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