Locals participate in USA camps

Several local players competed in USA Hockey development camps this summer, as well as a handful of UND recruits like Mark Senden, Mitchell Mattson, Matt Kiersted and Collin Adams.

Here’s a list of the local, area and North Dakotans who competed (let me know if I’m missing anyone).

U17s

Nick Lund, F, Grand Forks (sixth-leading scorer with 7 points in 5 games)
Johnny Witzke, D, Bismarck
Bryden Stoskopf, F, Roseau
Brendan Bushy, D, Thief River Falls

U16s

Ethan Peterson, G, Park River (third-best save percentage with .917)
Cam Olstad, F, Grand Forks
Michael Schumacher, D, Bismarck

U15s

Mason Salquist, F, Grand Forks (eighth-leading scorer with 7 points in 5 games)
Spencer Weisgram, D, Fargo
Ethan Frisch, D, Moorhead
Reegan Reule, G, Devils Lake

On the girls side, a number of locals participated in the U18 and U15 camps, though USA Hockey did not enter hometowns, so I can’t be sure I have all of them. Several made the U18 Select camp, too.

U18 Select

Kennedy Blair, G, Bismarck (UND commit)
Mak Langei, D, East Grand Forks
Patti Marshall, D, Thief River Falls (Minnesota commit)
Morgan Helgeson, F, Roseau
Alex Woken, F, Fargo (Minnesota commit)

Around the country…

Two players are leaving college hockey — and a third could be joining them before he ever sets foot on campus.

Colorado College goalie Chase Perry, the son of former UND goalie Craig Perry, is headed back to juniors to play in the BCHL this season.

Perry was the only 1996-born goalie in college hockey all of last season, according to Chris Dilks of SB Nation. He struggled, posting a 1-8-1 record, a 3.97 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage.

UND freshman Matej Tomek will have a similar challenge in front of him — he’ll be one of college hockey’s youngest goalies as a 1997-born player — albeit playing in front of a significantly better defensive corps.

Colorado College was prepared for this to happen and already had a goalie commitment.

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Boston University forward J.J. Piccinich is leaving to play in Canadian major juniors.

Piccinich will sign with London, as first reported by Over the Boards.

The fourth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs only registered one goal and four points last season for the Terriers. With Boston University adding more depth this season, playing time had to be a question mark for Piccinich.

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Boston College standout recruit Jeremy Bracco will reportedly decide any day now whether he will sign in the OHL or report to school.

This could be the second summer in a row that BC loses a high-end recruit, as it lost Sonny Milano at the last minute to the OHL last season.

Milano gave up commitments to both Notre Dame and Boston College, while Bracco was previously committed to Harvard and is now pondering giving up a his commitment to the Eagles as well.

Bracco was the last pick of the second round by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Former Wisconsin Badger forward Morgan Zulinick, the team’s third-leading scorer a season ago, left school a couple of months ago to be closer to his family.

He has now signed in Germany. It sounds like the German team is going to pay to bring his family overseas.

Gerlach jumps to WHL

Max Gerlach is the latest commit to bail on UND.

Gerlach, of Texas, signed with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the WHL, giving up his college eligibility.

Gerlach played in Colorado last season.

Gerlach was expected to be a skilled forward at the college level.

It’s official: Murphy headed to ASU

As was previously speculated here, former UND forward Wade Murphy is headed to Arizona State to continue his college hockey career.

Murphy will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have two seasons of eligibility left beginning in 2016-17.

Murphy posted on Twitter: “Incredibly excited to attend Arizona State University in the fall and looking forward to the new start.”

The Victoria, B.C., product came to UND after a strong career in the BCHL, but could never put it together. During his two seasons at UND, he never scored a goal and had four assists.

Although his offensive numbers were small, teammates and coaches said that Murphy had tremendous offensive potential and frequently showed his scoring touch in practice.

If he can put it together with the Sun Devils, it could be a steal for the newest Division I program.

Dell finally gets NHL deal

Aaron Dell has succeeded at every level of hockey.

It may have taken a few years longer than it should have, but the former UND All-American finally has a contract at the highest level.

The San Jose Sharks signed Dell to a one-year, two-way contract this week.

According to generalfanager.com, the contract is worth $575,000 if he’s in the NHL and $65,000 if he’s in the AHL.

After leaving UND, Dell signed a contract with the Allen Americans in the CHL. He led Allen (Texas) to the league championship during his rookie season.

The following year, Dell was a regular in the ECHL, where he posted strong numbers for the Utah Grizzlies. At the end of the season, he earned some time with Abbotsford in the AHL, where he had a strong .922 save percentage.

Last season, Dell was a regular in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks, posting a .927 save percentage.

Dell will likely start next season with San Jose’s new AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, but if he continues on his current path, he could be UND’s first NHL goalie since Ed Belfour. Interestingly enough, Dell broke one of Belfour’s UND records for wins in a season.

UND will have two former goalies under NHL contract this season as Zane McIntyre signed with the Boston Bruins earlier this month.

Recent NHL contracts for UND goalies

2015 — Aaron Dell, San Jose Sharks
2015 — Zane McIntyre, Boston Bruins
2008 — Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, Buffalo Sabres
2006 — Jordan Parise, New Jersey Devils

Random updates

A reporter at the Chicago Blackhawks development camp asked the UND trio of draft picks — Nick Mattson, Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson — about Dave Hakstol, who is the new head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.

They had some interesting things to say.

Mattson, our go-to guy for quotes the last four years, said:

“We definitely believe in him and think that he’s going to do a great job. Players respect him so much. And he holds everyone accountable; it doesn’t matter if you’re the best player or the worst player. You’re not going to get away with anything that’s going to hurt the team or the culture of the team. That may sound cliche, but there’s a reason why he had so much success at North Dakota every year, regardless of the players. He was able to instill his attitude in every team, and that’s why he was so consistent.”

Read everything else they had to say in this story here.

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Speaking of the Blackhawks’ development camp, Chicago general manager Stan Bowman raved about the performance of Schmaltz.

Bowman told the Daily Herald: “Nick Schmaltz was very impressive all week. He showed us quite a bit. There’s a lot of excitement there about his future.”

I was also told by another insider that Schmaltz has had a terrific start to his summer and that he’s doing all the things he needs to be doing right now.

Schmaltz showed a lot of flashes of his high-end skill and his elite vision during his freshman year. If he can develop a more threatening goal-scoring presence and a higher level of consistency, he could be a very difficult player for opponents to defend.

Because Schmaltz is such an elite passer and Brock Boeser is described as a good finisher, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see those two on a line together to start the season.

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Roseau held its hockey reunion this weekend — they do it every five years — and a bunch of big names returned for it. They play a hockey game featuring some of the school’s biggest names, including former UND players Erik Fabian, Jake Brandt, Bryan Lundbohm, David Lundbohm, Derrick Byfuglien and Trevor Hammer.

Others included Winnipeg Jets all-star Dustin Byfuglien, Washington Capitals defenseman Aaron Ness former Florida Panther Josh Olson as well as former/current D-I players Luke Erickson (BSU), Tyler Landman (Providence), David Klema (BU), Mike Klema (Yale), Brian McMillin (CC), Josh Erickson (Fairbanks), Andy Lundbohm (Army), Jason Fabian (Air Force) and Sarah Erickson (Minnesota).

Numerous Division III players and junior hockey players also competed. It’s remarkable how many players Roseau has produced and even better that they get all of them to come back and play a game for the town.

Assistant coach money rises

Under the contract for new head coach Brad Berry, the pool of money for the assistant coaches has gone up by nearly $30,000 per season.

This was likely a move designed to help keep Dane Jackson at UND and to attract a top new assistant coach like Matt Shaw. Assistant coaches are vital to success at NCAA programs and assistant coaches’ impacts are probably undervalued by many fans.

Under the old contract of Hakstol, here was the breakdown for the assistant coach pool:

2015-16: $291,454
2016-17: $300,198
2017-18: $309,204

The new numbers are…

2015-16: $320,000
2016-17: $329,600
2017-18: $339,488
2018-19: $349,673

The head coach has the right to break up the money between the coaches however he sees fit. Hakstol split it 50-50 between Berry and Jackson.

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Don’t be surprised if transferring UND forward Wade Murphy ends up in the sun. I’m hearing that Arizona State is a possible landing destination for him.

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Former UND forward T.J. Oshie sent a care package to a little girl who had a meltdown about him leaving the St. Louis Blues. Check out that story here.

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Former UND forward Derek Rodwell has re-signed with the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL.

NCAA modifies interference rule

The NCAA has modified the rule dealing with goaltender interference to give officials more latitude to make the call.

Instead of a hard-and-fast rule that forces officials to wave off goals if any contact is made with a goaltender (initiated by the offensive player), the officials now can determine whether the contact affected the goaltender’s ability to make a save.

Here’s the release from the NCAA:

Men’s and women’s ice hockey officials will be authorized to judge whether incidental contact impacted the goalkeeper’s ability to defend the goal beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the modification to the rule regarding contact with the goalkeeper on Thursday.

Next season, when an offensive player makes incidental contact with a goalkeeper and the puck enters the net, the referee will use his or her judgment to determine if the contact prevented the goalkeeper from stopping the puck.

Last season in those scenarios, goals were disallowed when an offensive player initiated the contact.

The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Committee believed too many goals were being taken off the scoreboard and wanted to make the rule less rigid and give the on-ice officials more leeway to count the goal.

The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee will prepare additional officiating guidance and education to help the hockey community understand the intent of the new rule.

This rule modification should be of huge help next season when it comes to allowing goals to stand that probably should.

The ice is in, etc.

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Yes, the ice is back in at Ralph Engelstad Arena, and it’s there to stay.

In past years, they removed the ice after the summer camps and re-installed it afterwards. But for the second year in a row, they are putting it in this summer and they’ll leave it for the season.

A few other notes of interest:

  • I called the game against Boston College in Madison Square Garden the Hall of Fame game by accident. It is not the Hall of Fame Game in 2016, just a single game in New York City. UND will, however, host the Hall of Fame Game that year. I have an idea of who the opponent is, but I’m waiting for further confirmation. I believe it is a team from the East.
  • As you will see in my updated future schedule list on the right side of the page, UND is no longer scheduled to play in the Fairbanks tournament. I believe there were some scheduling issues that made it no longer an option.
  • I’ve updated the sidebar to reflect this year’s roster. The incoming freshmen are no longer listed as committed recruits. Less than three months to go until the Brad Berry era begins.
  • I heard that there were two NHL head coaches at The Ralph this week. Not only was Dave Hakstol in town, but Arizona Coyotes bench boss Dave Tippett was also visiting his alma mater.
  • T.J. Oshie will wear No. 77 with the Washington Capitals.

 

 

Toews wins ESPY Award

Former UND standout Jonathan Toews won an ESPY Award last night as the best NHL athlete.

Toews recently captained the Chicago Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup in the last six years. Toews joined a small list of players to have captained three Stanley Cup-winning teams.

Toews beat out Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares, Carey Price and Duncan Keith for the honor.

It is the first ESPY Award for Toews, who has won a Conn Smythe as NHL Playoff MVP, a Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward and the Mark Messier Leadership Award as the best leader in the game.

ESPY’s for best NHL athlete

2015 — Jonathan Toews
2014 — Sidney Crosby
2013 — Sidney Crosby
2012 — Jonathan Quick
2011 — Tim Thomas
2010 — Sidney Crosby
2009 — Sidney Crosby
2008 — Sidney Crosby
2007 — Sidney Crosby