Saturday, October 21, 2017

UNH Plays of the Game: UNH 6 CC 3

UNH's Max Gildon
1st NCAA Hat Trick


UNH's 6-3 victory over Colorado College (CC) last night marks the first time the program has won their first 5 games since the 1993-94 season. That team was captained by current Associate Head Coach Glenn Stewart. Freshman defensemen Max Gildon, a third-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers, lead the team with his first NCAA hat trick.

Many ingredients go into a win - goals, saves, team defense, coaching decisions, etc. Here's a video review of what I believe were the key plays of the game.

Play of the Game: Max Gildon

Every hockey game has a turning point, often several. It's a key play at a critical moment which shifts the momentum toward the win. In the UNH win over CC, I think the key play of the game came early in the third period. UNH was leading 4-2 but CC had outshot them 32-25 and was pressing to get to within one goal. The Tigers broke out of their zone on a 3-on-2 break but Gildon stole the puck in the neutral zone, carried it back into the CC end, and dumped it off to the UNH forwards. Moments later, Brendan van Riemsdyk set up Liam Blackburn for UNH's 5th goal and a 3 goal lead.

Goal of the Game: Max Gildon

With under 6 minutes remaining in the second period, freshman Max Gildon completed his first NCAA hat trick. Less than 2 minutes before, he had scored his second goal of the game. Gildon joined a 4-on-2 UNH rush through the neutral zone, glided down the left wing, and snapped a wrist shot into the top corner. It was Gildon's fifth goal of the season. He leads UNH in goal-scoring.

Assist of the Game: Chris Miller

Junior forward Chris Miller made an outstanding lead pass to send Brendan van Riemsdyk off on a breakaway. BvR buried a wrister to put UNH ahead 2-0.

Save of the Game: Danny Tirone

Senior goalie Danny Tirone made a season high 45 saves in Game 1 in the Colorado College series. The most outstanding happened early in the second period. At the time, UNH was only ahead 1-0 and was being outshot 20-12.

Hits of the Game: Cefalu & MacAdams

UNH has made good on their preseason goal of playing a more physical game. Two of the best examples from last night happened in rapid succession early in the second period. UNH's fourth line of Frankie Cefalu, Eric MacAdams, and Justin Fregona pressured CC with aggressive forechecking. Cefalu then MacAdams through these checks into the end wall behind the Tigers' goalie:

Loss of the Game: Anthony Wyse

In the press conference after the 6-3 win, Coach Umile said that sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse left the game in the second period and is undergoing the concussion protocal. Here's the collision which may have contributed to Wyse's condition:



UNH will seek to win the sixth consecutive game of the season tonight. They face Colorado College at the Whittemore Center beginning at 7:00.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

UNH Commits Update: October-19-2017

Angus Crookshank
2018 UNH Commit

Player Spotlight - Angus Crookshank

Resilience in the face of adversity. For the second consecutive year, UNH commit Angus Crookshank missed the beginning of the BCHL season due to injury. He broke his collar bone in the first period of the first game of the Langley Rivermen 2016-17 season and missed 28 games. During training camp this summer, he sustained an upper body injury, missed all 6 exhibition games, and the first 8 games of the regular season. Each time, Crookshank returned to the lineup and made an immediate impact. In his first game back in December, 2016, he tallied a goal and an assist. Over the first 8 games, he contributed 3 goals and 6 assists.

This season, Crookshank didn't score in his first game back but the next night, he thrilled the hometown crowd scoring the game-winner against the Coquitlam Express with only 27 seconds left in the third period. In the next game, the centerman scored a first-period goal against Salmon Arm and tied the game with just 4 seconds left in regulation. Langley won in overtime. Last Saturday, in a home game against the Prince George Spruce Kings, Angus put the Rivermen ahead 2-1 in the first period. At the end of regulation, the teams were tied 4-4. Once again, Crookshank scored the game-winning goal, this time with only 22 seconds left in overtime. Here are the video highlights of these exciting goals:



In the 7 games since his return to action, Angus Crookshank has scored 5 goals and 2 assists. His 1.00 points per game is tied for 16th in the British Columbia Hockey League. Angus signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH last November. He is on track to enroll next fall.

2017-18 Statistics

NOTE
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  (F) Junior Bruins NCDC 12 3 12 15 2
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 5 5 1 6 0
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club NCDC 9 0 4 4 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 4 1 0 1 4
Corson Green  (D) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 5 1 0 1 12
2018 or '19 Commits
Ryan Verrier  (D) Green Bay Gamblers USHL 3 0 1 1 2
2019 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Sioux City Musketeers USHL 3 0 0 0 0
2019 or '20 Commits
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep - - - - -
Connor Sweeney  (F) Lawrence Academy NE Prep - - - - -
Marek Wazny  (F) Brookings Blizzard NAHL 7 0 0 0 0
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ For the 2017-18 season, 4 UNH Commits are playing in the United States Hockey League. Defenseman Corson Green, in his second season in the USHL, plays for the Sioux Falls Stampede. Forward Eric Esposito is an Alternate Captain in his third season with the Youngstown Phantoms. Defenseman Ryan Verrier is in his first season with the Green Bay Gamblers. Finally, 18-year-old Lucas Bahn is in his first season with the Green Bay Gamblers.

National Collegiate Development Conference

~ 2018 UNH Commit Joey Cipollone has scored 3 goals and 12 assists over the first 12 games of the NCDC season. The Junior Bruin is tied for 3rd in scoring in the league.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Preview of UNH Freshman Forwards With Mike Souza

UNH Associate Head Coach
Mike Souza
"I'm excited to get going, to get the (freshmen) guys up to speed with their teammates. Hopefully hit the ground running when we play Lowell. I think that the guys are excited just in talking with them. This coaching staff's excited. Hopefully we'll have better results this year than we had last year." Mike Souza, UNH Associate Head Coach
The student-athletes who joined the UNH men's hockey team this season form one of the most talented and interesting freshman classes in recent years. Three players - defensemen Max Gildon (pronounced Gil-DON) and Benton Maass (pronounced Mass), and goalie Mike Robinson - are NHL draft picks. That's the most NHL draftees since the 2003-04 freshman class when John Doherty, Brett Hemingway, Dan Travis, and Daniel Winnik matriculated.

Max Gildon was selected 66th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. Only 3 former UNH defensemen have been drafted higher - Adrien Plavsic (30th, 1988), Rod Langway (36th, 1977), and John Doherty (57th, 2003). Interestingly, former UNH defenseman Brett Pesce, who recently signed a multi-million dollar contract, with the Carolina Hurricanes, was also drafted 66th overall in 2013. Incoming goalie Mike Robinson was the 86th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. That's higher than any former UNH goalie.

Neutral Zone, a top amateur hockey scouting service, ranked the 2017-18 UNH recruiting class as the 8th highest in all of Division I hockey utilizing their measurement of overall quality of recruits. Neutral Zone rated the UNH frosh an average score of 3.93 Stars on a 5-Star scale - a higher overall quality score than all Hockey East programs except Boston University (4.22) and Boston College (4.05). Two UNH freshmen were awarded ratings of 4 stars or above - Max Gildon (4.75 Stars) and Charlie Kelleher (4.25 Stars). On their weighted, algorithm point system, Neutral Zone rated UNH as the 14th best recruiting class in Division I.

The 2021 class is noteworthy for other reasons. Both Gildon and Maass are 18-year-old, "true" freshmen. While it's relatively common for schools such as Boston University (7), Boston College (3), Michigan (3) and Minnesota (4) to have multiple 18-year-olds, this is unusual for UNH. Since 2000, UNH has had two 18-year-old freshmen only three times (Kolanas, Anderson 02-03; JvR, Vanek 07-08; Eiserman, Foegele 14-15).

The 2017-18 season also features the continuation of UNH family traditions. Charlie Kelleher is the younger brother of All-American and Hobey Baker finalist Tyler Kelleher. The Kellehers are the fourth set of brothers to play for UNH since 1998. They join Darren and Jeff Haydar, Colin and Brett Hemingway, and James, Trevor and Brendan van Riemsdyk.

Finally, the 2017-18 freshman class bares the distinct mark of the Mike Souza-Glenn Stewart recruiting era. Associate Head Coach Souza, who will succeed Head Coach Dick Umile after this season, joined the UNH staff in August, 2015. Associate Head Coach Stewart came on board in August, 2014. Of the seven-member freshmen class announced in June, five verbally committed to UNH after Souza and Stewart returned to their alma mater.

Prior to the preseason game against St. Francis Xavier, I sat down with Mike Souza to discuss the six freshmen on the current 2017-18 roster. His observations on the four freshman defenders - goalie Mike Robinson and defensemen Max Gildon, Benton Maass, and James Miller were included in my recent article "Preview of UNH Freshman Defenders With Mike Souza".

Here is the same type of preview of the two freshman forwards on the current 2017-18 roster - Charlie Kelleher and Eric MacAdams. In addition to Coach Souza's thoughts and observations on Kelleher and MacAdams, each section provides background information on the player including a link (highlighted in orange) to the player's profile and statistics from eliteprospects.com, a link to an article announcing the player's verbal commitment to UNH, and video highlights from the player's 2016-17 season.

CHARLIE KELLEHER

Charlie Kelleher
Forward, 5'8", 185 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
DOB: 2-4-1997 Turned 20 in February
Last Team: Sioux City Musketeers, Tri-City Storm
United States Hockey League
Commit to UNH: August, 2012 at Age 15 years, 6 months.
Neutral Zone Rating: 4.25 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Charlie Kelleher is 5'8", 185 lbs., bigger than his brother Tyler who’s listed at 5'6", 161. They're both from Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Charlie turned 20 in February, and, of course, last year he had a big season, his only season out in the USHL. He started off with the Tri-City Storm, and ended up with the Sioux City Musketeers, and he got all the way to the USHL Finals.

Charlie verbally committed to UNH quite a bit before your time, back in August 2012, and he was 15 and a half at that point.

Coach Mike Souza:: Wow.

Mike Lowry: Yeah. So he was an early commit. In terms of skill level, what do you see? What do you really like about Charlie?

Coach Souza: He's got really good hockey sense. He's good on the offensive side. You mentioned before he played for really good coaches leading up to this year with Peter Masters, with the Jr. Bruins, and Billy Muckalt and Jay Varady out in the USHL.

Charlie’s a guy who's rounding into a pretty good all around player who has a really good stick. So we're very excited about him coming here. It's interesting, I love the brother combos, the van Riemsdyks and the Kellehers so it's exciting. I think we'll see some good things from Charlie this year, and I know he'll have a great career here.

ML: I won't say he's a more accomplished passer than Tyler because obviously Tyler was an extraordinary passer. But Charlie is a really good passer as well. He got 34 assists altogether last year in 61 games, and that ended up being the sixth highest in the USHL. So he makes his linemates score. He also is a real tenacious kid. He plays really hard in all three zones.

Souza: The one thing I can say about the Kellehers is that they love hockey, like they love being at the rink, and those type of guys are infectious. They make other guys want to be at the rink more. So I'm just excited that he's another true rink rat because Tyler is a true rink rat. We're looking forward to being a part of his development, too.

ERIC MACADAMS

Eric MacAdams
Forward, 5'11", 175 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Salem, Massachusetts
DOB: 4-29-1997 Turned 20 in April
Last Team: Dubuque Fighting Saints, Sioux Falls Stampede
United States Hockey League
Commit to UNH: November, 2015 at Age 18 years, 7 months.
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Eric MacAdams is 5'11", 175 lbs., a right shot forward, from Salem, Mass. He turned 20 in April. He verbally committed in November 2015. I think he was the first one to commit since you returned to UNH.

Coach Mike Souza:: He was, yeah, correct.

Mike Lowry: He was 18 and a half at that point. Now, as you probably know, he played for the Valley Jr. Warriors based in Haverhill, and then he played split season with Austin Prep in Reading, and you obviously are from that neck of the woods.

Coach Souza: Oh, yeah.

ML: You played for Wakefield High School, which is right next to Reading. Was he someone that you had an eye on in his high school career or did he get on the radar later?

Souza: No. We'd seen Eric play for a while. He played for a dear friend of mine, Louis Finocchiaro at Austin Prep. I knew Eric’s dad in a professional sense, good family, a very competitive kid, had a good stick in high school, and showed that in the USHL. So we think he's going to help us. I think it's a very well-rounded class. And so we're excited to have him. But I think his competitiveness and tenacity is something that we hope he brings to our team.

ML: Yeah. When you mention that a guy has a good stick, I think I pretty much know what you mean, but what do you mean?

Souza: Just the way they handle it. It means when the puck is on their stick, if you pass it to them, they catch it and there's going to be a play made. They can make the next point.

ML: Gotcha.

Souza: It's usually a guy you see handling the puck more than some of the other guys. So that's what I mean. Most of our guys for the most part, the reason they get to this level is because they've got a good stick at the previous level. It's another way of saying that they're probably skilled with the stick. I usually say good stick as opposed to he's real skilled.

ML: You mentioned that MacAdam's a competitive kid. He had quite a few penalty minutes last year. He had 106 penalty minutes in 54 games, and that was the 15th most in the USHL, so it wasn't ridiculously out of control, but he's a physical kid. So you sort of see him as a prototypical power forward, primarily plays the wing. I don't think he plays the center.

Souza: Yeah. He's a winger. We just think he brings great energy, and we think he brings an element of competitiveness that every team needs, and I think he's a guy that anyone would love to have on their team. So we're excited, again, about him. I think he'll be a nice piece of the puzzle for us.



KOHEI SATO

It is important to emphasize that Kohei Sato (KO-Hey SAH-Toe) is not currently on the 2017-18 UNH roster. I am including him in this preview article because he was included in the seven-member freshmen class announced in June. Sato verbally committed to UNH in April, 2017. Nick Stoico of the Concord Monitor has reported that, according to UNH athletics communications:
"Kohei Sato, a UNH recruit, hasn’t been on (the) roster because of an eligibility issue with the NCAA involving his high school credits. Sato is on campus and taking classes...It is possible he could be on the ice later this season."
Kohei Sato (KO-Hey SAH-Toe)
Forward, 6'1", 185 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Nishitokyo, Japan
DOB: 9-26-1996 Will turn 21 in September
Last Team: Northeast Generals
North American Hockey League
Commit to UNH: April, 2017 at Age 20 years, 7 months.
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.5 Stars


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

UNH Captain's Corner: Season Opening Sweep of Lowell

UNH Captain Dylan Chanter


For the third consecutive season, The UNH Men's Hockey Blog will include the "UNH Captain's Corner" feature. Beginning with this article, I will periodically interview UNH Captain Dylan Chanter about the team's performance in recent games and overall progress.

In the series of 9 Captain's Corner articles last season, Captain Matias Cleland provided insight into the 2016-17 team's ups and downs and the progress of individual players. After his graduation last spring, Matias signed a professional contract with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. He begins this season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the East Coast Hockey League, an affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Finale of the 2016-17 Season

The Wildcats' 2016-17 season ended with an exciting, and ultimately disappointing, Hockey East Quarterfinal Playoff series against UMass Lowell. The Riverhawks, who had won the Hockey East regular season title and earned the top seed in the playoffs, were ranked #4 in the USCHO National Poll. The UNH Wildcats, seeded 10th in Hockey East, had advanced to the quarterfinals by winning the final two games in a best-of-three series against 7th-seeded Merrimack College.

In the quarterfinals, UNH upset Lowell 3-1 in Game 1. Facing elimination, the Riverhawks bounced back 3-1 in Game 2. In the finale, Marcus Vela tied the game 1-1 early in the first period but it was all downhill after that. Lowell tallied five unanswered goals in the remainder of Period 1 and two more in Period 2. UNH headed to the locker room after the second period trailing 8-1. As Nick Stoico reported in the Concord Monitor, UNH goalie Danny Tirone, who had faced 26 shots on goal, told Head Coach Dick Umile he wanted to go back into the net. “Danny wanted to stay in there and we went with his decision. He wanted to compete and that just shows you who he is.” In our final "UNH Captain's Corner" last season, Matias Cleland reflected on the 8-2 loss:
"The biggest disappointment (of the season) was losing to Lowell at the end of the year. We turned it up at the end and that loss obviously ended the year and my career at UNH. I was really proud of how the guys came together and fought until the end."

Opening Weekend vs. Highly Ranked UMass Lowell

Fast-forward to last Friday night. Whether by design or accident, the 2017-18 UNH hockey schedule featured an intriguing matchup on opening weekend. The near-capacity crowd at the Tsongas Center witnessed the raising of the 2017 Hockey East Championship banner. Many, if not most, anticipated the Riverhawks would pick up where they left off last season. The Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll predicted Lowell and Boston University in a virtual tie for the #1 team. UNH was ranked #8. On the national scene, USCHO ranked Lowell #5. UNH was unranked.

In a pattern prevalent last season, UNH surrendered the first goal of the game in the first period. But this version of the Wildcats began to distinguish itself. The addition of freshman defensemen Max Gildon and Benton Maass, both NHL draft picks, and a renewed commitment to team defense by the upperclassmen held the Riverhawks to 23 shots on goal. A balanced, tenacious performance by all four forward lines lead to 29 shots on goal.

As the video highlights at the end of this article show, UNH took a 2-1 lead on a Frankie Cefalu goal and 3-2 on an Ara Nazarian goal. But each time, Lowell tied the game. The final Lowell goal was a potential back-breaker. With two minutes remaining, junior Marcus Vela (who had scored the first UNH goal) was sent to the penalty box on a questionable hooking call. The Riverhawks pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage and scored the tying goal with 1:14 left in regulation.

Given the way last season ended and the big discrepancy between the teams in the preseason polls, there was little reason to think UNH would pull out a victory in the last minute of Friday's game. But they did. With 19 seconds remaining, Lowell tried to clear the puck along the boards and out of their zone. Max Gildon leaned into the moving puck at the blue line with a 3/4 slap shot. Senior Shane Eiserman pounced on the rebound and backhanded it past goalie Tyler Wall.

In the first period of the home opener at the Whittemore Center on Saturday night, UMass Lowell again jumped out to a 1-0 lead. However, UNH was playing an aggressive, physical game and the shots on goal were fairly even (UNH 9, Lowell 13). On the second shift of the second period, mobile Benton Maass carried the puck along the half-wall and behind the goal line, then centered a pass to sophomore Liam Blackburn. He one-timed it into the back of the net. Midway through the second period on the second UNH power play of the game, sophomore defenseman Anthony Wyse sent a rising, 3/4 slap shot from the blueline past the Lowell goalie for a 2-1 lead.

Six minutes into the final stanza, Ara Nazarian lead a 2-on-1 break and fired a shot from the right faceoff dot. Blackburn banged home the rebound for his second goal of the night and a 3-1 lead. UMass Lowell cranked up the pressure but Danny Tirone prevented any further goals with several key saves. Yesterday, Tirone was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.

This is the first time since 2012-13 that UNH has won the first two games of the season. The 2012-13 team was ranked #1 in the nation midway through the season and advanced to the Final 8 of the NCAA Tournament. With top scorers Kevin Goumas and Grayson Downing out of the lineup with injuries sustained in the win over Denver the night before, UNH lost to - you guessed it - UMass-Lowell.

Captain's Interview

I had an opportunity to interview UNH Captain Dylan Chanter about the exciting sweep of UMass Lowell.

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Before we review the weekend sweep of 5th-ranked UMass Lowell, I'd like to ask about your captaincy of the 2017-18 Wildcats. Most of the important functions of a captain take place beyond the view of fans - in the locker room, during practice, on road trips, etc. How would you describe your style of leadership? What do you believe are your most important responsibilities?



Dylan Chanter: I try to lead by example both on the ice and off. If someone were to talk about me as a leader, I would hope they would say that I’m a vocal guy that motivates people around me. For the most part, I try to do my job on the ice by keeping the game simple. Hard work has been a staple throughout my career and I try to make sure that the guys know we won’t get anywhere without hard work not only in games, but in practice, in the gym, and in the classroom.



Mike Lowry: An article in the Union Leader last March called "Lowell Blasts UNH Out of Postseason" has a picture of you providing support to Danny Tirone after the 8-2 loss to Lowell in last season's Hockey East Quarterfinals. How did you use that loss to motivate yourself and the team for the season-opening, home-and-home series against Lowell?

Dylan Chanter: It was something that was obviously in the back of our minds, but it was a new season with a new group. We knew we were ready to turn some heads and have some retribution after what happened last spring.



Lowry: At the preseason Media Day, Coach Umile, Danny Tirone, and Patrick Grasso all talked about the need to improve team defense. Last season, UNH allowed an average of 35 shots on goal per game, the second highest in Hockey East. In the two-game sweep over the weekend, Lowell registered 23 and 33 shots on goal. Did you see specific improvements in the team defense as compared to last season? Is there room for improvement in specific facets of team defense?

Chanter: It was clear that we had a lot of work to do on our team defense. Coming into this preseason we made it a priority to improve on all aspects of our defensive zone and I think it was evident this past weekend. There will always be room for improvement, but I think we are headed in the right direction.



Lowry: The official "Stars of the Game" on Friday night were awarded to Shane Eiserman (#1) and Ara Nazarian (#3) and on Saturday, Liam Blackburn earned the #1 Star, Danny Tirone got the #2, and Anthony Wyse nabbed #3. Were there other individual efforts that stood out as positive in your mind?

Chanter: It was clear that it was a team effort all weekend. Those five guys had great opening weekends, but the team as a whole came together both nights. The “never quit” attitude was on display on the bench with guys staying positive no matter what happened, especially with the penalty trouble we got into late in the game on Friday night.

Here are the video highlights of the 4-3 and 3-1 UNH victories courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics and UNH Wildcats Productions:





Thursday, September 28, 2017

Preview of UNH Freshman Defenders With Mike Souza

UNH Associate Head Coach
Mike Souza
"I'm excited to get going, to get the (freshmen) guys up to speed with their teammates. Hopefully hit the ground running when we play Lowell. I think that the guys are excited just in talking with them. This coaching staff's excited. Hopefully we'll have better results this year than we had last year." Mike Souza, UNH Associate Head Coach
The student-athletes who joined the UNH men's hockey team this season form one of the most talented and interesting freshman classes in recent years. Three players - defensemen Max Gildon (pronounced Gil-DON) and Benton Maass (pronounced Mass), and goalie Mike Robinson - are NHL draft picks. That's the most NHL draftees since the 2003-04 freshman class when John Doherty, Brett Hemingway, Dan Travis, and Daniel Winnik matriculated.

Max Gildon was selected 66th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. Only 3 former UNH defensemen have been drafted higher - Adrien Plavsic (30th, 1988), Rod Langway (36th, 1977), and John Doherty (57th, 2003). Interestingly, former UNH defenseman Brett Pesce, who recently signed a multi-million dollar contract, with the Carolina Hurricanes, was also drafted 66th overall in 2013. Incoming goalie Mike Robinson was the 86th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. That's higher than any former UNH goalie.

Neutral Zone, a top amateur hockey scouting service, ranked the 2017-18 UNH recruiting class as the 8th highest in all of Division I hockey utilizing their measurement of overall quality of recruits. Neutral Zone rated the UNH frosh an average score of 3.93 Stars on a 5-Star scale - a higher overall quality score than all Hockey East programs except Boston University (4.22) and Boston College (4.05). Two UNH freshmen were awarded ratings of 4 stars or above - Max Gildon (4.75 Stars) and Charlie Kelleher (4.25 Stars). On their weighted, algorithm point system, Neutral Zone rated UNH as the 14th best recruiting class in Division I.

The 2021 class is noteworthy for other reasons. Both Gildon and Maass are 18-year-old, "true" freshmen. While it's relatively common for schools such as Boston University (7), Boston College (3), Michigan (3) and Minnesota (4) to have multiple 18-year-olds, this is unusual for UNH. Since 2000, UNH has had two 18-year-old freshmen only three times (Kolanas, Anderson 02-03; JvR, Vanek 07-08; Eiserman, Foegele 14-15).

The 2017-18 season also features the continuation of UNH family traditions. Charlie Kelleher is the younger brother of All-American and Hobey Baker finalist Tyler Kelleher. The Kellehers are the fourth set of brothers to play for UNH since 1998. They join Darren and Jeff Haydar, Colin and Brett Hemingway, and James, Trevor and Brendan van Riemsdyk.

Finally, the 2017-18 freshman class bares the distinct mark of the Mike Souza-Glenn Stewart recruiting era. Associate Head Coach Souza, who will succeed Head Coach Dick Umile after this season, joined the UNH staff in August, 2015. Associate Head Coach Stewart came on board in August, 2014. Of the seven-member freshmen class announced in June, five verbally committed to UNH after Souza and Stewart returned to their alma mater.

Prior to the preseason game against St. Francis Xavier, I sat down with Coach Mike Souza to discuss each player in the freshman class. This article presents a feature section for the four incoming freshman defenders - goalie Mike Robinson and defensemen Max Gildon, Benton Maass, and James Miller. Each section provides background information including a link (highlighted in orange) to the player's profile and statistics from eliteprospects.com, a link to an article announcing the player's verbal commitment to UNH, and video highlights from the player's 2016-17 season. Coach Souza's thoughts and observations are also included. A preview of the freshman forwards will be posted soon.

MIKE ROBINSON

Mike Robinson
Goalie, 6'4", 195 lbs. Left-glove
Hometown: Bedford, New Hampshire
DOB: 3-27-1997 Turned 20 in March
Last Team: Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
Commit to UNH: August, 2014 at Age 17 years, 5 months.
2015 NHL Draft: 3rd Round, 86th Overall by San Jose Sharks
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Mike Robinson, the goalie in the incoming class, is 6'4", 195 lbs., and a native of New Hampshire, from Bedford, just down the road a ways. He turned 20 in March. He'll be the third member of the freshman class who has been drafted by an NHL team. He got drafted two summers ago in June 2015 – a third round pick by the San Jose Sharks, 86 overall. It turns out he's the highest NHL drafted goalie to ever come to UNH. Brian Foster was drafted in the fifth round at 161, and there have been some others. I think Kevin Reagan was more like the 7th Round.

Robinson verbally committed in August 2014, before you were here. He was 17 and a half at the time.

Coach Mike Souza:: I think Scott (Borek) and Dick (Umile) did a good job recruiting him. Being a New Hampshire kid, I don't want to speak for Michael, but I think he's probably a kid that grew up wanting to come to UNH, and I think they knew that. I think Michael's going to do a good job for us. Obviously he's big, he's technical ... I just love the fact that he's a New Hampshire kid. It's a great story. Obviously we have four goalies on the roster this year. To sit here and say there's only one net. We have a pretty good one coming back in Danny Tirone. Mike has great physical tools. He handles the puck well. He takes up a lot of the net. There's a lot to be excited about about him.

Mike Lowry: I'm not comparing him to the existing goalies but in terms of his athleticism, quickness, where does he fall on the continuum?

Coach Souza: That's a good question. That's hard. I don't know cause he hasn't been an NCAA goalie yet. That's the hardest thing. Ty Conklin ended up here. He transferred from the University of Alaska at Anchorage after a year. He turned out to be one of the best goalies that ever played here. You recruit kids that you think will bring value to your program both on and off the ice. That's our goal. Hopefully they pick this place for similar reasons. I think that's what unifies the group.

ML: I guess the way I would look at it is when you see Tirone playing in junior hockey - obviously the quickness was going to be his ticket. If he was going to succeed at the NCAA level it was because of incredible quickness and athleticism.

Souza: I think there's a lot of factors. Mike was here working out this summer on his own. Yeah, there's a lot of factors like the size, the strength, how do the guys adjust to the speed, the change in speeds. The kids shoot better, they're more accurate here. It's so hard. Honestly, I have no idea to be quite honest. You've seen it happen where the returning All American doesn't get the job. Not here but at other schools. Didn't that happen here a couple years ago with the Di Girolamo losing the starting job? You just never know. I will say there's a lot to be excited about with Mike.

ML: Fair enough. Robinson had an unfortunate setback when he gets drafted by San Jose and the month later he goes out to their development camp for the first time and he injures his wrist, requires surgery. He missed five months of hockey in the '15-'16 season. Then he gets drafted by Dubuque last spring. It was in the second round of the USHL Draft.

Souza: Jason Lammers (Dubuque GM/Head Coach) was there. Jason obviously knew him from being in the area (former UMass-Lowell Associate Coach).

ML: He only stuck with Dubuque for a couple of games and then they worked out a trade with the Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL). Did the injury slow down his development?

Souza: I don't know. I'd rather not comment on that. I don't know. We were just happy that he was going to be in a situation where he was going to play and be the starting goaltender. Everybody wants to be in the USHL but again there's only one net in the USHL too. For me, from our standpoint, it's important that our guys play no matter where they are.

ML: Right. There have been some very good goalies come out of the NAHL too.

Souza: Yeah.

ML: He faced a lot of shots too.

Souza: Yeah, yeah. Every night I looked in the box score. It'd be 48, it was some nights like 48, 46 shots on goal. For whatever reason, it didn't work out in Dubuque. It's fine. If he'd hung with Dubuque and was a great goaltender for them, that's fine but he still got a lot of playing time in Springfield. At the end of the day it all worked out for him.

MAX GILDON

Max Gildon (Gil-DON)
Defenseman, 6'3", 191 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Plano, Texas (Outside Dallas)
DOB: 5-17-1999 Turned 18 in May, True Freshman
Last Team: US National Team Development Program
United States Hockey League
Commit to UNH: March, 2017 at Age 17 years, 10 months.
2017 NHL Draft: 3rd Round, 66th Overall by Florida Panthers
Neutral Zone Rating: 4.75 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Max Gildon verbally committed to UNH in March and he was 17 years, ten months at that point. As you probably know, he originally committed to Wisconsin back in Februrary, 2016 and decided to de-commit in December. Did you have an interest in Gildon before he committed to Wisconsin and then just picked up the trail after he de-committed, or did you first become interested after he became available in December?

Coach Mike Souza: I've known Max's name for a long time, like many in the hockey community have. He was committed to Wisconsin soon after I came to UNH so it wasn't something that was probable until he decommitted. Upon that happening, obviously we knew the type of player he was, and thought he could help us. We were able to get him on a visit and attend a home game at the Whitt with his Dad. He was able to come up with his father and experience the school, community and hockey culture first hand. UNH sells itself and those who visit certainly make our job easier. I am certain this was the case for Max and his Dad and I think he’ll develop into a really good player for us. We're excited to have him.

Mike Lowry: When you got a chance to see him play and evaluate him, what were some of the skills that really jumped out that you think might help this team?

Coach Souza: For his size, he has really strong skating ability, and he has a big time shot, which I think was evident in the U18 World Junior Championship with some of the goals he scored. So those are a couple of attributes that jumped off the page for us.

ML: I watched some of the Junior Championship on TV. I think Team USA had so many fast forwards that it looked like one of Gildon’s primary roles was to make that outlet pass and get the forwards going.

Souza: Sure, put it in the hands of the forwards. That should be all defensemen's primary job.

ML: He seems to be quite good with stretch passes and getting it out of the zone.

Souza: His skating ability is probably his biggest asset and we're excited to have him.

ML: I also noticed in the power play he would play in the umbrella and he wouldn't be on the point.

Souza: Yeah. He plays the elbow. . It's because of his shooting ability.

ML: And so a lot of the goals seem to come from that face-off circle near the half-wall.

Souza: Yeah. He definitely has a good shot. So hopefully we'll be seeing that shot used.

ML: I think of the three defensemen that are coming in (Gildon, Maass, and Miller) he struck me as being the most physical in terms of being able to stop the opponent in the defensive end ... using his strength and reach to break up the opponent’s possession.

Souza: Yeah. I mean all three guys are good sized defensemen, so I mean obviously it's a different level when you come here, so to speculate and say one is better than the other is hard to do. The three of them were here this summer, they took a class. They worked out with our strength coach, Paul Chapman, and had a great summer. So we're excited. I mean it's a clean slate for all of them. So I think that the three defensemen all skate well and they're all big kids. That's a good combination for a defensemen. I think they cover a lot of area and it should be great competition for all of them this year. So I'm excited to see them.

ML: In terms of Max, what sort of roles do you think he might, if things go extremely well this year, what kind of roles might he jump into?

Souza: That's really hard, Mike to say. In a perfect world, you'd see some of those same things you saw at the National Team. I mean playing all situations would be great, and that's our hope is that he can come, and we expect him to come in and contribute, and hopefully contribute in all situations. But I don't want to put any undue pressure on him either.

ML: Right. That's fair.

BENTON MAASS

Benton Maass (Mass)
Defenseman, 6'2", 195 lbs. Shoots Right
Hometown: Elk River, Minnesota (Outside Minneapolis)
DOB: 11-25-1998 Turned 18 in November, True Freshman
Last Team: Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL), Elk River HS
Commit to UNH: January, 2017 at Age 17 years, 10 months.
2017 NHL Draft: 6th Round, 182nd Overall by Washington Capitals
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Benton Maass is another big guy, 6'2", and 195, a right shot defense man from Elk River, Minnesota, which is outside of Minneapolis. He too turned 18 in November so he and Gildon will be your two true freshmen. This is the first time in 30 years that UNH has had two defensemen who are true freshmen and NHL draft picks.

Coach Mike Souza:: Is it really?

Mike Lowry: Yeah. Someone familiar with UNH hockey in the 1980’s pointed that out for me. In the 1987-88 season, defensemen Kevin Dean (5th Round Pick, New Jersey Devils) and Adrien Plavsic (2nd Round, St. Louis Blues) were true freshmen.

Coach Souza: I know both guys. Adrien Plavsic, I played with in Switzerland.

ML: Oh, did you really?

Souza: So I played with Adrien only a few games in Basal, Switzerland. Kevin Dean is one my best friends. So those guys never played for Charlie Holt. Kevin was drafted by New Jersey, and Adrien was drafted by Vancouver I think.

ML: So I think it was Coach Kullen who was primarily responsible for recruiting them.

Souza: Right. So it's been a while. Both of those guys had great careers. Kevin obviously won the Stanley Cup. He's a dear, dear friend of mine.

ML: Yeah. So that's unusual. Of course, you had two forwards back when Warren Foegele and Shane Eiserman were in the same year. But it's rare to have two (true freshmen drafted by NHL teams) in the same year.

Souza: I guess it's a little bit more the norm to have forwards.

ML: So Maass verbally committed in January. He had just turned 18. Now, I was looking back to other players that have played for UNH, and it’s been ten years since there was a native of Minnesota who’s played for UNH.

Souza: No, not many, right?

ML: It was Shawn Vinz who graduated in I think 2008 who was the last native of Minnesota to play for UNH on a regular basis. (Tyler Scott from Hutchison, MN played in goal for one game in 2011). So is this a signal that Minnesota may become a place where you're going to return and taking a look?

Souza: I think Minnesota has a lot of talented players, and I think that there's only so many teams out in Minnesota and the Midwest, and do I believe we're going to spend a ton of time up there? No. But I think that it's definitely a place that we'll do more recruiting moving forward. There's a lot of attributes of the kids out there that translate well to UNH. Benton, in particular, is a great student. He's a kid that we really think is developing nicely and will have a bright career with us here at UNH.

His was kind of a unique situation. He went out to Fairbanks (Alaska) in the fall came back to Elk River, went back to Fairbanks, so I think that's a testament to his willingness to want to be a hockey player, and academically a really strong student, so there was a lot of things for us to like about his game, a big kid, moves the puck well. We're really excited about him.

ML: Did you first see him when he played for Fairbanks?

Souza: Yeah. Coach Stewart saw him in the NAHL Showcase. Glenn had first seen him before I did. We always try to cross, and sometimes you can't. So Glenn obviously did a great job of identifying Benton Maass. And so we had him on a visit, and he's a fabulous kid, and we're really looking forward to having a hand in his development.

ML: As you mentioned, Maass is a pretty agile skater. I’ve watched a few of his games with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs online. He sort of reminds me a little bit of Trevor van Riemsdyk in the sense that he's pretty good at carrying the puck out of the zone and he’s a really smart passer of the puck. On the power play, too, he's real mobile in the zone and gets to the net, and a lot of his goals that he scored on the power play were within the face-off circles.

Souza: Yeah.

ML: So he likes to use his speed to sort of get down in towards the net on the power play.

Souza: Yeah. He's obviously an intelligent player and he's got good offensive instincts. I think he moves the puck well and skates well for a kid his size. So, again, all the three defense men have a lot of similar attributes, and that's probably how we ended up recruiting them. But, yeah. He's a good sized kid who can skate, and he's a really good kid. Like I said, he was out here this summer as well. He had a great month out here. We're really excited about him coming in.

ML: In terms of best case scenario his freshman year in terms of his role, if he like excels, what would your hope or expectation be?

Souza: Yeah. I think it's unfair to put, quite honestly, like I think it's unfair to say for any kid, hey, we expect this kid to come in here and score ten goals, or we come in there and start getting him to play 25 minutes. It's a huge jump for any player to come from junior hockey or high school hockey to Hockey East. As a coaching staff, you hope for the moon, and we hope to give every one of our players every opportunity to excel, and like I said before, put them in a situation that their best attributes come out. Hopefully that makes for a very competitive environment, and we feel that Benton could show well, and the sky is the limit, but we hope that for all our players. I mean it's not just hyperbole, like it's hard to honestly sit here and say, "Hey, this guy is going to play on the first power play, this guy is going to play in the second power play."

ML: Oh, sure, right. Yeah. That makes sense.

Souza: In a perfect world we'd have 20 All-Americans. So the best thing I can say about Benton and any of the freshmen is that we think that they're all going to contribute, and that was our hope. How much is up to them.

JAMES MILLER

James Miller
Defenseman, 6'2", 190 lbs. Shoots Left
Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta (Suburb of Edmonton)
DOB: 2-20-1998 Turned 19 in February
Last Team: Penticton Vees
British Columbia Hockey League
Commit to UNH: May, 2016 at Age 18 years, 3 months.
Neutral Zone Rating: 3.75 Stars


Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): James Miller, the third defenseman in the freshman class, verbally committed to UNH in May, 2016 at age 18 years, 3 months. At the time, he played for the Olds Grizzlys in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). Last season, he played for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. Miller mentioned in an article by Allen Lessels that he first drew your attention at the AJHL Showcase.

Coach Mike Souza:: Yeah. So I think Glenn (Stewart) first saw him there. Later in the process, after we had made official contact with Miller, we contacted a former UNH player familiar with the hockey scene in Alberta. It was nice to have a UNH guy out there that we could call and say "What kind of kid is that?" and he gave James rave reviews, and that means a lot. He said , "Hey, this kid is a great kid," and you do your due diligence and when you commit to these kids obviously it's not just what you see on the ice, it's all encompassing.

Mike Lowry: You have mentioned that all three incoming defensemen are good sized and skate well. Are there other strengths that you wanted to mention about James?

Coach Souza: Yeah. James, again, he's another big kid, long, lanky body, pretty competitive kid, has a good shot, really good guy, who I think he'll fit into our culture very well here. He, too, was out here this summer for five weeks, which was huge, took a class, did well. So we're excited about him, too.

ML: He reminds me a little bit about Eric Knodel. Do you remember him?

Souza: I do. He has a good shot

ML: In terms of his stride.

Souza: Yeah, yeah, similar skater. I do remember Knodel because he was drafted by Toronto. My best friend in the business, John Lilley (Director of United States Scouting), works for Toronto.

ML: So I think UNH fans will notice a similarity in terms of Miller - he gets up and down the ice pretty well. But, as you say, he's sort of lanky, and he's got a pretty big shot, too. Maybe not as big as Knodel at this stage, but it's still a good one.

Souza: Yeah. Knodel had a big shot, right?

ML: Yeah, a boomer.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kohei Sato's Long Journey From Tokyo to UNH

Kohei Sato
UNH Freshman Forward
"An intriguing prospect because of the speed he could bring to a line up." Neutral Zone
Kohei Sato (pronounced KO-hey SAH-Toe), a 6'1", 185 lbs., left-shot forward from Nishitokyo, Japan, verbally committed to UNH in April. Last season, at the age of 20, Sato suddenly attracted the attention of NCAA recruiters. In October, he was called up by the Northeast Generals in the North American Hockey League, the only Tier II junior hockey league in the United States. The Generals play at the New England Sports Village in Hanover, Massachusetts. In his first 37 games, Sato tallied 11 goals and 18 assists and earned an invite to the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in late February.

Over 220 NHL and NCAA scouts attended the NAHL Top Prospects games in Plymouth, Michigan. Among them were scouts from Neutral Zone** who identified Sato as a top uncommitted prospect and provided this combined assessment:

"The Japan native sticks out like a sore thumb on the ice with his explosive speed. He is both quick and fast. Looks like he is shot out of a cannon when he takes off. Showed skill and the ability to work. Dangerous on the rush with his speed and ability to attack defenders. An intriguing prospect because of the speed he could bring to a line up.

Sato was the fastest player here. His speed is elite. He was in constant motion which made him very tough to cover. His passing and puck skills have improved since we saw him last and he was able to play fast with the puck most of the time. His compete level was high. He only knows one speed (fast) and that does hurt him at times as he skates himself into trouble. Overall, he was impressive and despite only scoring one goal earned his grade (i.e., 'A')."
Rating - 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars. ** Reprinted by permission of Brendan Collins, Director of Scouting at Neutral Zone.

Here are some video highlights of Kohei Sato's performance at the Top Prospects Tournament:



Sato finished the 2016-17 NAHL season with 14 goals and 22 assists in 48 games. He was a prime player on the Generals' power play scoring 5 goals and 5 assists on the man advantage. On April 4th, the day of his final game, he committed to the University of New Hampshire. Kohei Sato was born in Nishitokyo Japan, a suburb of Tokyo. At age 12 he embarked on a remarkable journey to pursue his dream of playing high-level hockey. Over the next 8 years, he would live and play hockey in Quebec, Ontario, Iowa, Massachusetts, and finally Durham, NH. The story is best told in Kohei's own words so here is my interview with him:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Kohei Sato: Thank you. The main reason why I chose UNH was I absolutely fell in love with the campus and facilities that UNH offers.



Mike 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?

Kohei Sato: University of Alaska Anchorage, Northeastern University, University of Alabama Huntsville, and University of New Hampshire. UAA and UNH made offers, others were a recruit walk on.



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

Sato: My strengths are my speed and shots. I am trying to improve on my defensive part of the game.



Lowry: During this past season in the NAHL, you played both center and wing. Do you have a preference? Two key skills for a centerman are winning faceoffs and helping your defensemen provide coverage in your own end. How effective are you in these two areas?

Sato: I do not have a preference. I was pretty effective in those two areas using my quickness on face-offs and using my speed to cover the D and helping them get the puck out of the zone.



Lowry: I've read that your grandfather was an Olympic speed skater for Japan and your father played professional hockey in Japan. How did they enhance your interest and development in hockey when you were growing up in Japan?

Sato: Honestly, my dad taught me everything I knew before I decided to study abroad in Canada and the States. Unfortunately, my Grandfather passed before I was born so I could not benefit directly from his advice and help.



Lowry: When you were 12 years old, you left your native Japan to enroll at Harrington College, a private prep school in Harrington, Quebec, and to play for their hockey program. Was that a difficult decision for you and your family? What kind of challenges did you face (e.g., learning a new language; living away from your family; playing against stiffer competition; etc.)? Was it a difficult adjustment for you?

Sato: Honestly, it was an easy decision for me but probably was hard for my parents. Challenges I faced included, obviously, learning the language I've never heard of in my life. It took a little while but fortunate for me, I had great teammates that were willing to help me out with my English skills. I wouldn't be able to speak the language if it wasn't for them. Another challenge I faced was the food. I was so used to eating Japanese food and just switching to food in Canada was very difficult for me.



Lowry: Following two years at Harrington, you transferred to the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ontario and played two seasons with their U18 team. Then, in 2014, you made another dramatic change by moving to Mason City, Iowa and playing for the North Iowa Bulls in the North American 3 Hockey League. Why did you make the move to play hockey in the United States? Was that a challenging adjustment for you?

Sato: I was drafted in the United States Hockey League in 2014 so that was the biggest reason why I moved to the states. Also, junior A leagues in Canada don't allow imports that aren't from Canada or the States so I didn't really have an option. It sure was a difficult adjustment going from Midget hockey to Junior hockey.



Lowry: During your three seasons with the North Iowa Bulls, you experienced high points - playing for the 2015 Japan U20 team and winning the 2016 NA3HL Silver Cup national championship; and disappointments - being released after a brief stint with the NAHL Wilkes Barre/Scranton Knights. This season, you earned one last opportunity to succeed in the NAHL and you made the most out of your time with the Northeast Generals. Over the last few seasons, did you ever consider giving up your dream of playing college hockey? What kept you motivated?

Sato: No, I never even consider of giving up. I had faith - it sure was difficult getting sent down a few times but I just didn't want to give up till the last minute. People who doubted me gave me the motivation honestly.



Lowry: As far as you know, has there ever been a native of Japan to play NCAA Division I hockey? What will it mean for you and your homeland to play for UNH in Hockey East?

Sato: No, Yuki Miura (Lake Superior State University) and myself will be the first two players to play D1 college hockey. I am honored to play for the Wildcats and in Hockey East.



Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests? When do you anticipate graduating from high school?

Sato: I was always good at Math and my interests are in Sociology and International Business. I am majoring in Sociology.

Friday, June 09, 2017

UNH Commits Update: Final 2016-17 Stats

2018 Commit Corson Green
USHL Champion
2017 Commit Charlie Kelleher
USHL Regular Season Champ
2018 Commit James Miller
BCHL Champion

Player Spotlight - Corson Green

The 2017 USHL Championship series between the Chicago Steel and the Sioux City Musketeers was a classic barnburner and two UNH commits were in the thick of it - Steel defenseman Corson Green and Musketeer winger Charlie Kelleher. Green and the Steel won the decisive Game 5 in overtime.

Throughout the USHL Playoffs, Corson Green primarily played on Chicago's third defensive pair, both at right and left defense. The 6'1", 206 lbs., USHL rookie, who turned 18 years old in March, tallied 3 assists in 14 playoff games. The most important one came in Game 3 with the final series tied one game a piece. Early in the opening stanza, Green stopped an attempted clear at the right point and caromed a pass off the back wall to Marc Johnstone (Sacred Heart commit) behind the Musketeers' net. Johnstone centered the puck and Jack Badini (Harvard commit) buried this game-winning goal:



This summer will be a busy one for Corson Green. Last week, he was traded to the Sioux Falls Stampede and will participate in their training camp beginning tomorrow.

On the weekend of June 24th, the NHL Entry Draft will be held in Chicago. Although Green is considered a long-shot to be drafted, the NHL Central Scouting Service identified him in late September as a candidate to be drafted in the 4th, 5th, or 6th round. In their January Midterm Rankings, Green was the 149th North American skater. However, Green was not included in the CSS Final Rankings in April.

The Buffalo Sabres have some interest in the Potsdam, New York native. Corson Green will attend the Sabres Development Camp in July. Green plans to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2018. He has not yet signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH.

Player Spotlight - Charlie Kelleher

Charlie Kelleher and the Sioux City Musketeers won the 2017 Anderson Cup for the best regular season record in the USHL. Kelleher was traded to Sioux City with 21 games left in the season and tallied 6 goals and 12 assists over that span. He played right wing on the Musketeers' first and second line and was a prime player on their power play.

In the final round of the USHL Playoffs, Sioux City trailed the Chicago Steel 2 games to 1. With less than a minute left in Period 2 of Game 4, Chicago lead the Musketeers 4-2. With their backs against the wall, Charlie Kelleher stepped up with a pretty pass to set up this third Sioux City goal:



Sioux City went on to win Game 4 forcing the winner-take-all Game 5. As mentioned above, UNH commit Corson Green and the Chicago Steel won the Championship finale 2-1 in overtime.

In 12 USHL Playoff games, Charlie Kelleher scored 3 goals, including a game-winner, and distributed 7 assists. He tied for 5th in playoff assists among all USHL players and had the 11th highest points per game (.83 pts/game). Kelleher will matriculate to UNH this Fall.

Player Spotlight - James Miller

By winning the 2017 BCHL Championship, James Miller and the Penticton Vees earned a berth in the Western Canada Cup. In competition against the Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champions plus the BCHL runnerup Chilliwack Chiefs, Penticton won 4 games and lost 2. James Miller contributed 3 assists over the 6 games. The Vees and the Brooks Bandit (AJHL) earned invitations to the RBC Cup - the championship of Canadian Junior A hockey.

In the RBC Cup preliminary round, Penticton defeated the host Cobourg (Ontario) Cougars and central Canada representive Trenton (Ontario) Golden Hawks. The Vees lost to eastern Canada representative Terrebonne (Quebec) Cobras and western Canada rep Brooks Bandits. Cobourg, the eventual winner of the RBC Cup, defeated Penticton 3-1 in the semifinal round.

Throughout the RBC Cup competition, James Miller played on all three defensive pairings and on both the left and right defense position. Miller contributed this assist in the 3-1 loss to the Terrebonne Cobras:



According to Penticton head coach Fred Harbinson, James Miller will play for the Vees in the 2017-18 season. He has signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH and plans to enroll in the Fall of 2018.

2016-17 Statistics

NOTE
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.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2017 Commits
Max Gildon*  (D) USA NTDP U18 NCAA 16 0 6 6 6
USHL 25 5 9 14 26
NAHL 1 1 0 1 0
Int'l. 8 1 3 4 14
U18 Worlds 7 4 2 6 4
Charlie Kelleher*  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 40 11 22 33 10
Sioux City Musketeers USHL 21 6 12 18 4
Playoffs 12 3 7 10 16
Benton Maass*  (D) Fairbanks Ice Dogs NAHL 23 5 8 13 12
Playoffs 7 2 2 4 0
Elk River HS Minn HS 25 6 23 29 6
Playoffs 2 2 2 4 0
Eric MacAdams*  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 43 11 9 20 86
Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 11 2 3 5 20
Playoffs 8 1 1 2 16
Mike Robinson*  (G) Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 1 1W 0L 4.20 .854
Springfield Jr Blues NAHL 25 11W 12L 2.99 .916
Kohei Sato  (F) Northeast Generals NAHL 48 14 22 36 87
North Iowa Bulls NA3HL 7 9 6 15 2
2018 Commits
Joseph Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 16 2 0 2 4
Junior Bruins USPHL 23 8 17 25 8
Playoffs 7 1 5 6 2
Angus Crookshank*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 31 9 12 21 14
Playoffs 6 2 1 3 0
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 44 5 18 23 17
Playoffs 6 2 3 5 2
Eric Esposito*  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 52 9 7 16 123
Playoffs 5 0 0 0 0
Corson Green  (D) Chicago Steel USHL 48 5 10 15 53
Playoffs 14 0 3 3 10
James Miller*  (D) Penticton Vees BCHL 37 6 12 18 47
Playoffs 21 0 7 7 6
WCan Cup 6 0 3 3 2
RBC Cup 5 0 1 1 0
2018 or '19 Commits
Lucas Bahn  (D) Skipjacks 18U USPHL 18U 23 8 17 25 10
Playoffs 2 3 1 4 2
Johnstown Tomahawks NAHL 2 0 0 0 0
Jackson Pierson  (F) Culver Academy Prep 36 28 34 62 2
18U Nationals 4 2 4 6 0
Ryan Verrier  (D) Salisbury School NE Prep 29 7 18 25 -
Playoffs 1 0 1 1 -
18U Nationals 5 3 1 4 2
2019 Commits
Connor Sweeney  (F) Pingree School NE Prep 29 31 12 43 -
Marek Wazny  (F) NJ Avalanche 16U Tier 1 Elite 32 21 11 32 26
Playoffs 5 1 3 4 2
AYHL 23 15 19 34 4
Playoffs 2 1 3 4 4
16U Nationals 3 0 1 1 2
2020 Commits
Drew Commesso  (G) St. Sebastian's NE Prep 8 3W 2L/1T 1.77 .932
14U Nationals 3 1W 2L 2.50 .878
* = Signed National Letter of Intent

News & Notes

USA Hockey Selects Development Camps:

~ 2019 commit Marek Wazny will represent the Rocky Mountain District in the 2017 USA Hockey Selects 17 Player Development Camp, June 24-27 in Amherst, New York.

~ 2020 commit Drew Commesso will represent the Massachusetts District in the 2017 USA Hockey Selects 15 Player Development Camp, July 15-19 in Amherst, New York.

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