UNH Recruits Update: March-6-2015
Player Spotlight - Marcus VelaThe next year for 6'2", 200 lbs. forward Marcus Vela, who turned 18 a few days ago, is sure to be an eventful one. As the Langley Rivermen begin their run in the BCHL Playoffs, Vela just put an exclamation point on the end of his second regular season in the league. Vela scored his first BCHL hat trick in the Rivermen's last home game of the regular season. 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:
Vela ended the regular season with 20 goals and 26 assists - the third best scorer on the Rivermen 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. The Rivermen are facing the Prince George Spruce Kings in the opening round of the BCHL Playoffs. Each team has won a game in the best-of-seven series and Vela has posted an assist so far.
When Marcus Vela's season ends, he'll be looking forward to two major events in his young hockey career. In June, the NHL will hold its Entry Draft in Florida. Vela was ranked as the 123rd North American skater by the NHL Central Scouting Service in their Mid-Term Rankings. When those rankings were released on January 20th, Vela had scored 7 goals in 37 games. Over the subsequent 13 games, Vela exploded for 13 more goals. This puts Vela in a good position to be drafted by an NHL team come June.
Another important event will come Vela's way sometime over the summer. He, his family, and the UNH coaching staff will make a decision on whether he comes to UNH next Fall or plays one more season in the BCHL before enrolling in the Fall of 2016. It's interesting that Langley Rivermen play-by-play announcer Jake Elliot, who called Vela's hat trick on the video highlight, said "For me, he is NCAA ready." Whatever decision is made, Vela's hockey future looks very bright.
Player Spotlight - Frankie CefaluUNH's newest recruit Frankie Cefalu has also been on a roll as of late. He and the Walpole Express finished up the regular season in first place in the Boston Division of the Eastern Hockey League. Cefalu's 46 assists in 44 games was the most of any EHL player. His 63 points made him the second leading scorer in the EHL.
In the opening round of the 2015 EHL Playoffs, the Express swept the Vermont Lumberjacks in two games. Cefalu lead the Express in scoring with 2 goals and 3 assists. Though he's played one fewer game than the leading scorers, Cefalu is tied for second in scoring in the EHL Playoffs. Walpole will face the Connecticut Oilers in the EHL Quarterfinals. The best-of-three series begins this Saturday at the Rodman Arena in Walpole, MA. Cefalu is on track to enroll at UNH in either the Fall of 2015 or '16.
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 "2015 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2015 to begin playing for UNH.
|Jason Kalinowski (F)||Bloomington Thunder||USHL||34||1||7||8||42|
|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|
|2015 or '16 Recruits|
|Liam Blackburn (F)||West Kelowna Warriors||BCHL||55||22||51||73||34|
|Liam Darcy (D)||Berwick Academy||NEPSHC||26||2||6||8||-|
|Islanders Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||4||0||0||0||0|
|Frankie Cefalu (F)||Walpole Express||EHL||44||17||46||63||48|
|Patrick Grasso (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||47||7||22||29||10|
|Ara Nazarian (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||47||8||10||18||14|
|Nick Nonis (D)||Powell River Kings||BCHL||56||1||6||7||41|
|Brendan van Riemsdyk (F)||Islanders Hockey Club||USPHL||47||29||12||41||56|
|Marcus Vela (F)||Langley Rivermen||BCHL||50||20||26||46||57|
|Joey Cipollone (F)||Selects Academy 18U||USPHL 18U||24||18||33||51||30|
|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||30||1||1||2||8|
|Jake Ryczek (D)||Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||45||3||9||12||22|
|Mike Robinson (G)||Lawrence Academy||NEPSHC||25||7W||16L/2T||3.20||.902|
|Boston Jr Rangers||EHL||8||4W||4L||2.35||.937|
|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 his rookie season in the USHL, Ara Nazarian and the Des Moines Buccaneers are battling for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They currently trail Sioux Falls by 6 points. Last Friday, Nazarian helped the Bucs down the Lincoln Stars 5-2. Nazarian scored the Bucs' first goal, assisted on the game-winner, and was awarded the #2 Star.
British Columbia Hockey League:
~ 2015 or '16 recruit Liam Blackburn finished the regular season tied for 6th in BCHL scoring. His 51 assists were the third most in the BCHL. As an 18-year-old in his second BCHL season, Blackburn scored 22 goals and 51 assists in 55 games. Current UNH senior Grayson Downing posted 34 goals and 36 assists in 52 regular season games in his final season with the Westside Warriors. Downing was also 18 years old though it was his third season in the BCHL. Blackburn and the Warriors are currently tied 1-1 with the Penticton Vees in the opening round of the BCHL Playoffs.
United States Premiere Hockey League:
~ Brendan van Riemsdyk finished the Islanders Hockey Clubs' regular season with 29 goals in 47 games. He tied for 4th in goal-scoring in the USPHL Premiere Division. The IHC swept the P.A.L Junior Islanders in the opening round of the USPHL Playoffs. BvR scored a goal and an assist in the two playoff games. The IHC will face the Philadephia Flyers in a best-of-three series beginning tonight.
~ 2015 recruit Christopher Miller, 2016 recruit Charlie Kelleher, and the Junior Bruins lost a closely-contested series against the South Shore Kings in the USPHL Premiere Division Playoffs. Trailing by a game, the Junior Bruins won Game 2 on the strength of a game-winning goal by Miller and 2 goals by Kelleher. They lost the rubber game 2-1.
~ Joey Cipollone and the Selects Hockey Academy U18 advanced to the Championship Game of the USPHL U18 Playoffs but lost to the Jersey Hitmen in overtime. Cipollone was the USPHL's second leading scorer in the regular season (18G, 33A) and tied for second in the Playoffs (4G, 3A). Jason O'Neill (16G, 24A) of the Skipjacks Hockey Club tied for 3rd in Playoff scoring with 3 goals and 3 assists in 4 games.
Prep School Hockey:
~ Justin Fregona and St. Andrew's College won their third straight Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association Championship. Fregona scored 2 goals and an assist in 4 Playoff games.
~ Eric Esposito of the Loomis Chaffee School finished the regular season with 17 goals and 14 assists in 26 games. As a sophomore, Esposito tripled his scoring production over his freshman season (5G, 6A). The 4th-seeded Loomis Chaffee squad lost to #5 Seed Salisbury in the Elite 8 Quarterfinals. Eric Esposito scored Loomis Chaffee's only goal.
~ Defenseman Liam Darcy, a Senior Captain at Berwick Academy, was named an All-Star by the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association. Darcy was ranked as the #156 North American skater by the NHL Central Scouting Service in their Mid-Term Rankings.