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Recruit Update

Time for the first recruit update of the hockey season.  However, first I thought I should address a question that has been asked of me and frankly one I’ve been asking myself.  Where are all the recruits?  As of now, at least according to the few recruiting resources available, UMass only has two players lined up to come to Amherst next fall, Shane Walsh and Kenny Gillespie, and none for future years.  This is by far the lowest numbers around Hockey East.  For example, Boston College already has 14 committed recruits, 7 for next year and the other 7 for future years.  Lowell has the second lowest next to UMass with 4.  Are players shying away from the school?  Is this a product of losing Red Gendron to Yale?  Is the word out that UMass is dropping men’s hockey in favor of a coed sailing team?

There are a few factors to consider before panicking.  First is the fact that UMass, due to early defections and other reasons, now have very imbalanced classes.  Currently the breakout looks as follows; 4 seniors, 4 juniors, 13 sophomores, 8 freshmen.  So UMass only has 8 upperclassmen in the first place.  And one of those, Kevin Moore, will not need to be replaced as UMass already has 3 goaltenders under scholarship for the next three years.  So all in all UMass only has three slots to fill for next year and have already done so for two of those.

Still, all other Hockey East teams have more than one recruit lined up for 2013 or later.  Should we be worried that no one is lined up already for those four spots that open after the current juniors graduate?  Let’s take a look at when the current freshman class committed.  The earliest was Kevin Boyle, who first committed to UMass 30 months before he ended up on campus.  The least was Emerson Auvenshine who committed less than 4 months before his freshman year.  On average the freshmen committed 9 months before the start of their UMass career and actually Boyle’s 2+ years is driving most of that, because the second longest is Zack LaRue who committed last December.

Looking at last year’s freshman class, on average the players committed 13 months before their freshman year.  Eric Filiou committed the earliest, 29 months before coming to Amherst.  Adam Phillips was the shortest at less than three months.  Phillips of course was one of the bigger (no pun intended) impact players last year, which suggests that earlier commitments do not necessarily translate to success.  Mike Pereira who performed the best of the freshmen last year committed 21 months before putting on the maroon and white.

So recruiting wise, even though there are only two players in the fold, things still seem OK.  Walsh and Gillespie are two quality players lined up for next year, and we’re still 24 months from the start of the 2013 season, which is a much greater time period than the team usually take to get recruits to commit.  And when that happens, I’ll do my best to pass along the details.

Now onto the update for the current recruits.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL)
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
The USHL is still in the midst of their pre-season, but so far so good for Gillespie.  One game.  One shot.  One goal.

Shane Walsh – LW –  Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
The official stats say Walsh has 0 points in 2 games but this story says he has a goal.  Oh well, I guess it’s preseason for the official scorers as well.

Adam Phillips was featured on INCH’s A-Z.

Paul Dainton made his NHL Pre-season debut tonight when he started the 2nd period of the game between the Bluejackets and Thrashers Jets.  As I write this there are 12 minutes left in the third and Dainton has saved 14 of 15 shots with his Jackets up 5-1.

***Dainton ended up getting the win, saving 17 of 18 shots.  Congrats Paul!

Here’s a good read on Jon Quick’s status as the #1 goaltender for the Kings going into training camp.

The first preseason poll is out and RIT is picked to finish first in Atlantic Hockey.  RIT got more good news when it was announced they’ll be hosting both Michigan and Penn State in coming years.  Congratulations.  Getting the Wolverines to leave the friendly confines of Yost for a non-conference game is near impossible for any team, much less for an AHA team.

Tomorrow I’ll be starting my Hockey East previews.

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