Wednesday, May 14, 2014

10 UNH Recruits Sign National Letter of Intent: Updated

Rich Boyd Signs NLI
Warren Foegele Signs NLI

A few weeks ago, the list of recruits who had signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at UNH and join the men's hockey team included 9 student-athletes. All the recruits who had targeted the Fall of 2014 to come to UNH had met their goal of signing. The NCAA defines the NLI as:
"...a binding agreement between an NCAA school and a student-athlete in which the student-athlete agrees to attend the school for one year and the school agrees to provide financial aid to the student-athlete. The NLI is voluntary and prospective student-athletes do not have to participate to play sports or receive financial aid."
Now, 18-year-old defenseman Rich Boyd (DOB: 6-7-1995) from Cushing Academy has become the 10th UNH recruit to sign a National Letter of Intent. Boyd had been on target to come to UNH in the Fall of 2015 but the transfer of 5th-year player Justin Agosta to Quinnipiac University provided an opening for a defenseman. Boyd just finished his senior year of hockey at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA. In 32 games this season, Boyd scored 10 goals and added 30 assists. He was the second leading scorer among all New England Prep School defensemen.

The incoming freshman class now includes 5 forwards - Shane Eiserman, Warren Foegele, Michael McNicholas, Andrew Poturalski, and Jason Salvaggio, 4 defensemen - Rich Boyd, Dylan Chanter, Cameron Marks, and John Furgele, and goalie Adam Clark.

Here's the basic demographic information for the UNH recruits who have signed an NLI. It includes 2 informative links for each recruit. Click on the player's name and a link to his statistics comes up on a separate screen. Click on the date next to "Commit to UNH:" for a link to an article which announced the player's commitment to UNH.

2014 Recruits

Rich Boyd
Cushing Academy
New England Prep School
DOB: 6-7-1995 Hometown: Lake Worth, FL
Defense, 6'3", 195 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 8-7-2013
Dylan Chanter
Vernon Vipers
British Columbia Hockey League
DOB: 9-17-1995 Hometown: Armstrong, BC
Defense, 6'3", 203 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 2-22-2012
Adam Clark
Salmon Arm SilverBacks
British Columbia Hockey League
DOB: 3-23-1993 Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Goalie, 6'5", 210 lbs. Catches Left
Commit to UNH: 9-28-2012
Shane Eiserman
Dubuque Fighting Saints
United States Hockey League
DOB: 10-10-1995 Hometown: West Newbury, MA
Forward, 6'2", 200 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 8-27-2011
Warren Foegele
St Andrew's College
DOB: 4-1-1996 Hometown: Markham, ON
Forward, 6'1", 182 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 2-20-2013
John Furgele
Jersey Hitmen
United States Premiere Hockey League
DOB: 1-15-1993 Hometown: Glen Mills, PA
Defense, 5'9", 181 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 9-11-2013
Cameron Marks
Coquitlam Express
British Columbia Hockey League
DOB: 4-9-1995 Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
Defense, 6'0", 175 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 4-11-2012
Michael McNicholas
Vernon Vipers
British Columbia Hockey League
DOB: 3-23-1994 Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Forward, 5'10", 175 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 2-13-2011
Andrew Poturalski
Cedar Rapids Rough Riders
United States Hockey League
DOB: 1-14-1994 Hometown: Williamsville, NY
Forward, 5'10", 185 lbs. Shoots Right
Commit to UNH: 10-5-2011
Jason Salvaggio
Indiana Ice
United States Hockey League
DOB: 10-1-1994 Hometown: Hanson, MA
Forward, 6'1", 194 lbs. Shoots Left
Commit to UNH: 6-12-2013

This table shows each player's production in the 2013-14 season:

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2014 Recruits
Rich Boyd  (D) Cushing Academy NEPSHC 31 10 30 40 -
Elite 8 NEPSHC 1 0 0 0 -
Dylan Chanter  (D) Vernon Vipers BCHL 19 0 0 0 16
Playoffs BCHL 19 4 3 7 18
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 14 1 1 2 21
Adam Clark  (G) Salmon Arm SilverBacks BCHL 30 14W 14L 2.87 .911
Shane Eiserman  (F) Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 53 16 24 40 71
Playoffs USHL 4 0 1 1 6
Warren Foegele  (F) St. Andrews College CISAA 14 17 6 23 15
Playoffs CISAA 5 5 4 9 10
St. Andrews College MPHL 13 12 17 29 14
Playoffs MPHL 3 6 5 11 2
John Furgele  (D) Jersey Hitmen USPHL 44 8 29 37 16
Playoffs USPHL 6 0 5 5 0
Cameron Marks  (D) Coquitlam Express BCHL 57 4 24 28 12
Playoffs BCHL 19 0 5 5 4
Michael McNicholas  (F) Vernon Vipers BCHL 56 23 46 69 20
Playoffs BCHL 19 5 13 18 6
Andrew Poturalski  (F) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 60 27 37 64 28
Playoffs USHL 4 2 1 3 2
Jason Salvaggio  (F) Indiana Ice USHL 52 15 11 26 39
Playoffs USHL 2 0 0 0 2

The Class of 2018 includes 4 players who verbally committed to UNH when they were either 15 or 16 years old. Two members of the class will be 18 years old and four will be 19 years old when they enroll in September, 2014.

Class of 2018

Player Commitment Age Signed NLI Enrollment Age
Rich Boyd  (D) 18 years, 2 months May 2014 19 years, 3 months
Dylan Chanter  (D) 16 years, 5 months November 2013 19 years, 0 months
Adam Clark  (G) 19 years, 6 months April 2014 21 years, 0 months
Shane Eiserman  (F) 15 years, 10 months November 2013 18 years, 11 months
Warren Foegele  (F) 16 years, 10 months April 2014 18 years, 5 months
John Furgele  (D) 18 years, 8 months April 2014 19 years, 8 months
Cameron Marks  (D) 17 years, 0 months November 2013 19 years, 5 months
Michael McNicholas  (F) 16 years, 11 months April 2014 20 years, 6 months
Andrew Poturalski  (F) 17 years, 9 months April 2014 20 years, 8 months
Jason Salvaggio  (F) 18 years, 8 months April 2014 19 years, 11 months

The incoming class is the largest since the 10 freshmen who came in the 2003-04 academic year. That group included Daniel Winnik, Jacob Micflikier, Matt Fornataro, Brett Hemingway, and Josh Ciocco - players who had very productive NCAA careers.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Justin Agosta Finishes UNH Career on Good Terms

Defenseman Agosta Headed to
Quinnipiac Next Season

Back in the Fall of 2010, two hockey defensemen of formidable stature enrolled at the University of New Hampshire. 6'6" Eric Knodel came to UNH following a year with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. He had been selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 5th Round of the 2009 NHL Draft. 6'3" Justin Agosta had played in both the USHL and EJHL the previous season.

Agosta Compiled 45 Points at UNH
The 2010-11 UNH team had six returning veterans on the blueline - Seniors Matt Campanale and Mike Beck, Juniors Blake Kessel and Damon Kipp, and Sophomores Connor Hardowa and Brett Kostolansky. In a typical season, injuries to one or more of the top 6 defensemen provide opportunities for the 7th and 8th to get into the lineup. Not so that time around. The six blueliners played in all 34 regular season games plus 5 playoff games. UNH advanced to the Hockey East Semifinal Game and the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional Championship Game.

Although neither Knodel or Agosta played in a single game as freshmen, they became mainstays on the blueline beginning in their sophomore year at UNH. In the recently completed season, Justin Agosta took his game to a whole new level. After posting 14 points as a junior, Agosta doubled his offensive numbers. He was UNH's 5th leading scorer with 26 points.

Agosta's goal production this season was particularly impressive. Two of his 6 goals were game winners. Only two other Hockey East defensemen scored more game-winning goals in the 2013-14 season. Here's Agosta first GWG in the 4-1 victory over UMass on November 8th:

All-American defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk suffered a season-ending, ankle injury in a game against Union on January 18th. From that point on, Agosta and his fellow veteran defensemen, Knodel and Brett Pesce, were called upon to boost their offensive output and to log many more minutes on the ice.

With only 4 games left in the regular season, UNH was clinging to a chance to earn home-ice in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Playoffs. In two must-win games against Boston University, Justin Agosta assisted on four of UNH's seven goals. UNH went on to earn home-ice, defeated Northeastern in the quarterfinals, and advanced to the Hockey East Semifinals.

Of the 9 goals scored by Justin Agosta in his UNH career, none was more timely or important as his last. After a scoreless first period against Providence in the Hockey East semis, UNH took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by leading scorer Kevin Goumas. Six and 1/2 minutes later, Agosta would score the eventual game-winner. Matt Willows dug the puck off the half-wall to the right of Providence goalie Jon Gillies and fed a cross-ice pass to Justin Agosta just inside the PC blue line. Agosta's wrist shot through a multi-player screen deflected off the heel of a PC defenders skate and into the net.

In the 2014 Hockey East Championship Game, Justin Agosta fired two shots on the UMass-Lowell goal and was not on the ice for any of the River Hawks' goals. Lowell won its second consecutive Hockey East Championship 4-0.

Last Saturday night at the Annual UNH Hockey Banquet, sponsored by the Friends of UNH Hockey, Justin Agosta was awarded the A. Barr “Whoop” Snively Citizenship and Service Award. The honor is presented to the player who has distinguished himself through his citizenship and service to the University and the community. Justin won the same award as a junior. In two weeks, Agosta will receive his UNH diploma. He is an accounting major.

Justin Agosta's Plan for Next Year

At the close of the 2013-14 NCAA season, both of the big defensemen who came to UNH as freshman in 2010 had unique opportunities available to them, and decisions to be made. Since neither Justin Agosta or Eric Knodel played in their freshman year, each had one year of NCAA eligibility remaining. As a draftee of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Knodel could have chosen to play next season at UNH or sign to play in the Maple Leafs' organization. He chose the later option and is on the roster of the Toronto Marlies who are playing in the AHL Playoffs.

According to a source familiar with the process, Justin Agosta was presented with a couple opportunities to sign with AHL organizations after the UNH season ended. Like Knodel, Justin also had the option to return to UNH next season for a fifth year in Durham. Justin and his family are from East Meadow (Long Island), New York. As his Dad and sister - who participated in Senior Night at the Whittemore Center in February - can verify, it's a very long way from Long Island to Durham, NH. The 300-mile trip takes five hours when the traffic is reasonable, which it often is not.

In the end, Justin decided he wanted to play one more year of college hockey if he could find an opportunity closer to his home, family and friends. His current plan is to play next season for Quinnipiac University in the ECAC Hockey Conference. Located in Hamden, Connecticut, QU is less than 200 miles away from Agosta's hometown. Justin developed many close friendships with his UNH teammates and he leaves the UNH hockey program on good terms.

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