There’s been a lot of action in the past few days on the early signing front, a couple of note for UND.
GOING: Wisconsin’s Nic Kerdiles signed with the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday morning, becoming the second player to leave early this offseason. Standout defenseman Jake McCabe was the first (and he’s already played in the NHL for the Sabres). The Badgers lose their top five scorers and seven of the top eight. UND goes to Madison for a series next season, but it will be a completely different-looking team.
STAYING: Providence star goalie Jon Gillies, who led the Friars to the NCAA tournament this season for the first time in more than a decade, announced on Twitter that he’s coming back for his junior year. Gillies has a career .931 save percentage. The Friars come to Ralph Engelstad Arena next season, so start sounding the Hot Goalie Alert.
GOING: UND doesn’t have any games lined up against UMass-Lowell, but the River Hawks lost star goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who signed with the Jets on Saturday. Hellebuyck finished his remarkable two-year college career with the same number of shutouts as losses (12), which is ridiculous. Lowell also recently lost free-agent defenseman Christian Folin — a kid who was cast off by the Fargo Force to the NAHL just three years ago.
STAYING: Worst to first? Miami University will try to do that next year in the NCHC as the RedHawks were able to keep Austin Czarnik, Riley Barber and Blake Coleman. All three announced on Twitter that they are coming back. With Sean Kuraly, Anthony Louis and a healthy Jimmy Mullin, the RedHawks will without question be the most explosive team in the league.
GOING: In case you didn’t see the earlier post, Omaha lost a second player early in Jaycob Megna. The Mavs will still have some skill up front, but they do have some considerable holes to fill with six seniors graduating.
In other news, I talked to outgoing WCHA commish Bruce McLeod, who was in Cincinnati watching the Midwest Regional last weekend. McLeod said that the idea of retirement has grown on him and he will continue to work part time. He also said he doesn’t want to “be in charge of anything.” Read that story here.
I talked to former UND forward Drew Stafford when he was up in Winnipeg earlier this season and he seemed to be loving the change to Ted Nolan as his coach. Now, with his resurgence, he has been named Buffalo’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which goes to the NHL player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Read about that here.
UND recruit Nick Schmaltz was the forward of the week in the USHL last week for tallying six points.
The Poolman brothers played against each other in Fargo last night. Tucker, who plays for Omaha, got the best of the younger Colton, who plays for Fargo. Tucker had a goal in regulation and the game-winner in the shootout for the Lancers.
Matt Greene played his 500th NHL game this week for the Los Angeles Kings.
Grand Forks’ Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux visited the White House this week with Team USA and even got to walk the president’s dog, Sunny.