Nearly all of UND’s start times have been announced for next season and I’ve updated them on the sidebar. Nothing of surprise at this point. All 7:37 or 7:07 p.m. local start times. I don’t anticipate anything too out of the ordinary when they are all said and done.
I have also updated the committed recruit list on the sidebar, removing Ryan Mantha and Luke Voltin from the list.
I haven’t had a chance to speak with Voltin, but he has been removed from UND’s list on Chris Heisenberg’s recruiting site. After checking with sources, it appears pretty certain that Voltin will end up playing somewhere else. Probably not a huge surprise. The Twin Cities continue to be real hit-and-miss for UND.
Also, I’m taking Mantha off the list because based on everything I’ve heard, there’s no reason to think that he will end up at UND. With his rights being traded in the OHL, it appears that the Niagara Ice Dogs are now the front-runners to pick him up.
Who is coming to campus this year among the recruits?
That will probably be announced before the draft, so in the next week-and-a-half.
We know that Nick Schmaltz, Trevor Olson, John Simonson, Tucker Poolman and Cam Johnson will be coming. UND is losing just one defenseman and one goaltender, so I would guess that Poolman and Johnson are the only two from those positions to come.
Up front, UND has to replace Rocco Grimaldi, Derek Rodwell, Mitch MacMillan and Adam Tambellini. Logic says that UND will have to bring in one more guy up front after Grimaldi’s early signing. Austin Poganski is probably the front-runner there based on his big end to the season. We’ll know for sure soon.
Speaking of the draft, that’s coming up on June 27-28 in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Times have not yet been announced, but the first round will probably be held on that Friday and the next six rounds on Saturday.
Schmaltz will be UND’s highest-drafted player. He could become a first-rounder like his brother, Jordan. If not, he figures to go high in the second round.
After chatting with a couple of scouts, here’s a quick projection on what to expect for UND’s draft-eligibles:
Locks to be picked
Nick Schmaltz (No. 19 on CSB)
Austin Poganski (No. 100 on CSB)
Very likely to get picked
Shane Gersich (No. 132 on CSB)
Possibilities on Central Scouting rankings
Rhett Gardner (No. 167 on CSB)
Zach Yon (No. 169 on CSB)
Chris Wilkie (No. 207 on CSB)
Possibilities not on Central Scouting rankings
Caggiula, Stecher and Johnson are in their final year of draft eligibility. Usually, these types of players don’t get selected, but there’s a chance.
Caggiula, I think, is the most intriguing candidate. Not many players — even elite ones — have the ability to beat guys one-on-one. Caggiula can do that. He has one of the hardest wrist shots on the team and he plays with an edge to his game. He’s not the height that most NHL teams want with their prospects, but if they choose not to take him this year, I think there’s a good chance one will eventually sign him as a free agent.
Stecher is in the same boat as far as size is concerned. Most NHL teams like big, long defensemen. That’s not Stecher. But his solid freshman year had to at least interest some scouts. Enough to draft him? We’ll find out in two weeks.
UND recently announced its Dean’s List for the spring semester. Two names really jumped out at me.
Women’s hockey players Michelle Karvinen and Tanja Eisenschmid both made the Dean’s List in a semester where they spent a month in Russia at the Olympic Games. Very impressive that they were able to maintain a high GPA while playing in the Olympics.
The women’s hockey team actually loaded up athletes on the Dean’s List, including Karvinen, Eisenschmid, Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Annie Chipman, Andrea Dalen, Meghan Dufault, Johanna Fallman, Halli Krzyzaniak, Amy Menke, Samantha Hanson and Lexi Shaw.
So, four of UND’s six Europeans — whose primary language is not English — ended up on the Dean’s List.
On the men’s side, Nick Mattson made the Dean’s List. Mattson also won the NCAA Elite 88 Award as the player with the best GPA at the Frozen Four.
Two Grand Forks natives were part of the Los Angeles Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup on a support level.
Tony Gasparini won his second Stanley Cup as a scout for the Kings, while Ronald Kvitne is the team doctor. Kvitne is a Grand Forks Central and UND grad.
USA Hockey Magazine has an article about David Tanabe, who has family in Grand Forks. Tanabe is a scout with the NTDP.
How might new NCAA legislation affect the UND men’s hockey program? UND might need to bump up funding cover the cost of a “full cost of attendance” scholarship.
UND athletic director Brian Faison told the Herald’s Tom Miller that he plans to make sure that the hockey program has the funding it needs to recruit against the Big Ten schools.
There’s an article about top WHL draft picks Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost playing in the BCHL this season instead of the WHL. Both are potential UND recruiting targets. Fabbro is a defenseman. Jost is a forward.