If you want to hang your hat on the skill-sets, scouting reports and Neutral Zone rankings of UNH's young prospects as a sign of UNH's future success feel free to do so. Honestly, I think that perspective brings a nice balance to my more pragmatic approach. However, I will always put more stock in a recruits actual production against their age group, in high-level/competitive junior leagues or how they produce relative to the recruits of other schools. Its great that UNH gets a lot of 3.75-4 star recruits (according to NZ) - its less great when you look deeper and realize they rank every DI recruit between 3.75 and 4 stars. Its great when UNH recruits score close to a PPG in the NCDC or at the prep-level - its less great when you look closer and note that success in these leagues doesn't mean much for NCAA production and see that most of their age grouped peers are playing in the USHL and/or BCHL. If you are already sold on these kids, thats fair enough - I think there are questions to be answered and more work to do...
As for UNH's overall recruiting - I'd argue that to date, Souza is doing a bit better than Borek. UNH has had very good players during its recent struggles - so getting players like Stutzle and Margel doesn't change that. Where Souza has made headway is instead of rounding out rosters with the back-end of the roster kids they have recently, he is rounding it out with players like Esposito, MacAdams, Verrier and Herrmann. This is absolutely an improvement. I dont begrudge anyone who is optimistic about that improvement, but I surmise they need more talent and goal-scoring as well. I love this type of player at the bottom of the roster - I don't love this type of player playing in your top-scoring and defending roles.
You seem to think UNH has done the work or is pre-ordained to have future success. I think they have taken some steps but much work is left to be done. That is in no way more evident that your assertion that simply because former UNH players are in coaching and have children that the recruiting pipeline is full. Just about every school can make this claim regarding its alumni and we should wait to see (as Jeteye posts) if these players are even DI talents or choose UNH before we start to plan on any impact they might make in Durham. Even if they are/do - I'll be keeping an eye on their production before I anoint anyone. Plenty of players UNH had connections too have gone elsewhere. However, If they want to focus on legacies they can start with Scott Morrow (we've been beating the drum on Morrow for years already in this space - yet, he certainly seems in no rush to jump on his UNH connection and more than willing to weigh his options) and Cooper Flinton anyway - those two are at least old enough to have been scouted/offered already (more on this in a subsequent post)...
I discuss these topics regularly because I find them fascinating - not because I'm worked up or breathless. If UNH wants the benefit of the doubt from me, they're going to have to earn it. Simply improving on a last-place finish and from last-place recruiting classes is the EASY part. Taking the next step to middle-of-the-pack is much more difficult and improving to competing for HE titles is MUCH harder still. Improvement is not always linear and subtle success (and often intangible) last season does not indicate that linear and steep success is imminent. Only consistent, continued and actual success will prove anything...
That said, no one has pointed to this coming season as UNH's best roster and best potential launching pad more often than I have - but that doesn't mean success or capitalizing on potential success is a certainty, either. Yes, I expect them to compete for home-ice this season - but that doesn't mean they are on the fast-track to the top of the league. That only means that the last strong Borek class is mixing with some Souza recruits to finally (and for the first-time in a while) give them a balance of talent and experience across their roster. When some of that balance graduates or leaves Durham - will they have the recruiting classes behind them to continue any of the building? That remains to be seen, IMO...
Last edited by Dan; 05-13-2019 at 01:24 PM.
And here is one more problem UNH will now face - especially given their deliberate recruiting style and over reliance on late additions to classes...
The new NCAA recruiting rules. If anyone simply thinks these rules are good for doing right by the kids involved in the process - fair enough, to that end I agree. However, if anyone thinks delaying recruiting cycles will benefit the non-blue blood schools they’re mistaken. These are blue blood driven rule changes made to protect those schools from the dangers of poor evaluations early in the process. Little more...
Here's how schools like Providence, UMD, SCSU, etc, out recruited the perceived 'top tier' during early recruiting - they targeted and landed (not all, but a few) top kids early and had success by being first to offer, then still had plenty of room to offer the late blooming talents, the under the radar (or under-sized) skill players or pick up transfers/decommits. Early recruiting hurt the larger schools because they made mistakes in evaluations due to the nature of recruiting pre-adolescent prospects. Their rosters were full by the time development kicked in for a lot of kids...
All of that is now gone. The blue bloods will be able to wait on true and natural development before they pick off all the top prospects - they'll be fewer decommitments, less over recruiting in order to hedge their bets, etc. Delaying recruiting two-seasons will only do more to clear the picture on who the best prospects are and separate those kids from the next tiers. The late bloomers will be fewer and further between. Kids won't be jumping on first offers out of excitement or fear like they are now - you're going to have to compete for kids with a lot of offers all coming in at once. Its happening as we speak in softball...
UNH's process has often been VERY deliberate under Souza - targeting under the radar prospects and waiting for late-bloomers and decommitments (often waiting until the summer prior to arrival - which they did again this season). Those players won't be there (nearly as often) in the future. If at 16 Gildon/MacKinnon back up too much for the tastes of UW/DU - then schools like PC, PSU, OSU will be waiting with open arms. They're not on the market again at 18 without options - like they were for UNH in the past. When schools are allowed to speak to/offer recruits (after two long/additional years or evaluations) its going to be an open flood gate - an absolute feeding frenzy - and UNH better have done their homework, re-evaluated their process and be prepared to pounce and sell. Its only going to get more competitive...
Last edited by Dan; 05-13-2019 at 02:13 PM.
Alex Gagne (DOB: 8/12/02), a 6'3", 190 lbs., left-shot defenseman from Bedford, NH commits to @UNHMHOCKEY. Last season w/New Hampshire Avalanche U16 scored 7 goals, 42 assists in 49 games. Selected by Cedar Rapids Rough Riders 14th Round #208 Overall in 2019 USHL Phase II Draft.
Earned an invitation to the 2019 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp representing the New England District
Last edited by C-H-C; 05-14-2019 at 01:41 PM.
Sounds good CHC with size that we like.
The boys who did not come in at 18 have stated they think the USHL in 19 or 20 year old period is very helpful due to the speed factor. We have quite a few 18 year old players coming in out of prep school, Under 18 team playing in USHL and we also have had luck with the NAHL as well. The New England prep ties or NCDC 17-19 year olds have worked well in the recent past. Credit to the recruiters for their hard work this past year.
WHERE ARE THEY FROM - THE LAST FIVE YEARS
United States Hockey League
British Columbia Hockey League
Eastern Junior Leagues
Brendan van Riemsdyk
North American Hockey League
* Rushed to UNH, skipping USHL/BCHL season
** Played in USHL
Its pretty clear where UNH has done well or has had luck (relative to the last five seasons of performance) at least done better. Outside of a handful of cases, the kids who played in the USHL/BCHL have been the best players in Durham - and that handful gets even smaller when you consider that Pesce, Foegele and Pierson (and now Griffin) all changed their junior hockey plans to arrive at UNH early. Excluding those three and their special circumstances, the entire list of (top-six/top-four) difference makers who didn't matriculate from or play in the USHL/BCHL/Europe over the past FIVE seasons - Benton Maass, Matt Willows, BVR. Three guys. Calling BVR a difference-maker may even be a bit of a stretch. While, Willows scored 27-43--70 (40 GP) at 18 in the EJHL (dominating the league) and still didn't manage to make a real impact at UNH until his junior season...
Last edited by Dan; 05-15-2019 at 02:18 PM.
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
"UNH Commit Robby Griffin: A High IQ, High Effort Player"
Includes interview, video highlights, statistics, and scouting reports
The old-timers will probably know exactly who I'm talking about. Maybe even you, Nick? Fun times ...
Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
Montreal Expos Forever ...
Ryan's Dad was always good for some drama in the stands. He transferred to Merrimack to finish up. I wonder where Ryan is today?
In general, parents simply are better off not reading the internet with a kid that is a student-athlete. It's just brutal. That being said, some infamous parents have had some serious trials and tribulations on various boards. The estranged father of QB Dan Orlovsky would spend hours a day on the UConn boards back in the day as 'cubbybear' and let's just say he had a few screws loose. But it was entertaining as all heck.
3 UNH Commits will represent Massachusetts Hockey District this summer at USA Hockey Select Camps. 2002 David Sacco and 2003s JP Turner & Nick Ring:
Last edited by C-H-C; 05-21-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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