Friday, February 12, 2016

UNH Recruits Update: Feb-12-2016

Liam Blackburn
9th in BCHL Scoring
Charlie Kelleher
4th in USPHL Scoring
Brendan van Riemsdyk
Tied 8th in USPHL Scoring

Then and Now

To date, the 4 top-scoring UNH commits are Liam Blackburn and Justin Fregona in the BCHL and Charlie Kelleher and Brendan van Riemsdyk in the USPHL. Three of these players - Blackburn, Kelleher, and BvR - are playing for the same team they played for in the 2014-15 season. With just a handful of games left in the regular season, it's interesting to take a look at how these commits have performed compared to last season.

Player Spotlight - Liam Blackburn

Over the last seven West Kelowna Warriors' games, Liam Blackburn has scored 2 goals and 8 assists. One of these goals was an overtime game-winner against Coquitlam on February 2nd (click this link to watch it).

In 52 games this season, Blackburn has scored 25 goals (Tied 11th in BCHL) and 42 assists (8th) for a total of 67 points (9th in BCHL). These stats are nearly identical to his totals following 52 games last season with West Kelowna - 21G, 47A, 68 Points. In November, 2014, Blackburn signed his National Letter of Intent to come to UNH. After last season, his second in the BCHL, Liam decided to play one more year for the Warriors in part because "an extra year of juniors would be nice to develop physically". He will be 20 years old when he enrolls at UNH next fall.

Player Spotlight - Charlie Kelleher

USPHL All Star Charlie Kelleher has scored 7 goals and 10 assists in his last 11 games with the Junior Bruins. With just 4 games left in the regular season, Kelleher has compiled 16 goals and 35 assists (3rd in USPHL) for a total of 46 points (4th in USPHL) in 34 games. The Junior Bruins are in 2nd Place in the USPHL just 3 points behind the league-leading Islanders Hockey Club.

Charlie Kelleher has been substantially more productive this season compared to last. After 34 games in the 2014-15 season, he had 9 goals and 20 assists. Kelleher missed over a month of action last winter with mononucleosis. Charlie has not yet signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH. One of his top goals is to enroll next fall and have a chance to play with his older brother Tyler Kelleher. In his junior year at UNH, Tyler is currently tied for 2nd in scoring (40 points) in NCAA Division I hockey and has tallied the most assists in the nation (33). Charlie just turned 19 years old and Tyler turned 21 last month.

Player Spotlight - Brendan van Riemsdyk

Over the last 14 games, Brendan van Riemsdyk has scored 9 goals and 12 assists for the first place Islanders Hockey Club. After 39 regular season games, he is among the USPHL leaders in goals (18G, Tied 6th), assists (26A, T-10th), and scoring (44 Points, T-7th). He has also been prolific on the power play with 7 PPG (Tied 2nd in USPHL) and 10 PPA (T-2nd) for a total of 17 Power Play Points (2nd in USPHL).

A comparison of BvR's stats over the last two seasons shows that he has more than doubled the number of assists while his goal-scoring has slightly decreased. Over the first 39 games in the 2014-15 season, he had tallied 15 fewer assists (11 vs 26) and 8 more goals (26 vs 18). Over the same span, BvR had 6 PPG and 5 PPA so he has doubled his power play assists this season (10 vs 5).

BvR signed his National Letter of Intent last November and plans to enroll at UNH next fall. Brendan turned 20 years old on January 28th.

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 52 25 42 67 45
Justin Fregona*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 45 23 23 46 37
Patrick Grasso*  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 39 11 15 26 12
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 34 16 35 51 24
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 48 1 8 9 46
Brendan van Riemsdyk*   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 38 18 26 44 44
Mike Robinson*  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL 10 6W 4L 2.81 .915
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 32 6 3 9 10
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 29 1 9 10 2
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 17 4 0 4 6
Tri-City Storm USHL 8 0 1 1 2
2017 Recruits
Eric MacAdams  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 33 5 7 12 66
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 35 1 5 6 32
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 42 6 12 18 2
2018 Recruits
Corson Green  (D) Northern Cyclones EHL 12 3 5 8 18
Northern Cyclones 16U EJEPL 17 12 5 17 55
* = Signed National
Letter of Intent

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2016 UNH Commit Justin Fregona has scored a power play goal and 3 assists over his last 5 games with the Langley Rivermen. The 18-year-old rookie is tied for 14th in goal scoring (23) in the BCHL and tied for 12th in power play goals (6). The Rivermen have already clinched a playoff spot and Fregona leads the team in goals.

United States Hockey League:

~ 2016 Commit Patrick Grasso has tallied a goal and 2 assists in his last 4 games with the Des Moines Buccaneers. Grasso has scored 11 goals and 15 assists in 39 games and is tied for 17th in USHL scoring.

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ After missing the first half of the Junior Bruins' season, Mike Robinson is rounding into form. The 6'4", 200 lbs. goalie has won 4 of his last 5 games and has moved up the USPHL goalie leaderboard. His 2.81 Goals Against Average is 6th best in the league and his .915 Save Percentage puts him in a tie for 6th best. Robinson has signed his National Letter of Intent with UNH and plans to enroll next fall. He turns 19 years old on March 27th.


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