Wednesday, September 30, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Sept-30-2015

2016 Commit Justin Fregona
Langley Rivermen
2016 Commit Brendan van Riemsdyk
Islanders Hockey Club

Player Spotlight - Justin Fregona

Just five games into his rookie season in the British Columbia Hockey League and 18-year-old Justin Fregona has already found the back of the net 5 times. He is tied for second in goal scoring in the league. Fregona's first goal, scored in the second game of the season, illustrated why Langley Rivermen Head Coach and General Manager Bobby Henderson has called him a "natural goal scorer". As this video highlight from Langley RivermenTV shows, Fregona (#13 in white jersey) skates through the low slot facing the point, with his back to the net, and redirects a defenseman's shot from the blueline with the back of his stick:

The next night, in a 5-3 loss to the Wenatchee Wild, Fregona scored the first hat trick of his BCHL career. His first and third goals came on shots from below the goal line off the back of the Wenatchee goalie. The second was a backhander on a 2-on-1 break.

Justin Fregona's 5th goal of the season turned out to be the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The scoring play was a nifty give-and-go with Fregona and Rivermen center Adam Sinclair (a Harvard commit):

Last season, Fregona and Sinclair were linemates for St. Andrew's College, the top university preparatory school in Canada. The Saints won it's third consecutive Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) Championship as well as the National Independent School Invitational Championship. During the long 2014-15 season, St. Andrew's College played a total of 52 CISAA and nonconference games. Justin Fregona played in every game, scored 34 goals and 43 assists, and was the Saints' leading scorer. UNH sophomore Warren Foegele was a leading scorer on the 2013 and 2014 St. Andrew's teams. Fregona's target date for enrollment at UNH is the Fall of 2016.

Player Spotlight - Brendan van Riemsdyk

Brendan van Riemsdyk is a finisher. The 19-year-old, 6'4", 200 lbs. power forward for the Islanders Hockey Club has buried 4 goals in the first 5 games of the United States Premiere Hockey League season. For his efforts, van Riemsdyk was named USPHL Premiere forward Star of the Week.

Bringing new meaning to the phrase "fast start", BvR netted his first goal just 25 seconds into the first game of the season. As this highlight video shows, van Riemsdyk (#17) skated strong to the net for his first three goals and quickly converted centering passes on the edge of the crease:

BvR's fourth goal of the young season came on an Islanders Hockey Club power play. Notice that the primary assist came from fellow UNH commit Liam Darcy. Darcy, a defenseman (#21), quarterbacked the play from the top of the umbrella formation, fed a pass to BvR at the faceoff circle, and Brendan snapped a one-time wrister past the goalie.

This is BvR's second season playing in the Premiere Division of the USPHL. Last year, he scored 31 goals and 13 assists in 51 IHC games and was named the 2015 USPHL Rookie of the Year. The youngest of the three van Riemsdyk brothers is on target to enroll at UNH next September.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2016 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2016. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2016 Recruits
Liam Blackburn  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 6 2 5 7 8
Justin Fregona  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 5 5 0 5 11
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 2 1 0 1 0
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 7 0 0 0 4
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 5 4 1 5 2
Mike Robinson  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL - - - - -
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Vernon Vipers BCHL 6 2 1 3 0
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 5 0 2 2 0
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 1 0 0 0 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL - - - - -
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 1 0 1 1 12
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL - - - - -

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2016 commit Patrick Grasso of the Des Moines Buccaneers scored his first goal in the second game of the season. Last year, Grasso netted 9 goals and added 25 assists.

~ 2016 or '17 commit Aaron O'Neill has a lower body injury and is on the Tri-City Storms' 45-day injured reserve list. His goal is to return to competition around the end of October.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ Over the summer, 2017 or '18 commit Jason O'Neill competed for a roster spot on the Madison Capitols of the USHL. He initially made the 30-man protected list but did not make the 23-player active roster. O'Neill plans to play for the Langley Rivermen in the BCHL.


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