As preparations continue for the 2015-16 hockey season, some familiar faces have been in and out of Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Among the former players spotted in the house this week are Danny Kristo, Corban Knight, Andrew MacWilliam, Evan Trupp and Jake Marto. All were members of the dominant 2010-11 team, and four of them wore letters.
It’s probably good for some of UND’s young players to be around former leaders like them, especially a guy like MacWilliam, who immediately impressed the Maple Leafs with his approach, focus and professionalism.
As for UND’s captain skates, I’m always hesitant to make any bold predictions off of small, non-game sample sizes. But I will say that I’m very interested to see who makes the lineup, because some of the guys who people assume will be out have looked pretty good.
UND has four commitments from the Penticton Vees including team captain Tyson Jost and alternate captain Colton Poolman.
Everyone’s wondering whether UND will nab a fifth in defenseman Dante Fabbro, who lives with Jost in Penticton. But the buzz out there is that Fabbro is highly unlikely to follow Jost to North Dakota.
The buzz is that Fabbro’s top four are, in no particular order, Boston University, Boston College, Minnesota and Denver. I believe he’s already made his visits out East.
Jeff Cox of SB Nation confirmed that former Maine forward Liam Pecararo has visited both North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth.
Pecararo is transferring out of Maine and is playing this season with the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL. He went undrafted by NHL teams, but a scout told me that he projects to be a better college player than pro.
Pecararo had 61 points two years ago for Waterloo. He had 9 points in 25 games as a rookie at Maine.
Former UND forward Brendan O’Donnell will be getting a look from his hometown team.
The Winnipeg Jets have added O’Donnell to their roster for the Young Stars tournament in Penticton. Interestingly enough, O’Donnell played junior hockey in Penticton.
UND fans will hear a familiar voice singing the national anthem again at hockey games this season.
Mark J. Lindquist has confirmed that he will be the official anthem singer for UND home hockey games in 2015-16. Lindquist was the full-time singer in 2014-15, too. Prior to that, he occasionally sang and received great reviews from fans.
I’ll continue to follow the storyline of full cost of attendance scholarships — who will offer them and what impact will they make in recruiting — but I can confirm now that Michigan Tech will offer them this season.
Michigan Tech can offer $2,000. It’s unclear if they will be offering the full $2,000. Bowling Green also is implementing the full cost of attendance scholarships. I’ve confirmed that Minnesota State-Mankato does not plan to do so.