Nick Cafarelli - 18/273 - Muskegon
Nick Cafarelli - 18/273 - Muskegon
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
If a kid like Cronin goes out there and gets buried, then I'm fine with him looking elsewhere. A number of players have competed in the USHL and moved on, mid-season, when it didn't work out. Cipollone, Chanter and Robinson are all examples. I also don't mind kids who are still true-prep level kids ending up back at the prep-schools, but I'd like to see them explore this option thoroughly. Is it better for them to be the man or is it better for them to challenge themselves at the highest levels of junior hockey. I suppose its different for everyone, but there are pros either way that should be explored. I'm not really worried about Cronin being the best player on his team - or failing to play on the first PP, score 30-goals, etc. I want him getting better. Playing in the USHL (and practicing in the league everyday) probably best develops the skills we want him to have when he gets to UNH - even if he only scores 15 goals, instead of 25 in the BCHL. Same with Curran. I have no desire to see him destroy the NCDC. It tells me nothing and it does little to improve his game for his arrival at UNH.
UNH needs kids who can compete and produce in the USHL if they want to be successful. They haven't had enough of those kids in years - as you've often pointed out with your top-40 benchmark. If UNH doesn't have offensive recruits who can score at the USHL level than I wouldn't expect them to do much scoring at the college level. If I'm UNH I want to know if these kids can produce at that level - at least in camps - because I need to get questions about a lot of these kids answered. If guys like Curran and Cronin can't make it in the USHL than that probably tells UNH they need to look for more offense. Even the BCHL (though I love the league and its a clear #2 on the junior hockey pecking order) can fool you with production - as in players like Vela or Fregona. A lot of the BCHL imports are in the BCHL for a reason - the best 'imports' are playing in the USHL)...
Meanwhile, a kid like Grasso pushed it in the USHL and scores just nine goals in each of his first two seasons - but goes off for 22 in his third season, scores 20 as a FR at UNH and is perhaps (barring injury) the most talented offensive upperclassmen on the roster despite those early struggles/grinds. Pierson grinded it out at UNH this season, passing on a chance to be the big dog in the USHL or BCHL. I think that pays off in spades moving forward...
So while there needs to be a balance in development and pushing oneself to the highest level I hope every opportunity is explored - either this summer or next (I'm not advocating for, say, Cy Leclerc to insist on moving to the USHL directly from Midgets at 16/17 - but it should be a goal of his to get to the USHL, and make an impact - hopefully by 17/18). Because if these are truly the players to turn UNH around, they wouldn't be buried in the USHL when their time to join the league comes. If they are - or they have to leave the league for other organizations - well, then...
* Stutzle is a lock for Sioux City
* Margle is a lock for Madison
* Cronin is ready for the challenge in Dubuque, IMO
* Curran should be in Cedar Rapids (or I will be concerned)
* Devlin & Sacco have both indicated they want to finish Prep-School (OK with me - but I do think they should explore the USHL option this summer)
* Ring, LeClerc, Winters & Cafarelli are likely a year away (but the USHL should be firmly on their radar - and a primary goal)
Last edited by Dan; 05-07-2019 at 07:04 PM.
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
2019 USHL Phase I Draft
Turner - 6/88 - Sioux Falls
2019 USHL Phase II Draft
* Margel - 1/7 - Madison
Sacco - 5/64 - Waterloo
* Cronin - 5/68 - Dubuque
* Curran - 6/84 - Cedar Rapids
Devlin - 7/107 Chicago
Leclerc - 8/117 - Cedar Rapids
J. Ring - 9/137 - Sioux City
Winters - 11/157 - Green Bay
Cafarelli - 18/273 - Muskegon
* Id expect these players to play for the teams that drafted them. The rest we'll see. Some will have decisions to make. The last four picks are probably a year away...
Stutzle - Sioux City (USHL)
Ardanez - Vernon (BCHL)
Sweeney - Trail (BCHL)
Wazny - Maryland (NAHL)
Jones - Boston Bandits (NCDC)
N. Ring - U18?
Last edited by Dan; 05-07-2019 at 07:05 PM.
Live Free or Die!!
Miami University '03
Itís one thing to look to avoid rushing prospects too deep into their development ahead of schedule - but the AAA/AA analogy doesnít hold water for me...
Across all of MLB, AAA has become a haven for AAAA players and late developing prospects, while AA has become the true prospect league. Thats a league-wide change in philosophy. Thatís not at all the case with the college hockey and the USHL...
Watcherís point about youth in the USHL is fair. Fifteen years ago a recruiter told me it was an 18-year old league. It would be safe to say production in that league has only skewed older for many, BUT itís still without a doubt the premier league for developing talent in college hockey prospects. Including the USNTDP thatís where the best college prospects come from, case closed...
Until, UNH can consistently get top-six/top-four USHL types (whether they play in the league, or the BCHL or other) you can forget about them competing in Hockey East. So, to avoid the league as part of a development model outside of sleepers would be a HUGE mistake.
Quite frankly - and to be fair - perhaps I just want these kids to prove to me theyíre at that level. Despite some claims about pedigree I still have a lot of questions. Iíd guess Watcherís hesitancy in moving these players up revolves around much of the same concern - though I donít want to put words in his mouth. Margel and Stutzle could play anywhere - as far as Iím concerned - and be ready for UNH...
Still, UNH finishing the week with with 11 players under USHL protection is a win (with Ardanaz certainly having the ability, also). Now, whether those players play in the USHL this year or next is up to them and their teams - who will decide on whether or not theyíre individually ready and what their role might be if they do make the team. Iím sure theyíll all do whatís best for themselves - but Iím shocked that there is such push back on the idea they should all investigate and target the opportunity to play in the best junior league in North America...
Again, would anyone argue that scoring 18 goals, as a third-liner, in his first two USHL seasons hurt Grassoís development? I think you could certainly make the case it helped him score 20+ in his third year and during his FR season at UNH. UNH has had plenty of go-to prep and Eastern Junior guys fail to exhibit any of that offensive flair as Wildcats. Theyíve also seen plenty of talented kids have to grind in the bottom six for two-years AT UNH - behind real upper class talent, not like Foegel - and still break out. The skills were always there and always being developed even if it didnít show in production. I think thatís the case in the USHL...
A guy like Esposito isnít stifled offensively by going to the USHL early - he just never was an offensive kid. But what he does do got a lot better competing against older and better players. Was Mike Vecchione stifled by an adjustment year in the USHL? Or did it pay off for him in spades...?
Prep Hockey is not what it used to be. If Sacco is the best player in New England or even the best player at Lawrence it will only happen when/if/because (already) a number of his peers, including his teammates (Colangelo, Young, Doyle and Duran) decide (have decided) to push themselves at the USHL level (all of those teammates played at least one USHL game as early as last season)...
Iíd much rather have Sacco get ready for UNH the Grasso way - adjusting to the USHL in a third-line role and then becoming a go-to guy at that level the following season. It beats dominating a watered-down level heís already mastered and then adjusting to the USHL on a third-line role the season prior to coming to UNH. Or AT UNH. Itís not always about being a star - itís about building to better. And if your not a GUY - often times it means really challenging yourself...
All that said, this is an individual decision - so itís not something that should be discussed with blanket statements.
Stutzle and Margel are locks to play in the USHL this season. UNH needs to get more players like this where there is no debate about whether theyíre ready or able. Thatís the key to getting the program back on track.
Curran absolutely should be Iím the league - he has no more developing to do at the NCDC level. If he canít make his USHL team in an impactful role thatís a real concern. UNH needs him there proving he can handle the load so he can make an immediate impact in Durham...
Iím fine with whatever Sacco chooses - but I think they might want Sacco in Durham in 2020 and thatís why I believe heís best served by playing at the USHL level right now.
I hope Cronin chooses Dubuque because I think heís a natural scorer - and having to work as hard as possible to continue to develop that skill will be good for him. Even if he only manages 10-15 goals I think that pays off when he makes the adjustment to college - on top of having to play both ways. I also think he can handle a top-six role in the USHL...
I think staying at the prep-level would be best for Devlin - and he seems to feel the same way, preferring to graduate.
The other four Phase II are probably too young/not ready to make a team or make the jump. Not unexpectedly. But Iíd love to see them try - and maybe surprise us all...
Turner was a futures pick.
Last edited by Dan; 05-09-2019 at 12:20 PM.
While the Burlington, Mass., native could still be eligible for up to three more junior seasons, he joined with his family and the University of New Hampshire coaching staff in deciding that itís time to take his game to the NCAA Division 1 level. On Sunday, May 5, it was announced that Griffin signed a National Letter of Intent to join the UNH Wildcats as a true freshman this fall.
ďI was fully focused on the season and then the playoffs, but my family and I talked after the season and we felt I was ready to go to college now,Ē said Griffin, on Monday. ďA couple days after that, I talked to the UNH staff. I had met Coach [Mike] Souza before, so I knew him going into the process. I toured the campus and I loved it.
ďAfter two years of 16U and two years of juniors, they also felt I was ready,Ē added Griffin.
Griffin was an NCDC All-Star, and a major offensive contributor for the Dineen Cup champion Junior Bruins, earning 34 assists and 42 points in all 50 regular season games. He also registered seven assists and nine points in eight playoff games.
Griffin will head to campus in Durham, N.H., and work to play himself into a regular offensive contributor at the next level. Heíll join former Junior Bruins Charlie Kelleher, Joe Cipollone and Mike Robinson with the Wildcats this fall.
ďThey didnít mention any role or anything, but they said they have confidence in me as a player, and if I can keep progressing from where I am, theyíll do their best to make sure Iím on the ice,Ē said Griffin. ďYou like to hear that, that the coaches have confidence in you, as long as you do your job.Ē
Defenseman Nick Ardanaz (5-30-2002) plans to play for the West Kelowna Warriors (Liam Blackburn & Grayson Downingís former team) in the BCHL next season:
UNH will likely be competing for top 4 in hockey east this year. 2020-21 should bring us closer to annual top 4 team like in the past and hope the recruiting wins will continue. I know you think I am completely delusional, but we lost only one of our top scorers and the sophomores and freshmen are a net plus. Defense and Goalies are very good. We have 6 NCAA level defensemen. Collins, Saviano, Callendar, Abbott, Aikens, Teplitsky, Conklin and others have kids who are only 4-6 years from college hockey. Many are coaches of elite teams in the area and we can hope they will be a big plus for our future recruiting as well as they great work over the past few years. The future is bright and we certainly competed well against our former Big 4 competitors over the past 2 decades over the past few years. Deep breaths as the future is bright.
Happy Mothers Day Ref and to all other mothers.
The Langley native recently committed to the University of New Hampshire for 2021-2022. Ardanaz is also thrilled to be playing next to his close friend and former Delta teammate John Evans who is also a recent commit of the Warriors for 2019-2020. “John and I have played with each other for as long as I remember”, stated Ardanaz. “It will be great to play out our first years of junior together on the same team. John’s a great player and a better teammate.”
NCAA Watcher posted 08-26-2018, 09:45 AM
Giuliano needs to be on a plane to Vernon BC with a strong (full?) offer for Nick Ardanaz. The next Troy Stecher.
NCAA watcher 03:58 PM 11-20-2018
Now John Evans, please
Dan 04:03 PM 11-20-2018
Yes please. Goal scorers. They need a few John Evanses. I'd also take their former DHA teammate Brandon Santa Juana. And another former teammate Trey Taylor (Ty Taylor's little brother) continues to play at lot for Vernon at 16...
So that puts Taylor, Evans and Scott Morrow with pretty deep connections to UNH to watch this year.
You need to lay off the sauce, especially on Mother's Day
Edit: From Savi's twitter: https://twitter.com/SteveSaviano/sta...80984467881989
Last edited by Scott; 05-12-2019 at 10:07 PM.
So I suspect he has Souza fishing from a somewhat deeper pond than these guys' direct gene pool.
Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
Montreal Expos Forever ...
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