Schneekloth named ECHL All-Star

Former UND defenseman Aaron Schneekloth is a first-team all-East Coast Hockey League player.

Schneekloth, who plays for the Colorado Eagles, was honored in a vote by the league’s coaches, sports info directors and media.

Schneekloth was the top-scoring defenseman in the ECHL by a large margin, racking up 20 goals and 61 points in 70 games. He had eight more goals and 11 more points than any other defenseman in the league.

Schneekloth had been playing for the Eagles in the CHL, but moved to the ECHL when the team moved up. Obviously, he easily adjusted to the ECHL level.

The Calgary native played for UND from 1998-2002.

Lamoureux to join Gwinnett

UND senior captain Mario Lamoureux has agreed to join the Gwinnett Gladiators of the East Coast Hockey League for the rest of the season.

Lamoureux played injured for much of his final season, but ended with a bang, scoring three goals in his last four games. He had 11 points for the season.

The Grand Forks native will join former UND classmate Corey Fienhage in Gwinnett, a team that leads its division in the ECHL.

Lamoureux’s classmate, Brad Eidsness, will also be in the ECHL with the Reading Royals.

Roseau’s Mike Lee signs with Phoenix

St. Cloud State goaltender Mike Lee, who led Roseau to a state championship in 2007, has signed a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, giving up his final year of college eligibility.

Lee a third-round draft pick, was injured for much of his junior season, but finished with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

For his career, Lee had a 32-29-9 record, a 2.65 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He is the second St. Cloud State player to turn pro early. Forward David Eddy previously signed with the Calgary Flames.

Sophomore-to-be Ryan Faragher, who was quite good in Lee’s absence, will be penciled in as the starter next season.

Early signings in the WCHA

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (2)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, so, f, Minnesota Wild

Minnesota-Duluth (1)
J.T. Brown, so, f, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nebraska-Omaha (1)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks

St. Cloud State (2)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames
Mike Lee, jr, g, Phoenix Coyotes

Tentative 2012-13 schedule

As a reminder, this is not finalized and is tentative. Last year, Omaha backed out of the Winnipeg game and Michigan backed out of the Ice Breaker, so things can and have changed in the past, but here’s what the schedule will probably look like…

Oct. 6 — EXHIBITION
Oct. 12 — EXHIBITION
Oct. 19 — at Fairbanks tourney
Oct. 20 — at Fairbanks tourney (will play UAA and UAF here)
Oct. 26 — ALASKA ANCHORAGE
Oct. 27 — ALASKA ANCHORAGE

Nov. 2 — BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Nov. 3 — BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Nov. 9 — at St. Cloud State
Nov. 10 — at St. Cloud State
Nov. 16 — MINNESOTA-DULUTH
Nov. 17 — MINNESOTA-DULUTH
Nov. 23 — at Notre Dame
Nov. 24 — at Notre Dame
Nov. 30 — at Colorado College

Dec. 1 — at Colorado College
Dec. 7 — DENVER
Dec. 8 — DENVER
Dec. 14 — at Michigan Tech
Dec. 15 — at Michigan Tech

Jan. 4 — HOLY CROSS
Jan. 5 — HOLY CROSS
Jan. 11 — COLORADO COLLEGE
Jan. 12 — COLORADO COLLEGE
Jan. 18 — at Minnesota
Jan. 19 — at Minnesota
Jan. 25 — ST. CLOUD STATE
Jan. 26 — ST. CLOUD STATE

Feb. 1 — WISCONSIN
Feb. 2 — WISCONSIN
Feb. 8 — at Nebraska Omaha
Feb. 9 — at Nebraska Omaha (outdoor game)
Feb. 22 — at Denver
Feb. 23 — at Denver

Mar. 1 — BEMIDJI STATE
Mar. 2 — BEMIDJI STATE
Mar. 8 — at Mankato
Mar. 9 — at Mankato
Mar. 15-17 — WCHA first round
Mar. 22-24 — WCHA Final Five
Mar. 29-31 — NCAA regionals (Grand Rapids, Mich., Toledo, Ohio, Providence, R.I., Manchester, N.H.)

Apr. 11-13 — NCAA Frozen Four (Pittsburgh)

Brown picks Tampa Bay

Minnesota-Duluth sophomore forward J.T. Brown has signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Wednesday night.

Brown went undrafted and was one of the most coveted free agents this offseason. He will likely make his NHL debut before the end of the season.

Brown had 24 goals and 47 points this season and finished his career with 84 points in 81 career games.

Minnesota-Duluth will have to replace its top three scorers and four of its top five scorers next season.

Six WCHA players have turned pro early this offseason.

Early signings in the WCHA

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (2)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, so, f, Minnesota Wild

Minnesota-Duluth (1)
J.T. Brown, so, f, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nebraska-Omaha (1)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks

St. Cloud State (1)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames

Davidson honored in Sweden

Former Sioux Brent Davidson has been named his team’s best defenseman in Sweden.

Yes, Davidson is playing defense again. He first got that experience as a junior at UND, where he moved to the back end and helped the Sioux go on a late-season run and win the Broadmoor Trophy.

Davidson is playing with Boras HC in the Allsvenskan. He is a free agent at the end of this season.

Davidson came to UND as a walk-on and was playing on a line with first-round pick Brock Nelson and second-round pick Danny Kristo by the time he was done, and was one of the most respected players in the locker room.

Eidsness to finish season in Reading

Sioux senior goalie Brad Eidsness will finish the season with the Reading Royals in the ECHL.

Eidsness signed a tryout contract with the team. There, he will be reunited with defenseman Derrick LaPoint, who has played 51 games this season.

Reading currently has two goaltenders on its roster.

LaPoint posted on Twitter earlier today: “Excited to be reunited with my old roommate and teammate @BEidsness ! Dinner is on me today!!!”

Old recruiting stories

This evening, I went through some old recruiting stories that I wrote when the three seniors committed. I got a little bit of a laugh out of it because the quotes from their coaches couldn’t have been any more spot on. I figured I had to share them.

Former Tri-City coach Bliss Littler on Mario Lamoureux: “He’s an awesome kid. He’s a tireless worker. He’s a mentally tough kid and a physically tough kid. He’s a player you want on your side. I imagine at some point he’ll be a leader there.”

Shattuck-St. Mary’s coach Tom Ward on Ben Blood: “Ben plays plenty physical. He’s going to be a horse.”

Former Okotoks Oilers coach Garry VanHereweghe on Brad Eidsness: “He’s an outstanding student who values academics as much as hockey.”

Zucker signs with Wild

The University of Denver has lost another standout player to the NHL.

Forward Jason Zucker has signed with the Minnesota Wild, giving up his final two years of college eligibility, blogger Chuck Schwartz has reported.

Zucker had 22 goals and 46 points in 38 games this season. He won WCHA rookie of the year honors a year earlier, scoring 23 goals and adding 22 assists.

Zucker is the second DU player to give up college eligibility to sign an NHL contract in as many days. On Monday, teammate Drew Shore signed with the Florida Panthers.

Early signings in the WCHA

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (2)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, so, f, Minnesota Wild

Nebraska-Omaha (1)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks

St. Cloud State (1)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames

Drew Shore signs with Florida

Junior forward Drew Shore, the leading scorer for the University of Denver for the past two seasons, has signed with the Florida Panthers, giving up his final year of college eligibility.

Shore had 22 goals and 53 points in 42 games for the third-place Pioneers. He finished his career with 118 points.

Denver is still expected to have a pair of Shores in the lineup next season — junior-to-be Nick Shore and incoming freshman Quentin Shore. They are all brothers.

Denver also will be keeping an eye on Jason Zucker, a forward prospect who the Minnesota Wild want to sign.

Early signings in the WCHA

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (1)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers

Nebraska-Omaha (1)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks

St. Cloud State (1)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames