Friday, April 12, 2013

UNH Recruits Update: April-12-2013

UNH Recruit Patrick Grasso (Photo:

Featured Player - Patrick Grasso

When I interviewed 16-year-old Patrick Grasso (DOB: 5/29/1996) last August, right after he committed to UNH, he laid out his plan for the 2012-13 season. He said:
"I attended the (Des Moines Buccaneers' tryout) camp in June and they offered me a spot on the roster, but I feel I still need a little time to mature physically. My family and I talked it over with the coaching staff and agreed that I'll be playing (for the Buccaneers) in the preseason tournament in Sioux City along with a few regular season games."
He planned to play the bulk of the season with the Omaha AAA Under 16 team in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL).

As it turned out, Grasso progressed at a faster than anticipated pace. In October and November, he played a total of 10 USHL games with the Buccaneers and posted 1 assist. At the end of November, Grasso shifted his full-time focus to the Omaha U16 team. In their 22-game regular season, Grasso scored 13 goals and 21 assists and was the 7th-leading scorer in the league. Near the end of NAPHL regular season, Omaha U16 Head Coach David Wilkie had high praise for his forward:
“I think Patrick could have easily played juniors this season, but I think he made the right decision to play for us, focus on development and then go from there. He is so creative with the puck and really puts himself in great position to make things happen for him and his teammates. He is one of the big keys to our power play and when he is playing well, we have a good chance to win.”
In the 5 game playoff series in February, Grasso and Omaha U16 won the NAPHL Championship. Patrick posted 2 assists in the Championship Game and scored 2 goals and 6 assists overall. He finished tied for 4th in playoff scoring among all NAPHL players.

With his U16 season over, Patrick Grasso was called up again to play in the USHL with Des Moines. In his first game back on March 22nd, Grasso scored his first USHL goal. In his next game on the 29th, Grasso was moved up to the Buccaneers' first line and he scored his second goal. Grasso has remained on the first line and added a power play goal and an assist in the last three games. A native of Des Moines, Patrick had this to say about playing for the hometown team:
“Coming out here and playing my first game at home was a pretty cool experience, it’s an awesome arena to play in. I grew up watching the team play, so it was exciting to be able to wear the jersey. Besides, we have the best fans in the league.”
With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Buccaneers are in 6th place in the Western Conference of the USHL. This year, only the top 4 teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs so Grasso's season will end this weekend. Look for Patrick to return as a regular on the Buccaneers' squad next season.

Latest Statistics

NOTE:  The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH.  For example, the "2013 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2013 to begin playing for UNH.

2013 Recruits
Matias Cleland  (D)WaterlooUSHL30227
Omaha LancersUSHL589283746
Tyler Kelleher  (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL3011112212
USA U18 TeamNCAA211192016
Dylan Maller  (D)Tri-City StormUSHL6014559
Jordan Masters  (F)Jersey HitmenEJHL1835834
2013 or '14 Recruit
Michael McNicholas  (F)Nanaimo ClippersBCHL351022326
2014 Recruits
Dylan Chanter  (D)Merritt CentsBCHL569112031
Adam Clark  (G)Salmon ArmBCHL3718W16L2.89.914
Shane Eiserman  (F)USA U18 TeamUSHL22561127
USA U18 TeamNCAA213368
Cam Marks  (D)Coquitlam ExpressBCHL402468
Andrew Poturalski (F)Cedar RapidsUSHL5111213243
2014 or '15 Recruit
Jason Kalinowski  (F)Salisbury Prep NEPSHC23 918 27-
2015 Recruits
Warren Foegele  (F)St. Andrews CollegeCISAA/MPHL2816203632
Charlie Kelleher  (F)Junior Bruins U18USEHL5411142513
Joseph Masonius  (D)Jersey HitmenEmpJHL175121724
Jersey HitmenEJHL1012335
U18 PlayoffsUSEHL21012
Danny Tirone  (G)Loomis ChaffeeNEPSHC2412W11L1T.914
2015 or '16 Recruit
Liam Darcy  (D)Berwick Academy NEPSHC27 715 22-
Patrick Grasso (F)Des MoinesUSHL153250
Omaha Lancers U16NAPHL221321348
Ara Nazarian (F)Malden CatholicMass H.S.21262046-
PlayoffsMass H.S.59514-
Brendan van Riemsdyk (F)Jersey Devils U16AYHL2418133154
Christian BrothersJersey Prep23163046-
PlayoffsJersey Prep3516-

News & Notes

Player Commitments:

~ 17-year-old Brendan van Riemsdyk will be playing for the Jersey Hitmen U18 team in the United States Premier Hockey League next season. BvR will be a senior in high school.

~ 16-year-old Joe Masonius has reportedly been invited to join the U.S. National Team Development Program Under 17 team next season. The NTDP has not yet officially announced that Masonius has accepted the invitation. Masonius will be a junior in high school.

~ UNH's newest recruit Ara Nazarian plans on playing for Malden Catholic next year. He will be a junior in high school.

USA National Championships:

~ Early last month, Jason Kalinowski helped lead the Salisbury School Crimson Knights to the New England Prep School Elite 8 Championship. Last week, Kalinowski and the Mid-Fairfield Blues represented the New England District in the USA Hockey Tier I Youth U18 National Championship. Mid-Fairfield (CT) advanced to the Quarterfinal Round but was defeated by the Detroit Honey Baked team. Jasper Kozak-Miller, who covered the Nationals for Over The Boards, ranked Kalinowski as one of the Top 10 Performers. He wrote:
"Kalinowski was the key that helped Mid-Fairfield take out eventual National Champs Neponset Valley in pool play, throwing down a goal and two assists in a 5-2 W. He picked up goals in the rest of the Blues pool play tilts, before Mid-Fairfield bowed out to Honeybaked in the quarterfinals."
2013 Western Canada Cup:

~ For the first time, the four Junior A Leagues in Western Canada will determine it's Champion in a round robin tournament. The 2013 Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup will be held from April 26 - May 5, 2013 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The Champions of the British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Hockey Leagues, plus the host team Nanaimo Clippers, will be competing for two berths in the RBC Cup Canadian National Championship.

UNH recruit Michael McNicholas has fully recovered from a broken bone in his lower leg and is training with the Nanaimo Clippers. Prior to his injury, McNicholas scored 10 goals and 22 assists in 35 games. He played in 4 playoff games with the Clippers. Look for an upcoming, feature article on McNicholas, the Clippers, and their bid to win the Western Canada Cup on The UNH Men's Hockey Blog.

Team USA:

~ With it's USHL and NCAA schedules complete, the U.S. National Team Development Program Under 18 team - including 2013 UNH recruit Tyler Kelleher and 2014 recruit Shane Eiserman - are headed to Sochi, Russia for the 2013 IIHF Men’s World Under-18 Championship. Team USA begins play in the preliminary round on April 18th against Russia. Team USA is aiming to win their 5th straight gold medal in the World U18 Championship.

United States Hockey League:

The USHL teams have only 2 games remaining in the regular season. The top 4 teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences qualify for the USHL Playoffs. Here's how the teams with UNH recruits stand:
Western Conference:
Omaha Lancers (Matias Cleland) - 5th place, 8 points behind 4th place Lincoln.
Tri-City Storm (Dylan Maller) - 8th place, 26 points behind 4th place Lincoln.
Eastern Conference:
Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (Andrew Poturalski) - 6th place, 16 points behind 4th place Muskegon.
Team USA* (Tyler Kelleher & Shane Eiserman) - 7th place, 25 points behind 4th place Muskegon.
* The Team USA games in the USHL are divided between the US NTDP U18 and U17 teams. The U18 team, who Kelleher and Eiserman play for, have finished their USHL season.


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