Friday, June 10, 2022

UNH All-American Tyler Kelleher Continues Success in Top European Leagues

Tyler Kelleher
Enters 6th Pro Season


Former UNH star Tyler Kelleher topped off his college career by scoring 24 goals and 39 assists in 40 games as a senior. It earned him All-American honors and membership in the UNH Wildcat Century Club (167 total points, 57 goals, 110 assists). He's currently the 16th leading scorer in UNH men's hockey history.

After stops with the Milwaukee Admirals (32 games, 7 goals, 7 assists) and Texas Stars (13 games, 2 goals, 1 assist) as an AHL rookie, Kelleher sought to increase playing time and advance his professional development in Germany's top pro league - the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). The Hockey Writers website ranks DEL the 6th best European pro league and 7th best in the world.

Playing right wing for ERC Ingolstadt in the 2018-19 season, Kelleher tallied 13 goals and 25 assists in 50 regular season games for the 5th place Panthers. In the DEL quarterfinals, he lead the team in scoring with 8 assists.

Over the last three seasons, Kelleher enjoyed success in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), the top professional league in Sweden. The SHL is considered the third best ice hockey league in the world, behind the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL, based primarily in Russia) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, Kelleher was the top scorer on IK Oskarshamn. He scored 28 points (13 Goals, 15 Assists) in 51 games and Oskarsham finished in 13th place in the SHL. He followed up with 29 points (8 Goals, 21 Assists, 48 Games) in 2020-21 for 11th place Oskarsham.

Last July, Kelleher signed a contract with Rögle BK, one of the top teams in the SHL. The move offered him a realistic chance to compete in the SHL Playoffs for the first time in his career. Through the first 34 games of the 2021-22 SHL season, Rögle BK was in first place and Kelleher had tallied 4 goals and 6 assists.

On February 22nd, Kelleher and Rögle agreed to break their contract and he quickly signed with HV71 in HockeyAllsvenskan based in Jönköping, Sweden, the second tier pro league in Sweden. In the 2020-21 season, HV71 finished in last place in the SHL and was relegated down to HockeyAllsvenskan.

Determined to earn a promotion back to the SHL, HV71 finished the regular season in first place and Kelleher contributed 5 goals and 2 assists over the final 8 games. Kelleher and HV71 dominated the HockeyAllsvenskan Qualification Playoffs. HV71 won all 3 rounds to become the 2021-22 HockeyAllsvenskan Champions. Tyler Kelleher was the 3rd leading scorer in the playoffs with 8 goals, including 3 power play goals, and 7 assists.

In the critical Game 4 of the final round against Björklöven, Kelleher scored the OT game-winner to give HV71 a 3-1 advantage in the series. Here's the video highlight of Tyler's move and shot - a sequence that will look familiar to UNH fans who saw him play in college:



Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Tyler Kelleher, via email, about his 2021-22 season in Sweden and future plans:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on winning the HockeyAllsvenskan Championship with HV71. How does that experience compare with other successes in your hockey career?

Tyler Kelleher: It was up there in the top moments of my career. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Definitely something I’ll look back on with great memories when I’m older.

Mike Lowry: You began last season with Rogle BK, one of the top teams in the SHL, the top tier pro league in Sweden. However, your contract with them ended in February. Were you surprised and/or disappointed with that development?

Tyler Kelleher: No I was not disappointed. I wasn’t getting a lot of ice time. I knew I wanted more ice and to have more fun playing again. So the opportunity came to help HV71 promote back to the SHL and I was very eager to get going.

Lowry: You quickly signed with HV71 in the HockeyAllsvenskan, the second tier pro league in Sweden. How did that happen?

Kelleher: I received a call from their GM and he just told me he wanted me to come and be a part of history with their club. The Rögle GM was very nice and told me I could either stay with Rögle or go to HV71 and that it was my choice. So I decided to go.

Lowry: Did you notice any differences in the style and/or quality of play between the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan?

Kelleher: There were a few differences. The SHL is definitely a more structured league with a lot more team systems. I was very surprised by how great of a league the second league in Sweden is. It is a top league in every way possible.

Lowry: Throughout the HockeyAllsvenskan Playoffs, you rose to the occasion scoring 8 goals and 7 assists in 15 games and becoming the third leading scorer in the postseason. Did the goal of earning promotion back up to the SHL provide extra motivation?

Kelleher: Yes I absolutely had more motivation. Earning promotion was a huge thing to the town and to the all of the fans. It is such an amazing town with great fans. It was a very special moment for everyone to win the championship and earn a spot in the SHL.

Lowry: Do you plan to play with HV71 next season?

Kelleher: I will be going to Tappara in the Finnish League. They won the championship last season so I am excited to get going there.

NOTE: Tappara (Finnish for battle axe), based in Tampere, Finland, won the 2021-22 championship of Liiga, the top pro league in Finland. Liiga rivals the SHL for designation as the 3rd best pro hockey league in the world.



Pro Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
Tyler Kelleher (F) 2022-23 Tappara Liiga
2021-22 HV71 HockeyAllsvenskan 8 5 2 7 0 +7
Qualification 15 8 7 15 6 +4
Rögle BK SHL 34 4 6 10 12 +3
2020-21 IK Oskarshammn SHL 48 8 21 29 12 -4
2019-20 IK Oskarshammn SHL 51 13 15 28 24 -13
2018-19 ERC Ingolstadt DEL 50 13 25 38 48 -6
Playoffs 7 0 8 8 8 0
2017-18 Texas Stars AHL 13 2 1 3 14 -2
Milwaukee Admirals AHL 26 7 5 12 10 -9
2017-18 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 6 0 2 2 2 0
UNH Hockey East 40 24 39 63 32 +7


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

UNH Roster Changes for 2022-23: Incoming Players

In "UNH Roster Changes for 2022-23: Outgoing Players", I explained how roster spots open up at the end of a season and why I think there is currently 13 open roster slots available for incoming players to fill for the 2022-23 season: One slot for a goalie, 4 for defensemen and 8 for forwards. This is based on the presumption the 2022-23 roster will have the same overall makeup as 2021-22 - 29 players overall, 3 goalies, 9 defensemen and 17 forwards.

There are two types of players who will earn a spot on next season's UNH men's hockey team. One type are transfer students, currently on the roster of other NCAA Division I or III teams, who have verbally committed to UNH through the transfer portal. The second is the traditional source of young prospects who have graduated from high school and have committed to study and play at UNH.

Historically, the UNH men's hockey roster for the coming season is announced by the UNH head coach sometime in the summer. For example, coach Mike Souza announced the 2021-22 incoming freshman class on July 6, 2021. On August 13, 2021 he announced the addition of one more freshman plus two transfer student-athletes which rounded out the final roster.

As I write this article on April 20th, it's important to remember that my projections on which transfer players and pre-college hockey commits will make the final 2022-23 roster is only a prediction based on currently available information. For each player I identify, I'll describe some of the circumstances which may arise between now and the official roster announcement that would result in the projected player not making the 2022-23 roster.

Transfer Players Committed to UNH

Any Division I or III hockey player with one or more years of athletic eligibility remaining has the option to utilize the one-time transfer exception. The "student-athlete" must meet the following criteria:
~ Transfering from a 4-year collegiate institution to an NCAA Division I school.
~ Leaving their current 4-year school academically eligible.
~ Have not transferred previously from another 4-year institution.
~ Certify in writing, along with their new head coach, they did not have direct or indirect communication with the new school’s athletics staff prior to entering the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Last week, three transfer players announced they had committed to play for UNH next season. They are:
Nico DeVita (5/24/2001, Freshman Defenseman/Ferris State)
Jack Babbage (8/3/2000, Freshman Defenseman/Quinnipiac)
Ryan Black (3/24/1999, Senior Forward/Babson College)

Back in February, forward Conor Lovett (DOB: 4/7/2001) committed to UNH. He entered the transfer portal last May at the end his freshman season with Merrimack College. This season, Lovett is back playing junior hockey with Cedar Rapids (USHL).

My understanding is a transferring hockey player and the school make a verbal commitment to each other. The commitment does not become official until the player enrolls at the receiving school and attends classes. In addition, either the player or the hockey coach can terminate the verbal commitment at any point up until the time of enrollment.

With those caveats in mind, I project that DeVita, Babbage, Black and Lovett will be on the 2022-23 UNH roster. That would mean 2 of the 4 projected, open slots for defensemen and 2 of the 8 projected slots for forwards would be filled.

Junior Players Committed to UNH

There's a pool of 10 junior players who I think are under consideration for roster spots at UNH next season. These 10 had verbally committed to UNH over the last few years and subsequently signed a National Letter of Intent.

The NLI is a written agreement in which the college or university commits an athletic scholarship for one academic year and the student-athlete agrees to attend the school full-time for that year. NCAA Division I ice hockey is an "equivalency sport" meaning an athletic scholarship can be either a full or partial one. Each DI program is allowed a total of 18 full athletic scholarships each season, to be divided and distributed as the coaching staff sees fit. It is my understanding that players who sign an NLI are not promised a roster spot for the following season.

Here's the list of 10 UNH commits who have signed an NLI:
GOALIE (1)
Tyler Muszelik (7/1/2004, Long Valley, NJ 6'3" 195 lbs.)

DEFENSEMEN (3)
Cade Penney (3/23/2001, West Chester, PA 6'0" 165 lbs.)
Damien Carfagna (12/12/2002, Wood Ridge, NJ 5'11" 175 lbs.)
Brendan Fitzgerald (10/26/2003, North Reading, MA 5'11" 195 lbs.)

FORWARDS (6)
Kristaps Skrastins (11/20/2001, Riga, Latvia 5'11" 180 lbs.)
Jake Dunlap (12/5/2001, Windham, NH 5'9" 170 lbs.)
Morgan Winters (12/8/2001, Osprey, FL 6'0" 174 lbs.)
Cy LeClerc (8/17/2002, Brentwood, NH 5'9" 175 lbs.)
JP Turner (1/31/2003, East Falmouth, MA 6'0" 195 lbs.)
Stiven Sardarian (2/7/2003, St. Petersburg, Russia 6'1" 157 lbs.)

Which NLI Commits Will Make the UNH 2022-23 Roster?

The 10 NLI Commits are at various stages of their junior hockey career. Junior hockey leagues in North American include players who range in age from 16 years old to 20. Players who are older than 20 years old as of the 31st day of December of the current season are ineligible to play junior hockey. That means any current junior player with a birthdate in 2001 will have no junior eligibility left at the end of this season. This is a major factor in projecting which UNH NLI commits will make the 2022-23 roster.

NLI Commits Who Will Age Out of Junior Hockey

There are 4 UNH NLI commits with 2001 birth years who will have no more years of junior eligibility at the end of the 2021-22 season. They are:
~ Cade Penney (Defenseman, Surrey Eagles/BCHL)
~ Kristaps Skrastins (Forward, Amarillo Wranglers/NAHL)
~ Jake Dunlap (Forward, Madison Capitols/USHL)
~ Morgan Winters (Forward, Omaho Lancers/USHL)

It is unusual for an NLI between a player and the school to be voided. Occasionally, a student-athlete will not meet the academic requirements of the NCAA Eligibility Center or the college/university. That can make the NLI null and void. Sometimes, the student-athlete will request a release from the NLI, due to extenuating circumstances, but the school has the authority to reject it. For example, if the school loses it's hockey head coach, the incoming player can request a release from the NLI but the school is not obliged to grant the release.

Since most NLI's are honored by the student-athlete and the college/university, I project Penney, Skrastins, Dunlap and Winters will be on the 2022-23 UNH roster. That would mean an increase in the number of filled defenseman slots from 2 to 3 (i.e., Babbage, Devita, & Penney) and an increase of filled forward slots from 2 to 5 (i.e., Black, Dunlap, Lovett, Skrastins & Winters).

If those projections turn out to be accurate, then there would be open roster slots available for 1 goalie, 1 defenseman, and 3 forwards. These openings would be available for the remaining UNH NLI commits who won't age out of junior hockey at the end of the current, 2021-22 season.

NLI Commits Who Have 1 or More Years of Junior Eligibility

The UNH NLI commits who were born in 2002, 2003, and 2004 will have 1, 2, and 3 years respectively of junior eligibilty remaining at the end of this season. If, for any reason, any one of them does not make the 2022-23 UNH roster, he would have the option of returning to junior hockey and enrolling into UNH for the 2023-24 season.

GOALIE:
I project the goalie slot will go to Tyler Muszelik. He is the highly-skilled goaltender for the elite USA Hockey National Team Development Program and the only committed goalie who has signed an NLI with UNH.

FORWARDS:
According to my current projections, there would be 3 remaining roster slots available to forwards on the 2022-23 UNH team. As it so happens, there would be 3 NLI committed forwards left to fill them:
~ Cy LeClerc (8/17/02, Janesville Jets/NAHL)
~ JP Turner (1/31/03, Fargo Force/USHL)
~ Stiven Sardarian (2/7/03, Youngstown Phantoms/USHL)

As I explained earlier, it is unusual for an NLI to be nullified. For that reason, I think it's unlikely to happen with these 3 forwards.

There is one possible event that would likely effect the availability of these 3 roster openings for forwards. If an additional transfer forward, beyond Conor Lovett and Ryan Black, commits to UNH for next season, then one of these forward slots could become unavailable to one of the NLI committed forwards. A 4th transfer forward could put another forward roster slot out of reach to the NLI commit.

DEFENSEMEN:
Finally, my projections would allow for 1 remaining roster slot available to a defenseman on the 2022-23 UNH team. There are 2 remaining NLI defensemen who could vie for it:
~ Damien Carfagna (12/12/02, Sioux City Musketeers/USHL, 2 years of junior hockey experience)
~ Brendan Fitzgerald (10/26/03, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders/USHL, 1 year of junior hockey experience)

The same factors (e.g., voided NLI; additional transfer players) could effect the availablity of open roster spots for defensemen.

SUMMARY

If nothing happens to alter the projected openings on the 2022-23 UNH men's hockey roster, between now and when the final roster is announced this summer, then I think the incoming players will be (in alphabetical order):

GOALIE
G1) Tyler Muszelik

FORWARDS
F1) Ryan Black (Transfer)
F2) Jake Dunlap (NLI Commit)
F3) Cy LeClerc (NLI Commit)
F4) Conor Lovett (Transfer)
F5) Stiven Sardarian (NLI Commit)
F6) Kristaps Skrastins (NLI Commit)
F7) JP Turner (NLI Commit)
F8) Morgan Winters (NLI Commit)

DEFENSEMEN
D1) Jack Babbage (Transfer)
D2) Nico DeVita (Transfer)
D3) Cade Penney (NLI Commit)
D4a) Damien Carfagna (NLI Commit)
OR
D4b) Brendan Fitzgerald (NLI Commit)


Monday, April 18, 2022

UNH Roster Changes for 2022-23: Outgoing Players

Changes in NCAA Eligibility & Transfer Rules

In seasons prior to 2020-21, player turnover from the end of one season and beginning of the next was straightforward. Graduating seniors plus underclassmen turning pro would leave and incoming freshmen would backfill the open roster spots. It got more complicated during the 2020-21 season when the NCAA implemented two new rules.

In the summer and fall 2020, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was causing great uncertainty for college athletes. Many were trying to decide whether to use a year of eligibility to play and risk either catching the virus and/or playing an abbreviated season due to game cancellations. The NCAA provided relief in October, 2020 when it implemented the "one-time rule" for Division 1 athletes. It provided one extra year of eligibility to play college sports for all members of the 2020-21 teams. For example, a senior hockey player gained the option to play one extra season after graduation.

Then, in April, 2021, the NCAA implemented the "one-time transfer waiver rule". Players who want to transfer from one Division 1 hockey school to another no longer have to sit out a season. In effect, free agency was created in college athletics.

The administrative mechanism for processing a request to transfer to another Division 1 hockey program is the "transfer portal". It includes a database of all players seeking to transfer. Now, if a D1 hockey player wants to pursue a transfer to another college hockey program, he first needs to provide written notification of his request to enter the "transfer portal" to his current school's NCAA compliance administrator. That request must be submitted by May 1st.

There's a level of uncertainty facing a player considering entrance into the transfer portal. For example, he is not allowed to contact the coach of a program he might be interested in until after officially entering the portal. Another consideration is once he enters the portal, the coach of the program where he has played is not obliged to keep the roster slot open or maintain the athletic scholarship for the coming season.

Outgoing UNH Players from 2021-22 Roster

There are several ways a player on the 2021-22 roster becomes an outgoing player. One is a 5th-year player who has used up his 4 years of standard eligibility plus the extra year of eligibility provided by the one-time rule. Goalie Mike Robinson and forward Eric MacAdams meet this criterion.

Another criterion is a graduating senior who turned professional. Defensemen Will MacKinnon (Reading Royals/ECHL) and Ryan Verrier (Worcester Railers/ECHL), and forwards Filip Engaras (Bakersfield Condors/AHL) and Tyler Ward (Maine Mariners/Kansas City Mavericks/ECHL) are in this category. In addition, Joe Cipollone signed an amateur tryout contract (ATO) and played 4 games with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) before being released. A graduating senior who chose to move on from hockey is also considered an outgoing player. Defenseman Drew Hickey plans to enter Law School.

Another category includes graduating seniors who entered the transfer portal and earned a verbal committment with another Division 1 hockey program. To date, forward Jackson Pierson has committed to Notre Dame and Eric Esposito has committed to Mercyhurst College.

The final group of 2021-22 players who are considered outgoing are those who have entered the transfer portal and not yet secured a verbal committment from another college hockey program. There are two forwards - Lucas Herrmann and Carsen Richels in this category. In addition, there is graduating senior Alec Semandel, a defenseman, who has not yet obtained a verbal committment from another college program. Hypothetically, any one of these players may be allowed to return to play at UNH next season but I think that is unlikely.

To summarize, here is the current list of outgoing players:
GOALIE (1)
Mike Robinson

DEFENSEMEN (4)
Will MacKinnon
Ryan Verrier
Drew Hickey
Alec Semandel

FORWARDS (8)
Eric MacAdams
Filip Engaras
Tyler Ward
Joe Cipollone
Jackson Pierson
Eric Esposito
Carsen Richels
Lucas Herrmann

Implications for Potential Incoming Players

The 2021-22 UNH men's hockey roster included 29 players - 3 goalies, 9 defensemen, and 17 forwards. Let's assume the coaching staff keeps the same overall number as well as the number for each category of player for the 2022-23 season. That would mean roster slots for 1 incoming goalie, 4 incoming defensemen, and 8 incoming forwards. As I explained earlier, there are two pools of potential incoming players - potential freshmen and transfers. In my next article, I'll make projections on who the incoming players are likely to be. Within that group, I have varying degrees of confidence about my projections. I will explain that as well. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Game-Winners by Turner, Dunlap, Winters & Skrastins: UNH Commits Update 4-1-2022


JP Turner
2022 UNH Commit

Jake Dunlap
2022 UNH Commit



Morgan Winters
2022 UNH Commit

Kristaps Skrastins
2022 UNH Commit

Game-Winning Goals

The top 2 junior hockey leagues in the United States - United States Hockey League (Tier 1) and North American Hockey League (Tier 2) - are in the home stretch of their regular seasons. The 9 UNH commits playing in the USHL are battling for positions in the playoffs, which begin on April 25th. Same goes for the 3 commits in the NAHL (playoffs start 4/21). Scoring goals, in particular game-winning goals, has become that much more important for the players and their teams. This update features 4 UNH commits who have scored a game-winning goal in recent games.

~ JP Turner (DOB: 1/31/03), the 6'0", 195 lbs., right-shot center/forward from East Falmouth, Massachusetts, has scored 8 goals and 5 assists in 16 games since his trade from Sioux Falls to the Fargo Force in early February. Fargo is currently 5th place in the USHL Western Conference. The top 6 teams in each conference qualify for the USHL playoffs. A 4th or 5th place finish will earn home-ice in the best-of-3 opening round.

In the March 20th matchup between the Force and Stampede, Turner's former team, he scored the game-winner in the second period. Turner entered the offensive zone, charged down the slot, received a centering pass, and beat the Sioux Falls' goalie under the blocker arm. The goal stood as the winner as Fargo went on to win 3-1. Here's JP Turner's second game-winning goal since he joined the USHL last season:



~ Jake Dunlap (DOB: 12/5/01) the 5'9", 170 lbs., left-shot forward from Windham, New Hampshire, has scored 21 goals and 18 assists in 50 games with the Madison Capitols. He's been hot over the last 5 games scoring 5 goals and 3 assists. Madison is battling to maintain 5th place and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the USHL Western Conference playoffs.

On March 19th, Dunlap scored the game-winning goal early in the 2nd period as the Capitols downed the Green Bay Gamblers. It was his 3rd game-winner of the season which is tied for 8th in the USHL. The goal came on the power play as Dunlap initiated and finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play. It gave Madison a 4-0 lead and they went on to win 7-3. Here's his game-winning goal:



~ Morgan Winters (DOB: 12/8/01), the 6'0", 174 lbs., left-shot center/forward from Osprey, Florida, has tallied 12 goals and 20 assists in 47 games of his final season in junior hockey. In the 35 games since his trade from the Youngstown Phantoms to the Omaha Lancers, he's scored 9 goals and 15 assists. In recent weeks, Omaha clinched a USHL playoff berth and currently is in 4th place in the Western Conference. If the Lancers maintain that position, they'll earn a bye in the opening round.

On March 12th, Winters helped the Lancers clinch a playoff berth by scoring two goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Midway through the 3rd period, the teams were tied 2-2. Winters won the faceoff in the offensive zone, skated to the slot, and redirected a shot from the point to beat the Black Hawks goalie. It was Winters second game-winning goal of the season. Here's his goal:



~ Kristaps Skrastins (DOB: 11/20/01), the 5'11", 180 lbs., right-shot center/forward from Riga, Latvia, has scored the 3rd most goals (33) and 4th most points (66) in the North American Hockey League. His 9 game-winning goals are the most in the NAHL. With only 6 games remaining in the regular season, Skrastins and the Amarillo Wranglers are fighting to move up to 4th place in the Southern Division and earn a slot in the NAHL playoffs. Currently in 6th place, Amarillo trails 4th place Shreveport Mudbugs by 10 points. If they don't move up to 4th place, their season will be over. Needless to say, the Wranglers have needed Skrastins to step up as the regular season draws to a close, and he has.

On March 19th, Skrastins lead Amarillo to a 5-3 win over the El Paso Rhinos by posting 2 goals and 3 assists. With a minute left in the 2nd period, he broke down the left wing on a 3-on-2 break, buried a cross-ice pass, and gave the Wranglers a 4-2 lead. It ended up being the game-winner. Late in the game, Krastins iced the game with a short-handed, empty net goal. Here's his game-winning goal:



2021-22 Statistics


Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2022 Commits
Damien Carfagna* 12/12/02 (D) 4.0 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 11 0 4 4 3 +6
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 40 5 32 37 39 +8
Jake Dunlap* 12/5/01 (F) 3.75 Madison Capitols USHL 50 21 18 39 38 +11
Brendan Fitzgerald* 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 48 2 20 22 56 -3
Cy LeClerc* 8/17/02 (F) 3.75 Janesville Jets NAHL 53 30 38 68 6 +23
Conor Lovett 4/7/01 (F) 3.75 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 51 13 12 25 89 -7
Tyler Muszelik* 7/1/04 (G) 4.0 US National U18 Overall 30 20 5 2 3.09 .894
Team USA U-18 USHL 15 9 3 2 3.26 .895
NCAA Exh. 11 8 2 0 3.00 .896
INTL 3 3 0 0 1.67 .942
Cade Penney* 3/23/01 (D) 3.75 Surrey Eagles BCHL 36 1 6 7 14 -
Madison Capitols USHL 8 0 5 5 8 +3
Stiven Sardarian* 2/7/03 (F) 4.0 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 36 6 12 18 6 -4
Kristaps Skrastins* 11/20/01 (F) 3.75 Amarillo Wranglers NAHL 53 33 33 66 69 +9
JP Turner* 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Fargo Force USHL 16 8 5 13 4 +8
Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 31 3 2 5 24 -7
Morgan Winters* 12/8/01 (F) 3.5 Omaha Lancers USHL 35 9 15 24 24 -2
Youngstown Phantoms USHL 12 3 5 8 16 -1
2022 or '23 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL 17 7 5 0 3.99 .888
Northeast Generals NAHL 3 1 1 0 2.76 .910
Aberdeen Wings NAHL 2 2 0 0 3.00 .872
2023 Commits
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 New Jersey Titans NAHL 49 7 23 30 10 +9
2023 or '24 Commits
Ryan Conmy 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Bishop Kearney Selects 18U 18U AAA 33 27 23 50 0 -
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 NV River Rats U18 18U AAA 17 1 9 10 - -
Avon Old Farms NE Prep 27 4 12 16 2 -
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Madison Capitols USHL 14 1 1 2 6 -1
Chicago Fury 18U 18U AAA 33 26 19 45 38 -
T1EHL 18U 10 7 1 8 12 -
MES 18U 12 11 6 17 6 -
Connor MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 47 27 30 57 12 -
Ryan MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) 3.75 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 47 14 39 51 6 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2022 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2022. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ 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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

UNH Commit Ryan MacPherson: A Smart, Puck-Moving Center

Ryan MacPherson
2023 or '24 UNH Commit
"A smart center, (Ryan) MacPherson moves the puck quickly to his wingers in his own zone. He is slippery in the offensive zone, bouncing off checks while maintaining possession of the puck. He has a long skating stride that needs a bit of power to add more speed to his game." Neutral Zone
Ryan MacPherson Forward, 5'11", 180 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
DOB: March 2, 2005 Just Turned 17
2021 OHL Priority Selection: 9th Round (171st Overall) by Ottawa 67's
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Team: Leamington Flyers (GOJHL)
Committed to UNH in February, 2022 at Age 16 years, 11 months.

2021-22 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Ryan MacPherson, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. How did you first become interested in UNH?

Ryan MacPherson: Thank you! I first became interested in UNH after talking to both coach Glenn Stewart and coach Jeff Guiliano about the school and hockey program.

Mike Lowry: What are the main reasons you chose to commit to UNH?

Ryan MacPherson: After visiting the school and talking with the coaches, I instantly had a good connection, felt really comfortable with everyone we met and it just felt like the right place for me. Also, after watching a game and seeing what the atmosphere was like at the Whittemore Center, I could see myself playing for UNH.

Lowry: How important was it to choose the same NCAA school as your twin brother Connor?

Ryan MacPherson: It was really important to choose the same NCAA school as my brother because we agreed that we wanted to still play together. Playing on the same team and line our whole hockey career has really impacted both of us. Having the ability to play on the same team will make the experience much more enjoyable.

Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Ryan MacPherson: We had met with a few other schools, but UNH was the first school where we had an official visit.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for to you enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Ryan MacPherson: Knowing that it’s a big jump from Junior to University hockey, the discussion has centered around us enrolling when we are ready, with the possibility of that being our true freshman year (2023-2024).

Lowry: Which junior league(s) will you consider playing in before you go to UNH?

Ryan MacPherson: At this time, we are focused on our current season with the Leamington Flyers and we will look at options once the season is done. We are open to playing in other leagues (USHL, BCHL), but staying close to home and playing for Leamington again is an option as well.

Lowry: At this stage in your development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Ryan MacPherson: I feel that the main strengths of my game are my playmaking ability and my vision. I’ve established myself as a playmaker that likes to set up my linemates. I also feel like I can see the ice really well, and can get the puck to where the open ice is.

Areas of my game I’m trying to improve are my strength, skating and shot. I feel like no matter what level of hockey you're playing at, you can always work on getting stronger/faster as well as making your shot more deceptive.

Lowry: So far this season, as a center for the Leamington Flyers in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, you’ve scored 13 goals and 37 assists in 45 games. Do you prefer playing center?

Ryan MacPherson: Yes, I prefer playing center. I’ve played center my whole hockey career and I feel like center fits the style of hockey I play.

Lowry: When do you plan to graduate from high school? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Ryan MacPherson: Right now I’m in grade 11, so I will be graduating from high school next year. My academic strengths are Math and Biology. I haven’t made a decision on what I want to take when I enroll at UNH, but I’m definitely interested in either Business or Kinesiology.

Neutral Zone Scouting Report

Alliance Bantam Showcase, Essex, ON: Top 85, October, 2019
"A smart center, (Ryan) MacPherson moves the puck quickly to his wingers in his own zone. He is slippery in the offensive zone, bouncing off checks while maintaining possession of the puck. He has a long skating stride that needs a bit of power to add more speed to his game."

Youth Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Ryan MacPherson  (F) 2021-22 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 45 13 37 50 6
2020-21 Sun County Panthers U16 AAA Alliance U16 0 0 0 0 0
2019-20 Sun County Panthers U16 AAA Alliance U16 7 1 1 2 0
Playoffs 1 0 0 0 0

UNH Commit Connor MacPherson: A High-Scoring Winger

Connor MacPherson
2023 or '24 UNH Commit


Connor MacPherson Forward, 6'1", 178 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
DOB: March 2, 2005 Just Turned 17
2021 OHL Priority Selection: 10th Round (188th Overall) by Ottawa 67's
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars
Current Team: Leamington Flyers (GOJHL)
Committed to UNH in February, 2022 at Age 16 years, 11 months.

2021-22 Highlight Reel

Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Connor MacPherson, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry: Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. How did you first become interested in UNH?

Connor MacPherson: Thank you, I first became interested in UNH when Coach Glenn Stewart came down to one of our games and had dinner with us afterward. He talked to us about the school and their team and I found it really interesting.

Mike Lowry: What are the main reasons you chose to commit to UNH?

Connor MacPherson: I chose to go to UNH because I felt like I really connected with the coaching staff, they are the type of people who I want to play for. Also, I really liked the school and the facilities that they have at UNH, it felt like a place where I could spend my university years. Another reason I chose to commit to UNH is the atmosphere at their games, I love the energy in the building.

Lowry: How important was it to choose the same NCAA school as your twin brother Ryan?

Connor MacPherson: It was very important to me that Ryan and I were to go to the same NCAA school. We've been playing together for over a decade and we really compliment each other on the ice. Many people thought we wouldn't be able to play together again so I'm grateful that we proved them wrong and get to play together for 4 more years.

Lowry: What other college programs did you consider during the recruiting process? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Connor MacPherson: UNH was the first school that invited us out for an official visit and offered us. After the official visit, we felt like we didn't need to wait for any other schools to reach out because we really felt like UNH was the best place for us.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for to you enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Connor MacPherson: The coaches said they can see us coming in right away but told us if we feel like we need another year of junior to develop that it'll be alright with them. They said they want us coming in when we feel ready.

Lowry: Which junior league(s) will you consider playing in before you go to UNH?

Connor MacPherson: We'll consider all of the tier 2 junior A leagues across Ontario as well as the GOJHL which is the league we're currently playing in. We've also thought about the USHL. We just want to make sure wherever we play before we enroll at UNH we are getting developed as a player and playing against good players.

Lowry: At this stage in your development, what are the main strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Connor MacPherson: Some of my main strengths consist of my hockey IQ, playmaking skills, and scoring ability. Something that I could work on is my physicality.

Lowry: So far this season, as a right winger for the Leamington Flyers in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, you’ve scored 26 goals and 29 assists in 45 games. Do you prefer playing winger?

Connor MacPherson: Yes, growing up I was one of few right-handed forwards on my youth teams so right away I was put on the wing so now I'm just so used to wing that I wouldn't want to play any other position.

Lowry: When do you plan to graduate from high school? What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Connor MacPherson: I plan on graduating from high school in 2023. I would say my academic strengths are in the sciences and Phys. ed/health. I'm still not sure what I want to major in yet but right now I am thinking of either Kinesiology or Business.

Youth Hockey Statistics

Player Season Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Connor MacPherson  (F) 2021-22 Leamington Flyers GOJHL 45 26 29 55 12
2020-21 Sun County Panthers U16 AAA Alliance U16 0 0 0 0 0
2019-20 Sun County Panthers U16 AAA Alliance U16 7 2 0 2 2
Playoffs 3 0 1 1 0

Friday, March 11, 2022

Spotlight on Conor Lovett, MacPherson Twins: UNH Commits Update 3-11-2022

Conor Lovett
2022 UNH Commit
Connor MacPherson
2024 UNH Commit
Ryan MacPherson
2024 UNH Commit

Newest UNH Commits

~ Conor Lovett (DOB: 4/7/01), the 5'11", 203 lbs., right-shot forward from Franklin, Massachusetts, is a reliable, two-way center who plays with pace. He committed to UNH on February 16th. Last season, as a true freshman at Merrimack College, Lovett scored 2 goals against Northeastern, 1 goal and assist against UNH, and 1 assist against Boston College. He entered the NCAA transfer portal last May.

Lovett ended up playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL this season. So far, in 43 games, he has tallied 12 goals, including 7 power play goals and 1 short-handed goal, plus 9 assists. This video highlight shows 4 of his goals in February. In each, Lovett accelerates quickly to the net and buries his chances:



~ Connor MacPherson and Ryan MacPherson (DOB: 3/2/05), twin brothers from Tecumseh, Ontario who just turned 17, committed to UNH on February 17th. Connor is a 5'11", 176 lbs., right-shot winger and Ryan is a 5'11", 180 lbs., left-shot center. They play for the Leamington Flyers in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. GOJHL teams have no more than a few 2005 birth year players and most players have '01 or '02 birth years.

Connor MacPherson has scored 21 goals, including 8 power play goals, and 24 assists. Ryan MacPherson has tallied 11 goals and 32 assists, including 9 power play assists. Both have played in 38 games. Ryan is tied for 5th in the league for most assists and Connor is tied for 8th for most goals. These video highlights show the MacPherson twins teaming up for 3 of their goals in February and March. In all 3, Ryan is the playmaker and Connor the goal scorer:

2021-22 Statistics


Player NZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2022 Commits
Nicolas Ardanaz* 5/30/02 (D) 3.75 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 46 3 23 26 20 -
Damien Carfagna* 12/12/02 (D) 4.0 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 4 0 1 1 0 +1
Green Bay Gamblers USHL 40 5 32 37 39 +8
Jake Dunlap* 12/5/01 (F) 3.75 Madison Capitols USHL 44 17 15 32 34 +7
John Evans 4/8/02 (F) 4.0 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 40 16 26 42 6 -
Cy LeClerc* 8/17/02 (F) 3.75 Janesville Jets NAHL 47 28 31 59 6 +28
Conor Lovett 4/7/01 (F) 3.75 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 43 12 9 21 81 -7
Tyler Muszelik* 7/1/04 (G) 4.0 US National U18 Overall 23 14 4 2 3.08 .894
Team USA U-18 USHL 8 3 2 2 3.79 .882
NCAA Exh. 11 8 2 0 3.00 .896
INTL 3 3 0 0 1.67 .942
Cade Penney* 3/23/01 (D) 3.75 Surrey Eagles BCHL 32 1 5 6 10 -
Madison Capitols USHL 8 0 5 5 8 +3
Stiven Sardarian 2/7/03 (F) 4.0 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 29 4 10 14 6 -4
Kristaps Skrastins* 11/20/01 (F) 3.75 Amarillo Wranglers NAHL 47 30 26 56 61 +6
JP Turner* 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Fargo Force USHL 9 5 4 9 2 +6
Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 31 3 2 5 24 -7
Morgan Winters* 12/8/01 (F) 3.5 Omaha Lancers USHL 28 7 14 21 16 -2
Youngstown Phantoms USHL 12 3 5 8 16 -1
2022 or '23 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL 16 7 5 0 3.85 .892
Northeast Generals NAHL 3 1 1 0 2.76 .910
Aberdeen Wings NAHL 2 2 0 0 3.00 .872
Brendan Fitzgerald* 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 40 2 16 18 54 +2
2023 Commits
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 New Jersey Titans NAHL 45 7 20 27 10 +7
2023 or '24 Commits
Ryan Conmy 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Bishop Kearney Selects 18U 18U AAA 26 23 19 42 0 -
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 NV River Rats U18 18U AAA 17 1 9 10 - -
Avon Old Farms NE Prep 27 4 12 16 2 -
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Madison Capitols USHL 11 1 1 2 6 -1
Chicago Fury 18U 18U AAA 33 26 19 45 38 -
T1EHL 18U 10 7 1 8 12 -
MES 18U 12 11 6 17 6 -
2024 Commits
Connor MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) NR Leamington Flyers GOJHL 36 21 22 43 12 -
Ryan MacPherson 3/2/05 (F) NR Leamington Flyers GOJHL 36 10 30 40 6 -
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating
NOTE
The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2022 Commits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2022. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ 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.
Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2