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Recruit Update ▲ Leonard, Buono Listed As Players To Watch By NHL Central Scouting

Happy Tuesday.  Time to take a look at how the future Minutemen are faring.  Before we do that though there was some news today concerning a current player and a recruit.  NHL Central Scouting released their preliminary Players To Watch for the upcoming season and freshman defenseman Carmine Buono and forward recruit and Amherst native John Leonard made the list.  They’re both listed as “C” prospects, meaning it’s projected they’d be picked in the later rounds.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016
4 GP / 0 G / 5 A / 5 Pts / 6 PIM
Bear did not play this past weekend.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) – 2016 or 2017
5 GP/ 3 G/ 1 A / 4 Pts /  0 PIM
Conzo scored a goal in each of his games this past weekend.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
4 GP / 0 G / 4 A / 4 Pts / 4 PIM
Nachtigall went pointless this past week.

Jake Massie – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
The regular season is underway for the USHL but so far Massie has only appeared in one exhibition game.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2016
0 GP / 0 G /0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM
McCarthy is injured to start the year with the Kings.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI signed)
2 GP /1 G / 0 A / 1 pts / 0 PIM
Pelton-Byce scored a goal in his first weekend in the USHL.

Justin Dixson – LW – Tri-City Storm (USHL) – 2017
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Dixson did not play this past weekend.

Colin Felix – D – St George’s (RI-HS) – 2017
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Felix is playing for the Rhode Island Hitmen U18 before the high school hockey season starts up in the Ocean State.  He has a goal and 7 assists in 8 games.

Nick Jenny – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2017
2 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 0 Pts / 2 PIM
Jenny is playing alongside Jake Massie this season.  He had an assist in two games this week.

John Leonard – LW – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2017
1 GP / 0 G / 0 A /0Pts
Leonard went pointless in his USHL debut.

Cale Makar– D – Brooks Bandits (BCHL) – 2018
6 GP / 1 G / 7 A / 8 Pts / 2 PIM
Makar only had one point over the weekend, but it was a good one.  You can see the video here (5:50 in) of him rushing down the ice and setting up an overtime game-winning goal.  His 8 points continues to be tops among AJHL defensemen.

Brian Scoville – D – Winchendon (NE Prep) – 2018
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Scoville is playing for the Cape Cod Whalers U16 team before Cushing starts up.  He has 2 goals and 5 assists in 11 games so far.

Jeff Cox of SBN Nation College Hockey has a much recommended profile on freshman goaltender Nic Renyard which includes comments from both him and Coach Micheletto.  It’s a great look at the player who will hopefully give UMass the consistent goaltending it’s needed for seasons.

Frank Vatrano was sent down to Providence after struggling in last night’s preseason game against the Red Wings.  Still, he played well enough in camp that he could likely return to the Garden later in the season.

Mike Kostka is still in camp with the Senators however and was interviewed prior to their game with Winnipeg.

With just four days to go until the exhibition game it’s time to take a look at #4 Marc Hetnik.  Hetnik came to UMass originally as a defenseman but has been versatile for Coach Micheletto, playing both defense and at forward in his two years.  He scored just one goal in his 25 games as a freshman, but it was a big one as it proved to be the game winner over then #11 Northeastern.  Last year he played 35 games and racked up 2 goals and 9 assists, two thirds of his points coming before Thanksgiving.

With the crop of freshmen defensemen coming in Hetnik will have to continue to be flexible about where he plays to continue being an every day player.  He looked comfortable while playing forward regularly last season.  And when he does get the chance to play on the blueline he’ll bring veteran leadership to a defense that will likely dress at least 3 freshmen every night.  It’s hard to gauge exactly what role Hetnik will play on the team this season but it’s clear the staff has a lot of confidence in him and will continue to find a spot for him on the ice most nights.

Photo by Thom Kendall/UMass Athletics

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