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Red Cows
03-05-2014, 11:08 PM
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/omaha-ne-recruits-top-mn-boys-high-school-hockey-players/

Gopher fan, I am interested in your take on this story.

Seriously. Not trying to grind any axe here. 4 of the 10 guys that are candidates for "Mr. Minnesota Hockey" are UNO commits. I am just trying to understand the dynamics of why that might be.

Considering Coach Blais track record here, so far, this is sort of a (pleasant) puzzle.

It isn't lost on any of us that Jake Guentzel is playing here instead of there, either, although all UNO fans know and understand that he grew up here and not there.

Seriously interested in what you have to say about this since it would seem that Minnesota would really be the "first" choice.

Reaction?

Happy
03-05-2014, 11:14 PM
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/omaha-ne-recruits-top-mn-boys-high-school-hockey-players/

Gopher fan, I am interested in your take on this story.

Seriously. Not trying to grind any axe here. 4 of the 10 guys that are candidates for "Mr. Minnesota Hockey" are UNO commits. I am just trying to understand the dynamics of why that might be.

Considering Coach Blais track record here, so far, this is sort of a (pleasant) puzzle.

It isn't lost on any of us that Jake Guentzel is playing here instead of there, either, although all UNO fans know and understand that he grew up here and not there.

Seriously interested in what you have to say about this since it would seem that Minnesota would really be the "first" choice.

Reaction?

Best MN players are in USHL.

Red Cows
03-05-2014, 11:36 PM
Best MN players are in USHL.

Uh....don't understand the response.

Bonin21
03-05-2014, 11:50 PM
Gophers have a small class next year. Glover will be one of the first Minnesotans taken in the draft and Sheehy would have dominated HS competition. Hurley, Dougherty, and Gersich also left. Not sure what kind of answer you're looking for. I will say I'm impressed by UNO's MN commitments.

mnstate0fhockey
03-06-2014, 12:00 AM
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/omaha-ne-recruits-top-mn-boys-high-school-hockey-players/

Gopher fan, I am interested in your take on this story.

Seriously. Not trying to grind any axe here. 4 of the 10 guys that are candidates for "Mr. Minnesota Hockey" are UNO commits. I am just trying to understand the dynamics of why that might be.

Considering Coach Blais track record here, so far, this is sort of a (pleasant) puzzle.

It isn't lost on any of us that Jake Guentzel is playing here instead of there, either, although all UNO fans know and understand that he grew up here and not there.

Seriously interested in what you have to say about this since it would seem that Minnesota would really be the "first" choice.

Reaction?

There are SO many kids that come out of MNHS hockey every year and play NCAA Hockey (<a href="http://www.letsplayhockey.com/online-edition/kurtt/2031-the-state-of-hockey-players-2014.html">182 men's D1 players from MN currently</a>). The Gophers can't offer scholarships to them all. And if you take a look at the Gopher's <a href="http://www.mnhockeycentral.com/11-27-2013.jpg">recruiting matrix</a>, they didn't have a lot of room for high scholarship forwards next season.

Also, you must consider the fact that most of the Minnesota kids they will be bringing in over the next few years most likely would have been on that list had they stayed in MNHS Hockey. In fact, I'm pretty positive Tyler Sheehy (a Gopher commit) would have won the award this season (Gopher commits have won <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Mr._Hockey">5 of the last 6</a> Mr. Hockey Awards). He tore up the elite league over the summer before forgoing his senior season to play in the USHL. They also have commits from two high-end MN kids playing for the NTDP and a couple high-end MN players playing at Shattuck.

Not saying the players you got commitments from are bad players, but the Gophers still get a VAST majority of the Minnesota kids they target.

And from my understanding Jake Guentzel, like Mario Lucia, didn't want to play for dad. He also spent a vast majority of his childhood in MN, not NE, so i doubt that was any factor what-so-ever. In fact, I'm not even sure he lived in NE at all (I believe mom stayed back with him while dad coached at Omaha).

Confirmed: Jake Guentzel never lived in Nebraska. He's always lived in MN: <a href="http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/125611368.html">Per Star Tribune</a>

Stauber1
03-06-2014, 12:03 AM
Also worth noting that neither of Guentzel's other boys played at MN either. I don't even think Mike Guentzel was on staff here when the current one committed to UNO. Could be off base on that, though.

There has been an ongoing controversy here with the loss of quality high school players to other leagues. That isn't to say that there are no elite players in MN HS hockey, or that I even necessarily agree with the critiques of kids leaving for Ann Arbor or junior leagues, but you have to look at those other places as well when considering recruits from the state.

The Rube
03-06-2014, 12:08 AM
Also worth noting that neither of Guentzel's other boys played at MN either. I don't even think Mike Guentzel was on staff here when the current one committed to UNO. Could be off base on that, though.

There has been an ongoing controversy here with the loss of quality high school players to other leagues. That isn't to say that there are no elite players in MN HS hockey, or that I even necessarily agree with the critiques of kids leaving for Ann Arbor or junior leagues, but you have to look at those other places as well when considering recruits from the state.

The Star Tribune has run a couple articles about kids leaving HS early, and how it's affecting the HS tourney. It's a different world for sports and it finally has hit hockey.

mnstate0fhockey
03-06-2014, 12:22 AM
The Star Tribune has run a couple articles about kids leaving HS early, and how it's affecting the HS tourney. It's a different world for sports and it finally has hit hockey.

Yup, an all-time high number of players left early this year.

<a href="http://imageprocessor.websimages.com/width/530/crop/0,0,530x560/www.mnhockeycentral.com/Early%20Departures%20-%201.jpg">List of players</a> who forwent MNHS this season to play junior hockey elsewhere.

NOTE: Tyler Sheehy should be noted as a Gopher commit. Need to update that.

Hammy
03-06-2014, 01:54 AM
After the turmoil of Tony Lucia's days, the coaches pretty much decided it was likely for the best to have their sons play elsewhere. I have little doubt that Mario and Jake would be at the U if it was really the desire to have them there.

As for Mr. Hockey finalists.... it isn't the same any more. The quality of the finalists is far more watered down these days because a good number of the very best MN kids don't play HS hockey during their senior year. Before this year's total of zero, the prior three years the Gophers have only had one finalist each year (I don't count Vannelli from last year since he didn't end up playing college hockey). Guys like Hurley, Glover, Sheehy, Dougherty, Collins, Kuhlman, Kivihalme, etc. would have likely been finalists this year but they all left HS hockey.

As an example, the Gophers have 10 recruits right now that are HS age and only one of them played in MN HS hockey this year (and nobody would be shocked if Tom Novak doesn't play HS hockey for his senior year next year).

It used to be that the Mr. Hockey finalists were loaded with Gopher recruits but those were the days when pretty much all of the best kids stayed in HS hockey. Those days are long gone now.


Also worth noting that neither of Guentzel's other boys played at MN either. I don't even think Mike Guentzel was on staff here when the current one committed to UNO. Could be off base on that, though.

Mike was here when Jake made his decision (Jake decided in Summer of 2012 and Mike came back the prior year).

5mn_Major
03-06-2014, 02:37 AM
4 of 10 mr hockey candidates is very good. Most of the best players, play junior hockey instead you say? Well UNO has Randolph and Vesel, the top two scorers in the USHL, coming in also.

No way I would trade them for the Gophers recruits...but UNO definitely got the scoop on other NCHC teams. UND will have their hands full.

mnstate0fhockey
03-06-2014, 08:37 AM
4 of 10 mr hockey candidates is very good. Most of the best players, play junior hockey instead you say? Well UNO has Randolph and Vesel, the top two scorers in the USHL, coming in also.

No way I would trade them for the Gophers recruits...but UNO definitely got the scoop on other NCHC teams. UND will have their hands full.

I don't think anyone disagrees that UNO has some great recruits coming in. I think people are more-or-less sayng that the Gophers are recruiting Minnesota as strongly as ever. The demographics of where those Minnesota-born players are playing their hockey their senior and sometimes also junior seasons has just changed.

Red Cows
03-06-2014, 09:50 AM
I don't think anyone disagrees that UNO has some great recruits coming in. I think people are more-or-less sayng that the Gophers are recruiting Minnesota as strongly as ever. The demographics of where those Minnesota-born players are playing their hockey their senior and sometimes also junior seasons has just changed.

Thanks to all of you for the interesting discourse on this. I thought Jake had been born here. I was wrong. I did know he wasn't keen on "playing for dad" though.

mnstate0fhockey
03-06-2014, 10:10 AM
Thanks to all of you for the interesting discourse on this. I thought Jake had been born here. I was wrong. I did know he wasn't keen on "playing for dad" though.

No problem! It's a good discussion for sure.

5mn_Major
03-06-2014, 11:10 AM
I don't think anyone disagrees that UNO has some great recruits coming in. I think people are more-or-less sayng that the Gophers are recruiting Minnesota as strongly as ever. The demographics of where those Minnesota-born players are playing their hockey their senior and sometimes also junior seasons has just changed.

Yeah. Think we're all on the same page.

Lucia/Guentz have done their usual stellar selves in recruiting...beyond that, Blais has done a great job in creating a strong UNO franchise and at least as any other non UM western team in recent recruiting. An argument could be made for UND to currently have superior recruiting to UNO primarily due to today's draft picks and record...but we'll see what happens once this new set of players gets settled at each program.

SanTropez
03-06-2014, 11:41 AM
Uh....don't understand the response.

The landscape has changed with MN high school hockey. The talented SR's (and younger as well) are starting to bail on their HS teams and play in the USHL. This means the Mr Minnesota Hockey candidates are watered down.

simple really

Hammy
03-06-2014, 11:44 AM
Don't undersell Potulny on the recruiting. He does a ton of the leg work now. Makes sense given he's younger, etc.

By the way, I do believe Jake Guentzel was born in Omaha. He just didn't live there for a significant amount of time because his dad became a coach at the U the same year.

Hammy
03-06-2014, 11:55 AM
4 of 10 mr hockey candidates is very good. Most of the best players, play junior hockey instead you say? Well UNO has Randolph and Vesel, the top two scorers in the USHL, coming in also.

No way I would trade them for the Gophers recruits...but UNO definitely got the scoop on other NCHC teams. UND will have their hands full.

Blais has found scoring at UNO. That's not the issue. It is defense and goaltending that has been their Achilles Heel. Not sure that has really been seriously improved. Hence, they underachieve.

ScoobyDoo
03-06-2014, 02:23 PM
Don't undersell Potulny on the recruiting. He does a ton of the leg work now. Makes sense given he's younger, etc.

By the way, I do believe Jake Guentzel was born in Omaha. He just didn't live there for a significant amount of time because his dad became a coach at the U the same year.

IIRC Potulny was instrumental in getting Sam Warning here.

4four4
03-06-2014, 03:54 PM
Uh....don't understand the response.

It means the best players in the state of Minnesota leave to play hockey out of state.

Red Cows
03-06-2014, 06:05 PM
Blais has found scoring at UNO. That's not the issue. It is defense and goaltending that has been their Achilles Heel. Not sure that has really been seriously improved. Hence, they underachieve.

No truer words could be spoken. Not a goalie in the incoming class as yet, either, which is easily the biggest need the program has at the moment.