Friday, June 29, 2012

UNH Recruit Shane Eiserman Impresses at USA Hockey Camp

2014 UNH Recruit Shane Eiserman just completed another successful performance at a USA Hockey Camp. Over the last few days, Eiserman played 5 games at the USA Hockey Under-17 Player Development Camp in Rochester, NY. Playing on a team with other top 1995-born players such as Adam Erne and Justin Bailey, Eiserman scored 4 assists. Eiserman was also named to one of the two All-Star Teams who faced off this morning.

Word coming out of the USA Hockey Player Development Camp is that Shane Eiserman has an excellent chance of being named to the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team. USA Hockey officially announces the roster for the National Team Development Program in August. In all likelihood, Eiserman would join fellow UNH Recruit Tyler Kelleher who recently completed his season with the NTDP Under-17 Team. The Under-18 NTDP is a great training ground for players looking to make the jump to NCAA hockey. The U-18 NTDP team plays several games each season against NCAA teams as well as a half-time schedule in the United States Hockey League.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

UNH Recruits Progress in June

For the 8 UNH Recruits who will matriculate this fall, the long journey from mite hockey to the start of an NCAA career is nearly complete. After years of striving to advance to the next level of development and battling to make the teams with the older kids, their immediate hockey future is more certain. In late August, they will begin freshman classes in Durham and start skating as a UNH Wildcat in Captain's Practices.

In contrast, the young recruits working toward the target of coming to UNH in 2013, '14 and '15, are still involved in the grind of fighting for a roster spot for next season. In June, all teams in the United States Hockey League held their annual tryout camps. Six UNH Recruits recently travelled great distances from their homes to participate in one of these tryout camps. Each USHL team had many dozens of young players come to camp with the hope of making the active roster for the 2012-13 season. Returning veterans, draft picks, and invitees of each team assembled at their home arenas for 3 to 5 days of practice and intrasquad scrimmages. The immediate goal for each player was to make the 30-man "Initial Protected List" at the end of camp.

Having completed their first seasons in the USHL last year, UNH Recruits Mike McNicholas, Matias Cleland, and Dylan Maller entered tryout camp seeking to be retained by their teams for a second season. As players drafted by USHL teams, Andrew Poturalski and Jason Kalinowski were invited to the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders' tryout camp and are hoping to make the roster for the first time. Shane Eiserman, who was not drafted by any USHL team, was invited to the Dubuque Fighting Saints' tryout camp.

During this last week of June, the two youngest American-born recruits - Jason Kalinowski and Shane Eiserman - are also pursuing an opportunity to make the 2012 U.S. Under-18 Select Team. In May, they took part in USA Hockey District competitions and were selected to participate in the 2012 Under-17 National Development Camp in Rochester, New York.

Jason Kalinowski
At the 2012 USHL Entry Draft in May, the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders selected 2014 or '15 UNH Recruit Jason Kalinowski with the 118th overall pick. Kalinowski (DOB: 7-2-1995) played New England Prep School hockey last season at the Salisbury School. As a junior, the 6'0", 180 lbs. right-winger, scored 12 goals and 15 assists in 25 regular season games. He was the 2nd leading goal scorer on a very talented Salisbury squad and the 3rd leading point getter. From June 7-10, Kalinowski participated in the Rough Riders' Tryout Camp in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He played well enough to make the All-Star Roster for the final scrimmage of the camp and Coach Carlson selected him to the 30-man Initial Protected Roster.

Longtime Cedar Rapids' season ticket holder Scott Herbst provided me with this summary of Kalinowski's performance during the tryout:
"Kalinowski is a wildcard for me. During the first day of camp, he did make a nice 1-on-1 move and fired a laser high stick side for a goal. He seemed timid at first. On the third day, Kalinowski showed moments of being a goal scorer. He is a well put together forward who showed a chippy side. A couple times he battled really hard against bigger guys in the corner. Overall, he was kind of Jekyll and Hyde to me. He is a well put together kid who I feel (Head Coach) Carlson will keep him on the affiliate list this year and will make the team next year."

By July 1st, each USHL team is required to submit a 25-man Active Roster and an Affiliate List with up to 14 players. Affiliates are under-18 players who have been drafted by the club and are eligible to be called up to play with the team during the season. They are protected by the club and can not play for any other USHL team. If Jason Kalinowski makes the 25-player roster, he will return to Cedar Rapids for training camp in August. If he makes the Affiliate List instead, in all likelihood, he will still be invited to the training camp. By the end of training camp, each USHL team must whittle their active roster down to 23 players for the regular season. If Kalinowski does not make the Cedar Rapids' roster by opening day, he can return to the Salisbury School to complete his senior year.

As mentioned earlier, Jason Kalinowski is currently participating in the USA Hockey Under-17 Player Development Camp in Rochester, NY. This is third summer he has been invited by USA Hockey to participate in their Select Player Development Camps. In July, 2010, he was the 4th leading scorer in the Select 15 camp with 2 goals and 8 assists in 5 games. The leading scorer for that camp was 2013 Recruit Tyler Kelleher. Last July, Kalinowski participated in the USA Hockey Select 16 Camp and scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 6 games. He tied for 7th place in scoring with fellow UNH commit Shane Eiserman. In the three games he has played so far this week, Kalinowski has 1 assist. At the end of the Under-17 Camp, 22 players will be chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team which will compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August in Slovakia.

Andrew Poturalski
Last summer, Andrew Poturalski - who had been drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 2010 USHL Futures Draft - participated in the Musketeers' tryout camp and later in the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders' camp. Poturalski (DOB: 1-14-1994) earned a spot on Cedar Rapids' Affiliate List. In February, he was called up to play two games for the Rough Riders against the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Poturalski made headlines by scoring 2 goals and an assist and finishing the two games with a +/- rating of +2. A couple weeks ago, Poturalski joined Jason Kalinowski at the Cedar Rapids' tryout camp. This time around, Poturalski turned heads with his outstanding performance. Writing in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Scott Herbst provided this assessment:
"While you can argue Poturalski is not new since he played two games for the Riders last season, he is far from a veteran. Overall, my opinion is that Poturalski was the best forward in camp this weekend. He centered the No. 1 line on each team he played. He notched a pair of goals in the Top Prospect Game, showed great speed, vision and forechecking ability."

Head Coach Mark Carlson selected Poturalski for the 30-man "Initial Protected Roster". From all indications, Poturalski has an excellent chance of making the Rough Riders' 25-man Active Roster when it is announced on July 1st. He's almost guaranteed a spot at the Cedar Rapids' training camp in August. Poturalski graduated from the Nichols School in Buffalo last spring so he can move to Cedar Rapids and focus on his hockey development. The fall of 2013 is his target for enrolling at UNH.

Shane Eiserman
Although 2014 UNH Recruit Shane Eiserman (DOB: 10-10-1995) was not drafted into the USHL, last summer he was invited to participate in the Dubuque Fighting Saints' training camp. Out of camp, he made the Saints' Affiliate List last season. A couple of weeks ago, from June 6-9, Shane Eiserman took part in the Saints' 2012 Tryout Camp. So far, there are no details available on the Saints' camp. However, Eiserman did make the Protected, Affiliates List. There's a good chance he will be invited to Dubuque's Training Camp in late August.

Shane Eiserman is also currently at the USA Hockey Under-17 Player Development Camp in Rochester, NY. Last summer, at the Under-16 Camp, Eiserman scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 5 games and tied for 7th in scoring. More importantly, he was selected to the US Under-17 Select Team which earned him a ticket to the Five Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. From August 9-13, 2011, Eiserman played for Team USA in the Five Nations Tournament. The US faced teams from Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Team USA won the tournament in dominating fashion winning all four games. In the three games he has played so far this week, Eiserman has 2 assists.

Mike McNicholas
Last season, Mike McNicholas (DOB: 3-23-1994) scored 5 goals and 4 assists in 48 regular season games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. From June 11-16, McNicholas participated in the Lumberjacks' Tryout Camp. As expected, McNicholas made the 30-man Initial Protected Roster. It is very unusual for a veteran player to not make the active roster in his second season. McNicholas is targeting an enrollment at UNH in either the Fall of 2013 or '14.

Dylan Maller
Defenseman Dylan Maller (DOB: 4-15-1994) played 39 regular season game last year with the Tri-City Storm. Despite missing games with injury, he managed to score 3 goals and 6 assists. All 3 goals and 3 of his assists came on the power play. From June 13-16, Maller was in Las Vegas at the Storms' Tryout Camp. The protected list has not yet been made public. Maller did make the All-Star Game on the final day of camp. He is targeted to arrive at UNH in the Fall of 2013.

Matias Cleland
Last season, defenseman Matias Cleland (DOB: 1-28-1994) scored a goal and 9 assists in 41 regular season games with the Waterloo Black Hawks. He posted a +/- rating of 0. He was only able to play in 6 USHL playoff games due to injury. The Black Hawks made it to the Clark Cup Finals but lost to the Green Bay Gamblers in the decisive 5th game. From June 1-3, Cleland participated in Waterloo's Tryout Camp. The protected list has not yet been made public. Cleland is targeted to arrive at UNH in the Fall of 2013.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Profile of UNH Recruit Cam Marks

Ever since British Columbia native Jason Krog (Fernie, BC) won the Hobey Baker Award and lead the UNH Wildcats to the NCAA Championship Game in 1999, a steady stream of talented players from that Canadian province have made the journey to Durham. Three high-scoring forwards - Colin Hemingway (Surrey), Lanny Gare (Vernon), and Trevor Smith (North Vancouver) - had All-American careers at UNH. Defensemen Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm) and Craig Switzer (Peachland) were team leaders serving as Captain and Alternate Captain respectively. Grayson Downing (Abbottsford) just completed a successful freshman campaign as UNH's 4th leading scorer with 10 goals and 13 assists.

If all goes according to plan, high-scoring defenseman Cam Marks from North Vancouver will join this distinguished list when he enrolls at UNH in the Fall of 2014. On April 11th, just days after his 17th birthday, Marks verbally accepted UNH's offer to join the team for the 2014-15 season. A few weeks ago, Cam Marks announced on twitter that he will be playing next season with the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Last season, Marks wrapped up his major midget hockey career with the Vancouver Northwest Giants. In 25 regular season games, Marks scored a goal and 16 assists and had no penalties. The Giants won the regular season title of the British Columbia Major Midget League for the 5th consecutive season. They went on to win their 4th consecutive British Columbia Midget Major Playoff Title. Marks had one assist and no penalties in the 5 playoff games. The Giants' season ended following a loss to the Alberta League Champion, Red Deer Rebels in the Pacific Regional Championship.

In the 2010-11 season, Marks and the Vancouver Northwest Giants won the BC Midget Major Playoffs, the Pacific Regional Championship, and advanced to the Telus Cup Competition - The National Midget Championship in Canada. Although the Giants lost in the semi-finals of the Telus Cup, Cam Marks was the leading scorer among defensemen and tied for 4th overall in scoring.

During his two successful seasons with the Vancouver Northwest Giants, Cam Marks has been coached by former NHL player Todd Harkins. In the late 1980's, Harkins played three seasons with Miami University and was drafted by the Calgary Flames with the 42nd overall pick in the 1988 NHL Draft. Following a 9 year career in the NHL and AHL, Harkins became a successful scout with the Westside Warriors and Burnaby Express of the BCHL. He has been the Head Coach of the Vancouver NW Giants since 2010.

Recently, I had an opportunity to discuss Cam Marks with Coach Harkins. Here is the interview:

C-H-C: How long have you coached Cam?
Coach Harkins: I have coached Cam many times over his 17 years. I first saw him at a Sunday night skills class when he was 5 years old and I recruited him to the North Shore Winter Club so he could continue his hockey development here at the club with professional coaches and an abundance of ice.

C-H-C: Describe Cam's strengths as a defenseman (including his role on the power play).
Coach Harkins: Cam is one of the smartest players I have ever coached, he always makes the right decision and he has unbelievable agility and quickness for a defenseman. These two assets allows him to quarterback the power play.

C-H-C: How would you compare Cam to Joey Laleggia (a former commit to UNH who played for the Vancouver Northwest Giants)?
Coach Harkins: Cam has a huge upside, he is going to be much bigger than Joe. But I think they both play a very similar style with their hockey sense and skating ability.

C-H-C: Are there other players from your region who have played at UNH, or in Hockey East, who are similar to Cam Marks?
Coach Harkins: Not that I am aware of. I compare Cam to John Michael Liles of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

C-H-C: What other US colleges were recruiting Cam? Are any WHL or other Major Junior teams recruiting him?
Coach Harkins: Cam was listed by the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, as for Colleges, I know that BC, U Minnesota-Duluth and Denver were interested in him.

C-H-C: What was the general nature of the injury that sidelined Cam from some of the Giants' games this season?
Coach Harkins: Cam was hit early on in the year and suffered a mild concussion. Many teams that we played tried to forcheck our D corps hard to try and get them off of their game, since all of our offense started from the back end and especially from Cam. Unfortunately, Cam got tied up and another player took a cheap shot on him. On his return to the line-up, while playing in the Mac’s Major Midget Tourney in Calgary, he tweaked his knee trying to avoid a check and a potential head shot. Once he returned the next time, he was stellar, leading us once again to back to back BC provincial championships.

C-H-C: Can you provide a general description of Cam's academic status?
Coach Harkins: Cam is a very committed player and student. He attends a private school in North Vancouver and receives straight A’s.
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