The Greg Carvel news prevented me from doing any recruiting updates for the last couple weeks. But time to get back into it with a bit of bad news.
Obviously with a new coaching staff it’s possible that there will be some turnover to this recruit list. Either the player decides to reevaluate his decision to come to Amherst now that the coaches who recruited him are gone or the new staff decides a player is not the right fit for what they’re trying to do with the program. It’s a tough situation but unfortunately that’s the way things go nowadays. It’s important to note that if a player has signed his National Letter of Intent (designated below), he loses a year of eligibility if he changes his mind, unless the staff releases him of the NLI. If a player has only given a verbal commitment, they can reconsider at any time.
The first player decommitting in the wake of Micheletto’s firing appears to be Ty Pelton-Byce, who has changed his Twitter profile to say he’s a Harvard commit. Pelton-Byce had been one of the more productive UMass recruits in juniors this past season. In his rookie year in the USHL he is currently tied for 2nd on Des Moines in scoring with 42 points in 59 games. Pelton-Byce, son of former Wisconsin star Brad Byce, was one of the top players in Wisconsin high school hockey the prior year. Pelton-Byce had previously signed an NLI, so it’s likely the school released him. Good luck to him in Cambridge.
I’m going to continue to provide updates on the recruits and assume they’re still committed to UMass unless I hear otherwise.
Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
44 GP / 11 G / 31 A / 42 Pts / 56 PIM
The Bandits are heading to the AJHL finals after they swept Camrose in the Division Finals. Brooks has yet to lose a game during the playoffs. Bear has 7 assists in the 8 playoff games. He had a strong regular season where he was a finalist for AJHL Defenseman of the Year and is considered one of the top defensive blueliners in the league.
Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) – 2016 or 2017
55 GP/ 13 G/ 21 A / 34 Pts / 18 PIM
Wenatchee’s season is over after they were eliminated in the 2nd round of the BCHL playoffs. Conzo had a goal and 3 assists in 10 playoff games. He was 7th on the Wild in points during the regular season and 9th in goals.
Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
58 GP / 15 G / 24 A / 39 Pts / 66 PIM
Nachtigall has two assists in Brooks’ 8 playoff games.
Jake Massie – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
42 GP / 4 G / 6 A / 10 Pts / 41 PIM / -17
The USHL is in the final week of the regular season. Massie had a goal and an assist in three games this past week. Here’s a look at the goal, which he scored while suiting up as a forward for the Lancers who are dealing with injuries:
Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2016
26 GP / 0 G / 3 A / 3 Pts / 33 PIM
McCarthy went scoreless in his three playoff games for the Kings. The Kings’ season is over.
Brian Williams – C – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016
51 GP / 11 G / 11 A / 22 pts / 32 PIM / +21
Williams is unfortunately one of the injured Lancers mentioned in the Jake Massie update and hasn’t played in a few weeks.
Niko Hildenbrand – RW – Fargo Force (USHL) – 2016
44 GP / 10 G / 11 A / 21 pts / 44 PIM / +3
Hildenbrand has two goals and an assist in his last 5 games.
Justin Dixson – LW – Tri-City Storm (USHL) – 2017 (NLI Signed)
36 GP / 0 G / 6 A / 6 Pts / 10 PIM / -7
Dixson didn’t play for a few weeks and went scoreless in his return.
Colin Felix – D – St George’s (NE-Prep) – 2017
25 GP / 11 G / 20 A / 31 Pts
Felix ended the regular season with 31 points in 25 games, which was tops for defensemen in the Eberhardt division and 6th among all prep defensemen. He was named ISL 1st team. They ended up losing to St Mark’s in their first prep playoffs game
John Leonard – LW – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2017
46 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 10 PIM / -1
Leonard had a goal and an assist in his last 5 games.
Matt Murray – G – Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) – 2017
23-4-0 / .910 save pct / 2.60 GAA / 3 shutouts
There’s a very good chance Murray will be facing the Brooks Bandits and their three UMass commits in the AJHL finals. The Saints are up 3-1 in their division final series. Murray has been splitting time in net during the playoffs and is 4-0-0 with one shutout so far with a save percentage of .950, GAA of 1.50. He ended the regular season 5th in wins and goals against average and sixth in save percentage. He was presented with his Top Goaltender trophy (won last year by current Minuteman Nic Renyard) and Top Goaltender Team award for his performance.
Cale Makar– D – Brooks Bandits (BCHL) – 2018 (NLI Signed)
54 GP / 10 G / 45 A / 55 Pts / 28 PIM
Makar has 2 goals and 8 assists in the 8 playoff games. In the regular season he accumulated the second most points for a defenseman, despite it being his first year in the league. He was the co-winner of the league’s Rookie of the Year award. He was named to the division’s All League and All Rookie teams:
Here’s one of Makar’s playoff goals:
Brian Scoville – D – Winchendon (NE Prep) – 2018
28 GP / 3 G / 6 A / 9 Pts
Scoville finished the season with 9 points in 28 games. Winchendon did not make the playoffs.
The rest of Coach Micheletto’s staff was let go this week. All three took to Twitter and showed a lot of class in saying goodbye. Thanks to them for all their hard work and wish them best of luck in the future.
Two former Minutemen landed on the AHL All-Rookie Team with both Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour having monster years in their first pro seasons. Simply amazing to have two players on the team. Vatrano has been in the Boston down the stretch and one would think Montour would be making his NHL debut at any time.
Coach Carvel is getting to know some of the former Minutemen who have made it to the NHL:
Hey, you know that rule proposal the Big Ten put together to limit the age of players because it was destroying the sport blah blah blah….well, nevermind.
I got all my picks into the Frozen Four! Here are my teams for tomorrow: