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Prospect Commits to BC; Beantown Performance

USHR had the story Wednesday of Ryan Fitzgerald, son of former NHLer Tommy Fitzgerald, making a commitment to BC.  While the younger Fitzy’s decision reportedly came down to Newton or UNH, everything I hear both on and off of the websites is that UMass was certainly part of the process for most of the recruitment.  USHR mentions that BU was interested as well but never got an official visit.

The coaching staff is certainly doing everything they can to pry these kids away from the established Hockey East schools, but it’s not easy.  At the very least, the fact that we’re mentioned with these kids and can even perhaps pull one out from under their noses (i.e. Mike Pereira) shows that progress is being made.  The problem for UMass right now is that their recent early defections hurt the team’s overall depth a lot more than even a BU who lost a ton last year but still recovered enough to finish with home ice.  We’ll see how things progress, but it is encouraging to see elite recruits consider UMass.  And Fitzgerald is not alone.  Towards the end of the season UMass got a visit from one of the top ’95s (birth year) out there and he visited BC and BU in the days that followed his trip to Amherst.  Can’t guarantee UMass will get these kids but the program certainly seems to be in the mix.

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A FTT reader asked in a recent comment if anyone had any news on how our recruits did in the recent Beantown Classic.  I contemplated going to the games but decided not to.  In honesty, as the Bruins were playing the Penguins the night I could go I went home to watch that instead and ended up watching the B’s have some kind of voluntary free skate for two and a half hours instead.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, I don’t have any insight from the tourney, but I do have stats.  I believe each team played three games.  Conor Sheary had 2 goals and 2 assists while Mike Pereira had an assist.  Nick Gordon who visited UMass last fall had 3 assists.

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Maine’s Tim Whitehead will be getting a contract extension.

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Nice to see that professional hockey down the road in Springfield will continue, for another year at least.

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5 Comments

  1. Mel

     /  March 26, 2010

    Fitzgerald is going to be a good one. Only a freshman, and I believe he was the second leading scorer for Malden Catholic this year and was one of the best players on that team. UMass was definitely in the mix and that was good. I don’t think we can ask for much more than to snare maybe one out of every say eight or nine of these kids, but it is good that they are at least visiting and giving UMass a look.

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  2. Mel

     /  March 26, 2010

    Forgot to ask a question. Is this a new trend with high school freshman committing to schools? I notice that a frosh from Belmont Hill has committed to BU., and you mention the ’95 kid who is already looking at schools. Also, will these kids go directly to college when they graduate from high school or will they still play a couple of years of juniors? Maybe this early committing has been going on for awhile, but I have just not been aware of it. Honestly, I don’t think it is a good thing.

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    • Marcou committed to UMass at 14. It’s nothing new and unfortunately I don’t see coaches fast tracking players to college.

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  3. jake

     /  April 1, 2010

    If umass wants to compete with BU or BC they should commit to these kids earlier. Why wait for the left overs 2 to 3 years later. It is certainly working for BC. There is still a lot of good local kids available. You don’t to fly 3000 miles to justify your recruiting budget to find an average player when the better players are in your back yard.

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    • Who says UMass isn’t offering to these kids early? I know for a fact they were part of the discussion for Fitzgerald all along. I know of other cases where UMass has been the first to offer and yet the kids will still wait to see if they get a call from BC or BU. There’s not much the coaching staff can do about that except be more successful on the ice and minimize the advantages those schools have over UMass.

      What I would like to see is for the coaching staff to use the screwed up system against teams like that. If BU and BC are going to have kids play multiple years of juniors and bring the kids in when they’re 20, Toot should go after these elite prospects and tell them they can come to Amherst at 18.

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