Monday, April 30, 2018

UNH Commits Update 4-30-18: Spotlight on Esposito & Cipollone

Eric Esposito
2018 UNH Commit
Joey Cipollone
2018 UNH Commit

Player Spotlight - Eric Esposito

Eric Esposito is the only player committed to UNH still playing in the 2017-18 season. The 19-year-old right-winger and the Youngstown Phantoms are on the eve of competing in the USHL's semifinal, best-of-five series against the USA U18 team. The Phantoms swept the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the quarterfinal series and Esposito contributed an assist on the game-winning goal in their 3-1 victory in Game 1.

In his third year with Youngstown, Esposito has had a breakout season. He has served as the Phantoms' captain and was the team's second leading goal-scorer during the regular season. His 23 goals more than doubled his output from last season (9 goals). He finished the regular season tied for 8th in USHL goal-scoring. He was also near the top of the league in game-winning goals (3, Tied for 6th most), power play goals (8, Tied 5th), and short handed goals (3, T-3).

As the 2017-18 USHL season entered the final five weeks, Youngstown was battling for a first round bye in the playoffs. The top two teams in the USHL Eastern and Western Conferences earn a free pass in the opening round. The Phantoms were among seven teams in the Eastern Conference with a realistic shot. Esposito rose to the challenge scoring 10 goals, including 2 game-winners, in the last 10 games of the regular season. Here's Esposito scoring his 19th goal on an end-to-end rush and 20th goal on a one-timer in the slot during a 6-1 win over Team USA on March 31st:

In the final two games of the regular season, Esposito scored 2 goals against Team USA and his first USHL hat trick against Muskegon. For his efforts, Esposito was named the USHL Forward of the Week on April 16th. Eric Esposito signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH in November, 2016. He plans to enroll this coming Fall.

Player Spotlight - Joey Cipollone

Joey Cipollone is another UNH commit who produced a substantial jump in scoring in his third season of junior hockey. The 5'8", 170 lbs. center, who turned 21 at the end of March, scored 25 goals and 30 assists in 49 regular season games with the Boston Junior Bruins. In the 2016-17 season, Cipollone played 16 games with the Tri-City Storm (USHL) then 23 games for the Junior Bruins. His combined output was 10 goals and 17 assists.

Joey Cipollone was one of the top scorers in the inaugural season of the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC). His 55 points tied him for 5th in NCDC scoring. He tied for 3rd in goal-scoring and tied for 2nd in game-winning goals (6) and short-handed goals (3).

In the opening round of the 2018 NCDC Playoffs, the Junior Bruins played host to the Syracuse Stars. After losing the first game of the best-of-three series, the Junior B's had their backs against wall. In the second period of Game 2, Cipollone tallied 2 short-handed goals in just 32 seconds. The later turned out to be the game-winner. Remarkably, Cipollone scored his third short-handed goal of the series in the finale and it also was the game-winner. Here are the video highlights of his 3 short-handed goals:

The Junior Bruins lost the NCDC semifinal series to the Jersey Hitmen in three games. Cipollone lead the Junior B's with 4 goals and an assist. Next fall, Cipollone will enroll at UNH and begin his NCAA hockey career.

2017-18 Statistics

The statistics for the commits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2018 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2018. 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.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2018 Commits
Joey Cipollone* 3/29/97 (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 49 25 30 55 44
Playoffs 6 4 1 5 4
Angus Crookshank* 10/2/99 (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 42 22 23 45 34
Playoffs 6 3 4 7 6
Team Canada West WJAC 5 2 3 5 2
Team West Prospects CJHL 1 0 1 1 0
Eric Esposito* 8/24/98 (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 60 23 10 33 109
Playoffs 3 0 1 1 2
Jackson Pierson* 9/10/99 (F) Culver Academy Prep 39 24 50 74 -
MidAm Tourney 4 3 4 7 -
18U Nationals 4 3 2 5 2
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 2 0 0 0 0
Ty Taylor* 7/5/99 (G) Vernon Vipers BCHL 31 23W 5L 1.87 .931
Playoffs 10 6W 4L 2.46 .929
Ryan Verrier* 11/19/98 (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 56 4 14 18 60
Playoffs 2 0 0 0 0
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn 9/11/99 (D) Des Moines Buccaneers USHL 6 0 0 0 0
Sioux City Musketeers USHL 32 1 5 6 17
Nolan McElhaney 4/22/99 (D) Cushing Academy NE Prep 31 13 34 47 32
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 2
EMass Senators 18U Nationals 5 3 1 4 26
Chase Stevenson 1/13/99 (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 40 12 11 23 25
Playoffs 4 1 0 1 2
2019 or '20 Commits
Connor Sweeney 5/5/00 (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep 29 8 14 22 10
Playoffs 3 1 2 3 0
Marek Wazny 2/21/00 (F) Burlington Cougars OJHL 37 7 17 24 28
Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
2020 Commits
Zack Jones 3/31/01 (F) Boston Bandits USPHL 16U 26 22 31 53 20
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 0
NCDC 10 1 0 1 0
Tim Stützle 1/15/02 (F) Mannheim Young Eagles DNL U19 25 18 29 47 8
Playoffs 5 4 4 8 2
MacPhr 2 1 3 4 0
Team Germany U18 Intl 2 2 0 2 4
U18 Worlds 5 1 3 4 2
Team Germany U16 Intl 6 4 3 7 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

2018 Incoming Class:

~ Ty Taylor, winner of the 2018 British Columbia Hockey League "Top Goaltender Award", signed his National Letter of Intent with UNH in mid-April. He, along with Joey Cipollone (F), Angus Crookshank (F), Eric Esposito (F), Jackson Pierson (F), and Ryan Verrier (D), have signed an NLI with UNH and plan to enroll in the Fall of 2018.

~ At the end of March, informed sources told me that the commitment between UNH and defenseman Corson Green had ended. To date, there have been no announcements of Green committing to another NCAA school or junior hockey team. He started the 2017-18 USHL season with the Sioux Falls Stampede and finished with the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In a combined 49 games, Green scored 2 goals and 7 assists.

NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings:

~ On April 16th, the NHL Central Scouting Service released it's Final Rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. 2018 UNH commit Angus Crookshank was ranked the #135 North American (NA) Skater. In April, 2017, UNH defenseman Benton Maass was ranked the #159 North American skater and he ended up drafted #182 overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2017 NHL Draft (28th selection in 6th Round). Fellow UNH defenseman Max Gildon was ranked the #54 NA skater and was drafted 66th overall by the Florida Panthers (4th in 3rd Round). Therefore, Crookshank has a good chance of being drafted in the 5th, 6th or 7th round this June.

~ 2018 UNH commit Ty Taylor was ranked the 25th North American goalie by the NHL Central Scouting.


~ 2020 UNH Commit Tim Stützle was the youngest member of Team Germany U18 in the 2018 U18 IIHF World Championship held in Riga, Latvia in early April. The 16-year-old forward scored a goal and 3 assists in 5 games as Team Germany won 4 games and lost 1. They finished in 2nd place, behind Latvia, in Division I Group A.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2