UND announces rookie class

I forgot to post this last week, and partly because it was exactly as expected, but UND announced its freshman class for the 2013-14 season.

Forwards

Luke Johnson, Lincoln Stars (USHL)
Wade Murphy, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Adam Tambellini, Surrey Eagles (BCHL)

Defensemen

Paul LaDue, Lincoln Stars (USHL) – L.A. Kings pick, 6th round
Troy Stecher, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Keaton Thompson, U.S. Under-18
Gage Ausmus, U.S. Under-18

Goaltender

Matt Hrynkiw, Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)

The release also had a note that said UND still could add rookies to this class at a later date. If they do, it will likely be a depth/walk-on type of player, as all of the top prospects are already committed.

I will later go into more detail on my thoughts of the class and the scouting reports that I get from their coaches and those who have seen them play, but here are a few quick impressions.

  • There aren’t any first-round picks or guys who are getting lots of buzz in this group but it’s a pretty solid class. I don’t think we’re going to see a 30-point rookie scorer or anything, but they all have potential to contribute something right away.
  • I’m thinking Tambellini will most likely have the most points of the rookies next season. He’s a big kid who knows how to score. He hasn’t completely filled out yet, but when he does, he could be hard to handle.
  • The headliners of this class are the defensemen. You have the USHL defenseman of the year in LaDue, the BCHL defenseman of the year in Stecher and two guys who played a college schedule with the NTDP and will likely be drafted. That being said, it’s always a tough transition for rookie defensemen. They’ll probably have their good nights and tough nights next year. But as they grow up together, this group should be the backbone to some pretty good teams.
  • LaDue, Stecher and Thompson are more of the offensive variety. Ausmus is more of a stay-at-home, physical type of defenseman.
  • I’ve seen Luke Johnson play a number of times in past years. He’s an intelligent, two-way player. I’m not expecting huge point totals out of him next season, but I do think he’ll be a nightly contributor.
  • Hrynkiw will likely start as the third goaltender, but he has a pretty solid background and should help to push the others.

11 thoughts on “UND announces rookie class

  1. Brad, that’s 8 additions to a roster that doesn’t appear to have 8 vacancies. Does this mean that there are a few players from this year’s team that won’t be traveling with next year’s team? If so, are those few players likely to find a new team soon (like Taylor Dicken did)?

    • Yes, there are usually a few guys who don’t end up traveling. As for guys who could perhaps decide to go elsewhere, I haven’t heard of any guys who are for sure leaving, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised if someone does.

      • I don’t know how these things work, but is UND limited on the number of players on roster? I can’t imagine Sanderson or Senkbeil will play a whole lot, but perhaps they’re not interested in playing anywhere else.

    • Especially since he would have just been a senior in high school next season if he had stayed in high school.

  2. Brad, It looks like there are 7 quality D for next year…your thoughts on how this will pay out? Dress 7 or who is odd man ou?

    • I agree, it’s a very log jammed position. Simpson, Mattson, Panzerella all return and offer different skillsets, too. Since Mattson seems pretty offensively talented and had (in my opinion) struggles on defense, is it possible to see him play forward this year? He seems too talented to leave off the ice, but I think he’s the only defenseman that could.

  3. “There aren’t any first-round picks or guys who are getting lots of buzz in this group but it’s a pretty solid class. I don’t think we’re going to see a 30-point rookie scorer or anything, but they all have potential to contribute something right away.”

    I actually really like this more than seeing the high picks come in. To me it seems like we’re getting a lot of extremely talented guys that could potentially be here all 4 years and develop that chemistry together that’s needed for great teams and winning titles.

    • Good perception. I actually think this team might gel into one of the better teams in the new conference next year…….

  4. I agree with KB. If UND has all 8 players stick around for 4 years this would be a great senior class and hopefully win a championship. Its time for UND to get another one and with all the parity across college hockey it seems more difficult then ever.

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