UNH Commits Update: February-17-2017
Player Spotlight - Charlie KelleherThe Sioux City Musketeers bolstered it's chances of winning the Clark Cup when it acquired the services of right-winger Charlie Kelleher on February 7th. In a series of moves, the Tri-City Storm, who are dead last in the USHL Western Conference, traded Kelleher (11 goals, 22 assists) and linemate Alex Limoges (13g, 18a; former Cornell commit), their 2nd and 3rd leading scorers, and top goalie Dayton Rasmussen (Denver commit).
In his first season in the United States Hockey League, Charlie Kelleher has established himself as one of the premiere play-makers and scorers in the league. In his final 5 games with the Storm, Kelleher scored 2 goals, including 1 power play goal (see video below), and 5 assists (3 power play assists). Throughout this season, Kelleher has played right wing on the Storms' first power play unit.
Kelleher didn't miss a beat in his first 4 games with Sioux City posting 3 assists. In a game against the Sioux Falls Stampede last Sunday, the Musketeers had an opportunity to move into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. Kelleher was moved up to the starting lineup at right wing with Aapeli Rasanen (Edmonton draft pick) at center and Eeli Tolvanen (BC commit) on left wing. Kelleher set up Sioux City's first goal on the power play. As the video highlights show, Kelleher (#13 in White) deked around one defender, moved to the faceoff circle and fed Phiip Knies (Miami commit) for the goal. The Musketeers went on to win the game in a shootout. Sioux City has the most points (59) in the USHL.
Charlie Kelleher has scored at least 1 point in 8 of the last 9 games. He is currently tied for 8th in USHL scoring (44 games, 11 goals, 25 assists). He is tied for 5th in assists. Here are his last 2 goals as a member of the Tri-City Storm and 2 of his assists with Sioux City:
Player Spotlight - Benton MaassOn the first Saturday in February, UNH Commit Benton Maass and Elk River High School faced rival Duluth East HS. The #1 seed in the Minnesota Class AA, Section 7 playoffs was very much in play. Elk River was ranked #4 in the state while Duluth East was #12. Just 26 seconds after Duluth East scored a short-handed goal, Maass tied the game on the power play. Benton (#11 in White) skated down from the blueline into the slot, received a back door feed, and one-timed his 4th goal of the season:
Elk River defeated Duluth East 4-1 and improved their record to 17-4-0. The Elks also moved up to #3 in the Minnesota AA hockey rankings.
On Tuesday, Benton Maass played his final regular season game for Elk River High School. He opened the scoring just 47 seconds after the opening faceoff and Elk River defeated Maple Grove 2-1. Maass finished the regular season with 6 goals (4 Power Play Goals) and 23 assists (7 PPA) in 25 games. Among all defensemen in the Northwest Suburban Conference, Maass was tied for third in scoring. His teammate and fellow captain Nick Perbix (St. Cloud State commit) was first with 40 points.
Elk River (21-4-0) earned the #1 Seed in the Minnesota Boys Section 7AA Hockey Tournament and gained a bye in the first round. Maass and Elk River will have home ice advantage in the quarterfinal round next Tuesday. If the Elks win the Section 7AA Playoffs, they will advance to the State Championship Tournament. When the Elk River season is over, Maass will rejoin the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the North American Hockey League.
Benton Maass is on track to enroll at UNH next Fall. The 6'2", 195 lbs., right-shot defenseman is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft. The NHL Central Scouting Service ranked Maass as the 158th North American skater. They have identified him as a "C" prospect meaning he's a candidate to be drafted in the 4th, 5th, or 6th round of the NHL Draft this June.
Player Spotlight - Marek Wazny2019 UNH Commit Marek Wazny and the North Jersey Avalanche 16U team begin play in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League Playoffs this evening out in Blaine, Minnesota. The Avalanche won 30 games and lost only 2 in T1 EHL competition. They finished in first place in the East Conference and were the #1 team in the Tier 1 EHL.
In the final game of the regular season on January 29th, Marek Wazny tallied a goal and 3 assists, including the game-winning assist. The North Jersey Avalanche defeated the Philadelphia Jr Flyers 5-1.
Wazny, a 6'1", 170 lbs., left-shot forward, scored 21 goals, including 3 game-winners, and 11 assists in 32 Tier 1 EHL, regular season games. He was tied for 10th in league scoring, tied for 3rd in goals, and tied for 1st in power play goals (6).
The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2017 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2017. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit'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.
|Joseph Cipollone (F)||Tri-City Storm||USHL||16||2||0||2||4|
|Liam Darcy (D)||Islanders Hockey Club||USPHL||41||4||17||21||12|
|Charlie Kelleher* (F)||Tri-City Storm||USHL||40||11||22||33||10|
|Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||4||0||3||3||0|
|Benton Maass (D)||Fairbanks Ice Dogs||NAHL||17||2||6||8||10|
|Elk River||Minn HS||25||6||23||29||6|
|Eric MacAdams* (F)||Sioux Falls Stampede||USHL||41||11||8||19||84|
|James Miller* (D)||Penticton Vees||BCHL||31||4||10||14||43|
|Mike Robinson* (G)||Dubuque Fighting Saints||USHL||1||1W||0L||4.20||.854|
|Springfield Jr Blues||NAHL||16||8W||6L||2.91||.915|
|2017 or '18 Commits|
|Eric Esposito* (F)||Youngstown Phantoms||USHL||37||9||4||13||94|
|Angus Crookshank* (F)||Langley Rivermen||BCHL||24||8||8||16||4|
|Corson Green (D)||Chicago Steel||USHL||36||5||7||12||34|
|2018 or '19 Commits|
|Lucas Bahn (D)||Skipjacks 18U||USPHL 18U||23||8||17||25||10|
|Ryan Verrier (D)||Salisbury School||NE Prep||26||7||15||22||-|
|Marek Wazny (F)||NJ Avalanche 16U||Tier 1 Elite||32||21||11||32||26|
|Drew Commesso (G)||St. Sebastian's||NE Prep||7||2W||2L/1T||2.05||.920|
|* = Signed National Letter of Intent|
News & NotesUnited States Hockey League:
~ 2017 UNH Commit Eric MacAdams has scored 11 goals for the Sioux Falls Stampede and is tied for 12th in USHL goal-scoring.
British Columbia Hockey League:
~ 2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank tallied his first BCHL hat trick on February 2nd. One of them was the Langley Rivermen's game-winner in the 11-2 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
United States Premiere Hockey League:
~ 2018 or '19 UNH Commit Lucas Bahn was named the USPHL 18U Defenseman "Star of the Week" on February 13th. In 23 league games with the Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U team, Bahn has scored 8 goals, including 2 game-winners, and distributed 17 assists. Among all defensemen in the USPHL 18U Division, Bahn is 1st in scoring and 2nd in assists.