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Recruit Update ▲ McLaughlin & Suter Commit To UMass

The first recruiting class of UMass coach Greg Carvel  is beginning to take shape as the Minutemen have recently gotten commitments from two USHL players.  Fargo Force defenseman Jake McLaughlin and Sioux Falls Stampede center Jack Suter are the latest players to sign on with Carvel and his staff after Griff Jeszka became their very first recruit a couple weeks ago.

McLaughlin is a Hinsdale, IL native who measures 6’2” and 180lbs and shoots left.  This past season with the Force McLaughlin tallied 4 goals and 7 assists in 59 games while accumulating 34 PIM and finishing with a +13.  He split the previous season with the Force and Sioux City, finishing with 2 goals and 5 assists in 61 games.  McLaughlin is a ‘96 birth year who originally committed to Saint Lawrence.

McLaughlin looks like a solid two-way defenseman with decent size.

Here’s an interview he did as part of a Force production from the beginning of the year:

 

Jack Suter is a 6’0” 190lb right shooting center who played the past two seasons for the Sioux Falls Stampede.  The Omaha, Nebraska native played only a partial season for the Stampede in 2014-15, totaling just 6 points in 38 games.  But he had a breakout year this past season when he centered Sioux Falls’ top line.  Suter had 14 goals and 26 assists in 60 games.  His 26 assists tied for the team lead and his 40 points was the second most for the Stampede as well as tied for 43rd in the league.  Suter is a ‘95 birth year who originally committed for Air Force last year.

This Over The Boards blurb describes him as a “shoot-first forward”.  Jack’s brother Will currently plays for Bentley.

In addition to the two new commitments, I was able to confirm that defenseman Shane Bear and forward Niko Hildenbrand, who committed to UMass under previous coach John Micheletto, are still slate to come to Amherst this fall.  Bear is one of the top stay at home defensemen in Canadian Junior A while Hildenbrand put up a solid amount of points in Fargo as a teammate of McLaughlin.

That was the good recruiting news today.  The bad news was that Jake Slaker committed to Michigan this afternoon.  Slaker was a gem in Carvel’s St Lawrence recruiting class for this coming fall.  He, like McLaughlin, was released from his NLI when the coaching change was made.  UMass was one of the places he considered but a number of high profile programs jumped in when he opened up his recruiting and he ultimately landed in Ann Arbor.

Obviously all this news reinforces that the recruiting situation is in a state of flux.  I’m keeping up my Projected Future Roster page for the time being, but consider it totally out of date.  I’ll update it once things begin to crystallize.

I believe defenseman Cale Makar is still committed to UMass for sometime after this coming season.  Which is good because he is good:

The Big Ten could be the second conference to move its postseason to on-campus sites after the WCHA previously announced the same.

Lastly, I have to take a chance to recognize the recent loss of Matt Kost.  Those who have spent time on UMasshoops.com know Matt better as “Kosty”.  Kosty passed away due to a relatively quick battle with cancer last week.  When that happened UMass was deprived of one of its most loyal and most passionate fans.  I don’t think he attended more than a few UMass hockey games in his life.  In fact a running joke with Matt was that despite how religiously he followed all, and I mean all, UMass teams, he rarely made games.  But he always was on top of what was going on with all the programs, including hockey.  He would be psyched to see the upward momentum going on currently with UMass hockey.

His passion was equaled only by his humor.  In fact he would combine the two for epic, hilarious rants about the state of UMass athletics, why Tiger Woods was the most overrated golfer of his generation, a recent retail visit that had excited/infuriated him, or whatever else had caught his attention that day.  Kosty was someone that you loved to banter with because of the pure entertainment factor.  I’m glad I got to call him a friend.  He’ll be missed.

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