UMass picked up a very intriguing commitment for this coming fall today in the form of K.J. Tiefenwerth. The 5’9” 160lb forward spent the past two seasons with the Junior Bruins of the EJHL, serving as team captain. This past season he scored 30 goals and had 47 assists in 43 games, that tied him for 3rd in the league in total points. In the prior year with the Bruins he had 26 goals and 31 assists in 44 games and was named Rookie of the Year in the league. Before that he was a teammate of Mike Pereira’s at Avon Old Farms where they won a prep championship together. When I went to watch AOF play at Deerfield a couple years ago to scout Pereira, Tiefenwerth played as well, even assisting on a goal with Pereira during the game. I can’t say I remember a lot about him, but he stood out enough that I still remember his name a couple years later.
What makes Tiefenwerth intriguing is that he was once a Boston College recruit, committing to the Eagles when he was just 15 years old. According to USHR Tiefenwerth was being recruited by BC as well as BU and UNH but committed to the Eagles. Somewhere along the way BC cooled on him and basically decided they didn’t want him anymore. In probably one of the more unclassy things Jerry York has done he said they’d honor his scholarship but he would not play hockey for them. Tiefenwerth still remained committed to the Eagles until this past fall. At that point Northeastern and some other schools got into the mix. Now he’s a Minuteman.
Tiefenwerth attended New York Islanders development camp this past summer (playing with Mike Marcou). Here’s another piece on his time at Islanders camp. He’s supposed to have a great shot, which is a huge asset for UMass as they’ve lacked finishers seemingly forever. He was identified as a potential NHL draft pick but went undrafted when he was eligible, perhaps due to his size.
I absolutely love this move. Here’s a mature player who will be able to come in and hopefully contribute right away. And not just contribute in minutes, but in scoring. He has already played with a number of current Minutemen like Mike Pereira, Colin Shea, and Andrew Tegeler. I could care less that in the end BC didn’t want him. For whatever reason BU decided they didn’t want Mike Pereira. Their loss, UMass’ gain. Tiefenwerth could be another similar steal.
I’ll try to post more on Tiefenwerth in the weeks ahead.