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Recruit Update: Renyard Named RBC Player of the Year, Chukarov Crowned NAHL Champ

The hockey season has wrapped up for the Massachusetts hockey recruits, but they definitely finished strong as one future Minuteman won a major award these past couple weeks while another won a league championship.

I had previous passed along the news that Nic Renyard was nominated for CJHL Goaltender of the Year.  Not only was Renyard named the Goaltender of the Year for all of the various Junior A leagues in all of Canada he ended up being named the RBC CJHL Player of the Year.  The release celebrating his selection as the top Junior A player in all of Canada follows his windy, challenging road through juniors and eventually to the NCAA scholarship he desired.  Previous winners of the RBC CJHL POTW?  Guys like Mike Comrie, Kyle Turris, Dany Heatley, and Paul Kariya (he had a pretty good Hockey East career).

UMass fans should be very excited to see what Renyard can do when he arrives in the fall.  The team obviously could not keep opponents off the board last season and getting above average goaltending consistently would be key to turning around the team’s fortunes.  Renyard is a late bloomer but seems to have the abilities and, even better, the motivation to get UMass moving up the Hockey East standings.

The other big story for recruits is that Ivan Chukarov and the Minnesota Wilderness won the Robertson Cup as NAHL Champions this past weekend, beating the Austin Bruins 2-0.  Chuckarov had six assists in 12 playoff games.

Time to take one last lap around the recruiting trail:

Mike Iovanna – RW – Boston Jr Bruins (USPHL) – 2015
14 GP / 2 G / 2 A / 4 Pts / 10 PIM Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
13 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 Pts / 4 PIM Boston Junior Bruins (USPHL)
Iovanna enrolled at UMass for the Spring semester.  Iovanna is a former star and captain of Malden Catholic and helped lead the Lancers to consecutive Super 8 titles in 2012 and 2013.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2016
10 GP / 0 G /2 A / 2 Pts / 11 PIM

Kurt Keats – C – Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
52 GP / 31 G / 34 A / 65 Pts / 79 PIM
Keats finished the regular season 9th in the league in goals and 11th in points.  Keats had a hell of a series in the second round of the BCHL playoffs, grabbing seven points in the seven game series.  For that he was named the BCHL Player of the Week.  But unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep his team alive as Powell River ultimately fell.  He finished the playoffs with four goals and six assists in 13 games.

Austin Plevy – C – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
56 GP / 29 G / 63 A / 92 Pts / 93 PIM
Plevy finished the regular season as the league scoring champion and was 3rd in goals.  His and the other Bandit recruits’ season is over as they fell in the AJHL championship series.  As in the regular season Plevy had the most points in the playoffs with 32 in 20 games.  His 11 goals were 2nd best.  This past week Plevy was nominated for CJHL Top Forward of the Year, covering all of the different junior A leagues in Canada.

Nic Renyard – G – Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
30-8-3 / .924 save % / 2.19 GAA / 5 shutouts
Renyard finished the year first in the league in wins and third in both save percentage and goals against average.  Unfortunately the regular season MVP had a tough playoffs where he was 3-4-0 with a .868 save percentage and 3.97 goals against average.  His Oilers were swept by the Brooks Bandits in the second round.  He was named his team’s MVP in addition to being the AJHL Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year.  Renyard cleaned up on national hardware as well, being named the Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year for all of Junior A hockey across Canada.

Ivan Chukarov – D – Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
55 GP / 12 G / 31 A / 43 Pts / 63  PIM / +38
Chukarov had the 4th most points for defensemen in the league during the regular season.  The Wilderness have made it to the NAHL semi-finals where they’ll face Janesville.  Chukarov has six assists in eight playoff games. He recently spoke to the Duluth New Tribune about his decision to join the Minutemen.  Chukarov was recently named the NAHL Midwest Division Defenseman of the Year and was honored with his selection to the All-NAHL team.  Chukarov and the Wilderness won the NAHL championship.

William Lagesson – D – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
52 GP / 2 G / 14 A / 16 Pts / 79 PIM/ +18
Lagesson and the Saints made it into the USHL semifinals.  Lagesson had a goal and an assist in 8 playoff games.

Joe Widmar – RW – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
60 GP / 19 G / 22 A / 41 Pts / 46 PIM/ –10
Widmar finished the regular season second on Des Moines in total points.  Unfortunately his Bucs did not make the playoffs.

Ryan Badger – C – Philly Jr Flyers (USPHL) – 2015
46 GP / 23 G / 39 A / 62 Pts / 43 PIM
Badger was captain of the Flyers this past season and second on the team in total points.

Carmine Buono – D –Powell River Kings (BCHL) – 2015 (NLI signed)
48 GP / 2 G / 24 A / 26 Pts / 91 PIM
Buono had the second most points for defenseman on Powell River.  NHL Central Scouting has him as the 188th highest rated North American skater for the upcoming draft.  He signed his NLI this past week.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
60 GP / 8 G / 35 A / 43 Pts / 77 PIM
Bear had four goals and eight assists in 20 playoffs games.  His playoff performance was enough to get the attention of the Calgary Herald.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (NAHL) – 2016 or 2017
3 GP / 0 G / 0 A /0 Pts / 0 PIM / –2  Des Moines (USHL)
44 GP/ 4 G/ 5 A / 9 Pts /  20PIM / -4 Wenatchee (NAHL)
The Wild fell in the playoffs to Lone Star.  Conzo did not have any playoff points.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
60 GP / 13 G / 12 A / 25 Pts / 67 PIM
Nachtigall had six goals and four assists in 20 playoff games.  He had two goals in the deciding game 7 of the conference finals.

Jake Massie – D – Kimball Union Academy (NE Prep) – 2016
34 GP / 5 G / 15 A / 20 Pts
Massie was ranked as the 8oth best North American skater in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings.  He’s likely to be drafted in one of the middle rounds of June’s NHL draft.  He is the top ranked defenseman in prep hockey.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Team WI U18 (Elite)/Madison Memorial (WI HS) – 2016 (NLI signed)
21 GP / 12 G / 12 A / 24 Pts / 8 PIM  Team Wisconsin U18
24 GP /35 G / 39 A /74 pts  Madison Memorial
Pelton-Byce’s season ended with a state tournament semifinal loss.  He was held to only two assists in the two state tournament games.  He was named his conference’s Player of the Year.  He was also named first team All-State.  He was recently the All-Area Player of the Year.

John Leonard – F – Spfld Rifles (Mass Selects)/Springfield Cathedral (MA HS) – 2017
14 GP / 21 G / 11 A / 32 Pts  Springfield Rifles
23 GP / 43 G / 27 A /70 Pts  Springfield Cathedral
Leonard’s season is over as Cathedral was upset in the Super Eight semifinals.  Leonard did have two goals in that game though.  SB Nation College Hockey named him their High School Player of the Year.  They also named him to their All-State team.  ESPN Boston named him their “Mr. Hockey”.  This week the Herald named him to their Dream Team.  Masslive named him their WMass Player of the Year.  He was also named the Bessone Award winner as the top high school hockey player in Western Mass.

Nick Jenny – D – Ohio Jr Blue Jackets U18 (T1EHL) – 2017
32 GP / 7 G / 21 A / 28 Pts / 14 PIM
We’ll see if Jenny joins Omaha in the USHL next season.

Justin Dixson – D – Anaheim Junior Ducks U16 (NAPHL) – 2017
18 GP / 17 G / 18 A / 35 Pts
We’ll likely see Dixson in Tri-City next season.  College Hockey News recently had a Q&A with him where he mentioned that he also visited UConn and St Lawrence.

Brian Scoville – D – Cushing Academy (NE Prep) – 2018
33 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts
Cushing bowed out of the prep playoffs in the quarterfinals. Over The Boards reported that Scoville will be transferring to Winchendon next year.

UMass Athletics had this alumni postseason update recently.  Conor Sheary has had a spectacular playoffs for the Penguins farm team.

They also had this spotlight on the newest member of the UMass Hall of Fame, Thomas Pöck.

Some more of the schedule is leaking out.  UMass will play two games at Colorado College on October 9th and 10th.

Speaking of the schedule, you will see at the top of the website I have added a link to the currently known (and rumored) 2015-16 Schedule.  I’ll update this as information becomes available.

I’ve also added a link for the projected roster for next season based on the departures and scheduled newcomers.

With the season over for the recruits the weekly/semi-weekly updates are pretty much at an end.  However I will be sure to post now and then with any news or other info on the team.  So be sure to check back periodically to see what’s going on in the world of UMass hockey.  And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter where I’m constantly active.

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