appear to be lower. Of the players who held the #204 to #210 rank (i.e., the end of the list of North American players) on the 2014 NHL CSS Final Rankings, only one was drafted by an NHL team.
Player Spotlight - Mike RobinsonTall, athletic goaltenders have become hot commodities in NCAA and professional hockey. Jon Gillies, who backstopped Providence College's run to the National Championship and was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NHL draft by the Calgary Flames, is a prime example. The 6'5", 215 lbs. goalie from Portland, Maine just signed with the Flames in time for the NHL Playoffs. UNH is hoping that 2016 or '17 recruit Mike Robinson from Bedford, New Hampshire will attain a similar level of success.
Robinson (DOB: 3-27-1997), the 6'5", 200 lbs. goalie who recently completed his junior season at Lawrence Academy, could very well hear his name called at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Last January, Robinson was the #16 tender on the NHL CSS 2015 Midterm Rankings of North American goalies. Robinson started every game this season for UNH alum Robbie Barker's Lawrence Academy Spartans and played nearly every minute. He finished with a record of 7 wins, 16 loses, and 2 ties, a Goals Against Average of 3.20, and a Save Percentage of .902. Apparently, the NHL CSS scouts were impressed because Mike Robinson moved up to #8 on their 2015 Final Rankings for North American goalies.
Of the top 10 North American goalies on the 2014 NHL CSS Final Rankings, 7 were drafted in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 8th-ranked goalie Thomas Perry was drafted in the 5th Round by the Detroit Red Wings. These results bode well for Mike Robinson's prospects this June in Florida. Next season, Robinson will play for the Junior Bruins in the United States Premiere Hockey League - the same team that UNH goalie Danny Tirone played for in the first half of this past season. Both Tirone and Robinson have been coached by Mike Buckley of Goaltending Development Services.
The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2015 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2015. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH. ~ The date the recruit signed the National Letter of Intent. ~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in the current season 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.
|Liam Blackburn (F)||West Kelowna Warriors||BCHL||55||22||51||73||34|
|Jason Kalinowski (F)||Bloomington Thunder||USHL||42||2||9||11||60|
|Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||USHL||5||0||0||0||4|
|Joseph Masonius (D)||USA U18 Team||NCAA||18||5||5||10||14|
|Christopher Miller (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||33||8||12||20||10|
|Nick Nonis (D)||Powell River Kings||BCHL||56||1||6||7||41|
|Marcus Vela (F)||Langley Rivermen||BCHL||50||20||26||46||57|
|Frankie Cefalu (F)||Walpole Express||EHL||44||17||46||63||48|
|Patrick Grasso (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||60||9||25||34||12|
|Ara Nazarian (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||60||12||16||28||16|
|Brendan van Riemsdyk (F)||Islanders Hockey Club||USPHL||47||29||12||41||56|
|2016 or '17 Recruits|
|Joey Cipollone (F)||Selects Academy 18U||USPHL 18U||24||18||33||51||30|
|Liam Darcy (D)||Berwick Academy||NEPSHC||26||2||6||8||-|
|Islanders Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||4||0||0||0||0|
|Justin Fregona (F)||St. Andrews College||CISAA||19||10||13||23||18|
|Charlie Kelleher (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||37||11||21||32||26|
|Aaron O'Neill (F)||Green Bay Gamblers||USHL||41||1||1||2||12|
|Mike Robinson (G)||Lawrence Academy||NEPSHC||25||7W||16L/2T||3.20||.902|
|Boston Jr Rangers||EHL||8||4W||4L||2.35||.937|
|Jake Ryczek (D)||Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||55||6||12||18||26|
|2017 or '18 Recruits|
|Eric Esposito (F)||Loomis Chaffee||NEPSHC||26||17||14||31||-|
|CT Wolfpack U16 Split||CT HC||34||17||15||32||44|
|Jason O'Neill (F)||Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||29||16||24||40||39|
|Joel Farabee (F)||Selects Academy 16U||USPHL 16U||28||8||25||33||16|
News & NotesUnited States Hockey League:
~ In the 2014-15 season, five UNH recruits played in the USHL - Patrick Grasso and Ara Nazarian for the Des Moines Buccaneers, Jason Kalinowski for the Bloomington Thunder, Aaron O'Neill for the Green Bay Gamblers, and Jake Ryczek of the Sioux City Musketeers. Only Ryczek and the Musketeers advanced to the USHL Playoffs. They are currently tied with the Sioux Falls Stampede two wins a piece in the opening round, best-of-five series.
2015 USA Hockey/Toyota National Championships:
~ 2016 or '17 UNH recruit Joey Cipollone and the Selects Hockey Academy 18U team (aka: Central Connecticut Selects) advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2015 National Championship but lost to the New Jersey Avalanche 2-1. Cipollone scored 3 goals in 4 games and tied for 3rd in goal scoring among all the 18U players.
~ 2018 UNH recruit Joel Farabee and the Selects Hockey Academy 16U team (aka: Central Connecticut Selects) advanced to the Quarterfinals of the 2015 National Championship but lost to Honeybaked 9-2. 15-year-old Farabee scored 3 assists in 4 games.