UNH Recruits Prepare for USHL: Part I
"Great going away party"
"This car ride needs to end"
"Just got a tour of the rink and locker room pretty super sweet"
"Good first skate with the boys"
A sampling of tweets from UNH Recruits as they prepared for training camps in the United States Hockey League (USHL). Earlier this summer, 10 young players, who have committed to play for UNH in the coming years, participated in the tryout camps of USHL teams. On July 1st, the teams announced which players made the 25-man Active Roster and 14-player Affiliate List. Nine UNH Recruits were on these lists and were invited to training camp.
Preseason training in the USHL runs through the month of September, includes practices and exhibition games, and culminates in the USHL Fall Classic - a series of 3 games with USHL opponents to be held in Sioux City, Iowa. By opening day, October 1st, all USHL teams are required to trim their roster to 23 players. What follows is Part I of a status review of all the UNH recruits who are battling for these roster spots.
When the 2010-11 season ended, Casey Thrush planned on returning to the Muskegon Lumberjacks for his second season in the USHL. As expected, he was named to the Lumberjacks' 25-man active roster following the tryout camp and planned on attending the training camp. However, when Dan Correale's arrival at UNH was postponed for a year due to surgery, Thrush joined the 2011-12 Wildcats' squad.
Jordan Masters - In the summer of 2010, Masters was invited to try out for the Lumberjacks; he had not been drafted by any USHL team. He earned a spot on the 2010-11 roster and finished the regular season with 4 goals and 7 assists in 49 games. This summer, he was named to the Lumberjacks' 25-man Active Roster and joined their training camp this week. Given Masters' outstanding performance with the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the recent Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, his production with the Lumberjacks is likely to take a big jump this season. Masters is a 2012 UNH Recruit.
Michael McNicholas - In the 2010 USHL Futures Draft, the Lumberjacks chose McNicholas in the 5th Round (62nd pick overall). He participated in the 2010 tryout and training camps and was named to the affiliate list. He got to play in one Lumberjack game in February. McNicholas was a full-time player for the Victory Honda team (Michigan) in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League (midget major). He was the 8th leading scorer in the league with 12 goals and 34 assists in 40 games. In June, he tried out for the Lumberjacks again and made the 25-man roster. In July, McNicholas and Jordan Masters tied for leading scorer in the 2011 Youth Select 17 Player Development Camp. Although they are both 17 and born a month apart, Masters was chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team and McNicholas wasn't. He is looking to surpass Masters' scoring totals in this, his rookie season in the USHL. McNicholas is expected to join UNH in the fall of either 2013 or 2014.
Mike Vecchione - In the 2010 USHL Entry Draft, the Tri-City Storm chose Mike Vecchione in the 16th round. He did not participate in the 2010 tryout camp, opting to prepare for his senior season at Malden Catholic High School in Malden, MA. As the team captain, Vecchione scored 26 goals and 44 assists in 20 regular season games. In the playoffs, he lead Malden Catholic to the Super 8 Massachusetts High School Championship. He was named a First Team All-Star by the Boston Globe. Vecchione entered the Storms tryout camp in June with a full head of steam and he was named to the 25-man active roster. After the second day of training camp, Storm Head Coach Drew Schoneck has identified Vecchione as part of a "youth movement" which will "add speed, skill, and, he hopes, scoring to Tri-City’s front line." The current plan is for Vecchione to enroll at UNH in the fall of 2012.
Dylan Maller - The Storm drafted defenseman Dylan Maller in the 3rd Round (32nd pick overall) of the 2011 USHL Entry Draft. Last season, Maller played for the DC Capitals in the North American Prospects Hockey League and had a goal and 5 assists in 24 regular season games. He impressed in his first tryout with a USHL team and made the 25-man active roster of the Storm. The NHL Central Scouting Service has identified Maller as a "B Prospect" which means that he has the potential to be drafted in Rounds #3-#5 in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Maller is a 2013 UNH Recruit.
Part II will focus on the other 5 UNH Recruits who tried out for the USHL this summer.