Monday, June 27, 2011

Draft Wrap, Etc.

With the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in the books, how did the world of college hockey fare? 57 players were selected with collegiate ties, and there were two others drafted who have indicated they are planning on playing college hockey but have yet to commit to a school. Below is a breakdown by conference and school:

WCHA - 23 HE - 7 CCHA - 13 ECAC - 14
Minnesota - 5 Boston University - 3 Miami-OH - 4 Harvard - 4
Denver - 4 Northeastern - 3 Notre Dame - 3 Cornell - 3
Wisconsin - 4 Vermont - 1 Ohio St - 3 Yale - 2
North Dakota - 3
Michigan - 1 RPI - 2
Nebraska-Omaha - 3
Michigan St - 1 Quinnipiac - 2
Minnesota-Duluth - 2
Western Michigan - 1 Brown - 1
Michigan Tech - 1

Colorado College - 1

The two non-committed players are Mario Lucia of Wayzata (MN) HS and Eddie Wittchow of Bursnville (MN) HS. Lucia stated Saturday at the draft that his choices are down to Colorado College, Notre Dame, and Minnesota, where he would play for his father and head coach Don Lucia. Wittchow just completed a breakout senior season at Burnsville and spurned an offer from Wisconsin to begin school this fall, opting instead to play for Waterloo of the USHL. Aside from Wisconsin, he is on the radar of Minnesota, Ohio State, Colorado College, Bemidji State and North Dakota.

When looking at the numbers, the ECAC's showing really stands out. The "smart kid" league, which was lambasted by some last season for the perceived weak conference schedule that enabled Yale to end up atop the PairWise rankings, had 14 players selected, second only to the WCHA's 23. And lastly, while roster makeup and incoming recruit numbers certainly fluctuate from year-to-year, it's always surprising to not see perennial power Boston College on the list.

Incoming Sioux recruit JT Miller, selected #15 overall by the New York Rangers, is reportedly hoping to make his stay at North Dakota a short one.

Incoming recruit Rocco Grimaldi is profiled in this cool piece, while 2012 incoming recruit Stefan Matteau is profiled in this article from USA Hockey.

I heard a radio report on the drive home today that former Sioux Jason Herter will be leaving the Fargo Force and has accepted an assistant coaching job with the current national champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. This of course means that the Force will have their fourth coach in four seasons of the franchise's existence. This kind of staff turnover cannot be good for the team and it's players, but it's nice to see that all three former coaches (all with significant ties as coaches or players at North Dakota) have moved onto the world of WCHA hockey after their time with the Force.

And lastly, tomorrow we find out whether former Sioux and NHL legendary goaltender Eddie Belfour will be part of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2011. Here's a breakdown of Belfour and many of the other eligible candidates.

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