The 2013 Grand Forks Herald college hockey preview section is out today. And this year, the powers that be have informed me that it won’t be online. It’s only available in print. If you live in the area, find a copy of the Herald on newsstands and it will be in there. If you are in Fargo, try Sunmart. They have limited copies.
Otherwise, if you want one, call (701) 780-1215 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe it will cost $4.50 for the paper and for the mailing.
If you are curious what’s in it, there’s a total of 12 pages. I ranked the top five players and incoming recruits for each league. I also predicted the finish of each conference. There’s a list where all of the former UND players are under contract for this upcoming season. There are some stories about the goalies, Dillon Simpson, who will score up front for UND this season, the challenge of the NCHC, the conference shakeups, the Olympic hopefuls and recruit Nick Schmaltz. Hopefully those who get it will enjoy.
Because I have been busy working on that, as well as doing other tasks at work recently, I’ve been slacking on the blog posts. So, here are a bunch of random updates….
The All-American Prospect Game, featuring top 2014 draft eligible players, will be played at 6 p.m. tonight in Pittsburgh. Three UND recruits will play in the game – forward Nick Schmaltz, forward Shane Gersich and defenseman Ryan Mantha.
Forward Austin Poganski was selected to play in the event, but will miss it due to injury. He’s not expected to be out for long, though. He hasn’t been ruled out for Tri-City’s games this weekend.
Speaking of prospects for the 2014 draft, the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau came out with its classifications for players this year. ‘A’ players are considered potential first-round picks. ‘B’ players are considered potential second or third-round picks. ‘C’ players are projected to be fourth round or later. Obviously, a lot can change between now and June. UND had several recruits in the rankings:
Nick Schmaltz, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Chris Wilkie, Tri City Storm (USHL)
Austin Poganski, Tri City Storm (USHL)
Ryan Mantha, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
Shane Gersich, U.S. Under-18 Team
Rhett Gardner, Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
You will probably notice that touted recruit Ryan Gropp is not on this list. There’s good reason for that: He’s not draft eligible until 2015.
While Danny Kristo was assigned to Hartford today by the New York Rangers, his old linemate is making a strong push to be on an opening day NHL roster. Corban Knight scored a goal for Calgary on Wednesday night in his latest audition to make the big club.
Former UND forward Brad Malone is making a strong push to be on the roster for the Colorado Avalanche. He is impressing new coach Patrick Roy. Read about that here.
Former Grand Forks Central forward Casey Purpur is on the roster for the Northern Michigan Wildcats. The Wildcats have a whopping 32 players on the roster. Purpur will wear No. 2. Northern Michigan will come to Grand Forks in December.
UND recruit Trevor Olson will wear the ‘C’ for the Sioux City Musketeers this season, while former Grand Forks Central standout John Simonson will wear the ‘C’ for the Lincoln Stars.
Speaking of the Stars, Grand Forks native Chad Johnson stepped down as coach to return to Fargo and take care of health issues. In the shakeup, the Stars hired former Minnesota State Maverick Mick Berge as an assistant coach. Berge previously worked at The Hockey Academy in the Ralph.
The Pairwise Rankings have a new formula this season giving more weight to a win on the road than a win at home. Many coaches argued for this because the Big Ten and NCHC will play a lot more home games than road games in nonconference action.
The guys at USCHO ran the numbers and it appears like the change won’t be overly drastic. Read more here.
On the women’s side, UND plays its first exhibition game Friday against Pursuit of Excellence, basically a high school all-star team from Canada.
Star Finnish recruit Susanna Tapani will be ready to go (no NCAA holdups for her). Look for a full women’s preview next week before they open the regular season against Lindenwood at home.