Thursday, October 29, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Oct-29-2015

2016 Commit Patrick Grasso
Des Moines Buccaneers

Player Spotlight - Patrick Grasso

Patrick Grasso (DOB: 5-29-1996) was just 16 years old when he committed to UNH back in August, 2012. At the time, he was also being recruited by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, RPI, Colorado College, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, and Penn State. In his first two full seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL, Grasso scored 9 goals each season. Now, just 10 games into the 2015-16 season, he already has 6 goals and is tied for 2nd in USHL goal-scoring.

Patrick Grasso's style of play is similar to UNH's leading scorer Tyler Kelleher. Both are right-shot forwards who are also under-sized - Grasso is 5'7", 152 lbs. and Kelleher is 5'6", 160 lbs. Kelleher played center in his two seasons with the US National Team Development Program then shifted to right wing when he came to UNH. Grasso played center in his first two seasons with the Buccaneers but has moved to right wing this season. As this video of Grasso's 6th goal of the season shows, he - like Kelleher - is quick and readily creates distance against opposing skaters in tight spaces.

Grasso is a native of Ankeny, Iowa, just 12 miles from Des Moines. As the play-by-play announcer for the Buccaneers says, he is considered a "hometown hero". Grasso is also the team's captain. At this juncture, the Bucs are 7 points behind the Lincoln Stars who are in first place in the USHL's Western Conference.

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 16 10 11 21 18
Justin Fregona  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 15 11 5 16 13
Patrick Grasso  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 10 6 1 7 2
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 8 4 7 11 6
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 17 1 2 3 18
Brendan van Riemsdyk   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 13 7 6 13 4
Mike Robinson  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL - - - - -
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 1 0 0 0 0
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 6 0 2 2 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL - - - - -
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 6 0 1 1 12
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 7 1 2 3 0

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2016 or '17 UNH Commit Aaron O'Neill is likely to be in the Tri-City Storms' lineup this weekend. O'Neill was on the 45-day injured reserve list with a lower body injury at the beginning of the season. In his first two seasons in the USHL, O'Neill played in 32 and 41 games respectively with the Green Bay Gamblers.

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ Last night, 2016 UNH Commit Nick Nonis scored his first goal of the BCHL season. The Powell River Kings defenseman posted a goal and 6 assists in 56 games last season. Here's a video of Nonis' goal:

~ 2016 UNH Commit Liam Blackburn scored the game-tying goal in each of the West Kelowna Warriors' victories last week. Blackburn has scored at least one point in his last 12 games and has netted 5 goals in his last 4 games. He is currently tied for 5th in BCHL goal-scoring with 10 goals.


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