Friday, December 04, 2015

UNH Recruits Update: Dec-4-2015

UNH Commit Liam Blackburn
(Photo: Lorne White/

Player Spotlight - Liam Blackburn

2016 UNH Commit Liam Blackburn has become the second leading scorer in the history of the West Kelowna Warriors. In 4 games last week, the 5'10", 175 lbs. left-shot forward scored 3 goals and 4 assists. Blackburn reached the Warriors' scoring milestone in a 7-3 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters on Tuesday. He scored the game-tying goal, assisted on the team's 5th goal, and tallied the 7th goal. Here's a video of Blackburn scoring his 13th and 14th goals of the 2015-16 season:

In 131 games over three seasons with West Kelowna, Blackburn has scored 53 goals and 102 assists for a total of 155 points. Only one Warrior player has scored more points in the history of the franchise. Trevor Baily played in 231 games over four seasons with West Kelowna and notched 235 points. Former UNH star Grayson Downing is the 6th leading Warriors' scorer with 129 points (65G, 64A) in 132 games. Blackburn signed his National Letter of Intent with UNH a year ago and will enroll next fall so he won't be able to catch Baily in the all-time scoring race.

Blackburn has scored 39 points - 14 goals and 25 assists - in 29 games so far this season. He is now the 4th leading scorer in the British Columbia Hockey League and has the 6th most assists. In the regular season last year, Blackburn tied for 6th in BCHL scoring (73 pts.) and posted the third most assists (51). Blackburn is also a big contributor on the Warriors' special teams. He has scored 6 power play goals and 9 power play assists. He has added 2 shorthanded goals and 1 assist.

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:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ 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 29 14 25 39 26
Justin Fregona*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 29 19 14 33 27
Patrick Grasso*  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 21 8 5 13 6
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 17 7 20 27 10
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 27 0 4 4 22
Brendan van Riemsdyk*   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 22 9 13 22 8
Mike Robinson*  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL - - - - -
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 12 3 1 4 8
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 13 0 4 4 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 6 0 1 1 0
2017 Recruits
Eric MacAdams  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 18 4 3 7 27
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 17 0 3 3 14
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 19 1 5 6 0
* = Signed National
Letter of Intent

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2016 UNH Commit Justin Fregona sniped his 19th goal of the season on November 26th in a 4-1 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Langley Rivermen right winger is now tied for 5th in BCHL goal-scoring. Next week, Fregona will attend the Team Canada West selection camp with hopes of making the 22-player team that will compete in the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. Here's the video highlight of Fregona's 19th goal:

United States Hockey League:

~ 2017 UNH commit Eric MacAdams scored the game-winning goal for the Sioux Falls Stampede in a 3-0 win over the Fargo Force on November 27th. MacAdams also added an assist and earned the #2 Star of the Game. Click on this link to watch a GIF video of MacAdams 4th goal of his rookie USHL season.

~ 2016 or '17 commit Joe Cipollone notched the 3rd goal of his rookie USHL season on November 28th. Cipollone played center on the Tri-City Storm's starting lineup.

~ 2016 or '17 commit Aaron O'Neill was injured on November 20th and has missed the last 4 Tri-City Storm games.

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ Islanders Hockey Club defenseman Liam Darcy, who turns 19 in February, was on the latest NHL Central Scouting Service's "Players to Watch" list for the 2016 Draft. The list, which was released on November 24th, has Darcy rated as a "C" prospect meaning he has the potential to be drafted in the 4th, 5th, or 6th round of the NHL Draft next June.

~ The USPHL teams have been on a two-week break. They return to action today.


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