UMass has secured commitments today from a couple of left-shooting centers for this fall. The first came from forward Brett Boeing, who left Michigan Tech after his first semester this past winter. Boeing will be eligible to suit up for the Minutemen for the 2nd semester this coming season and could make his debut at the Mariucci Classic in Minnesota. The second came a few hours later from Luke McElhenie. Both players played most recently in the USHL.
Boeing was a high profile recruit for the Huskies following his 2014-15 season when he was playing for Dubuque in the USHL. He finished that season 9th in the league in goals with 28 in 60 regular season games. He also had 20 assists that season and finished tied for 26th that year in total scoring. Michigan Tech appeared to be a tough adjustment for him however as he had just one goal to go with 5 assists in 11 games with the Huskies before returning to Dubuque to finish out last season. In his second stint with the Fighting Saints he had 6 goals and 12 assists in 31 regular season games.
It’s tough to know exactly why things didn’t work out in Houghton, though it should be noted that the Huskies have had to replace assistant coaches in each of the last two offseasons, which may have been a factor. He originally committed to Michigan Tech way back in 2012. Boeing, a ‘95 birth year, hails originally from Barrington, IL and measures 5’8”, 187lbs. He first played in the USHL in 2013-14 when he had 10 goals and 16 assists in 52 games. Prior to that he played at Shattuck St-Mary’s, the high profile prep school in Minnesota. At Shattuck he played alongside current Minuteman Anthony Petrella.
Here’s a Q&A Boeing did before last season:
And here’s an interesting article on him from last summer. I like the fact that he’s a goal scorer but seems to have some toughness and grit to him as well. I think there’s a need for that type of player next year.
So there were rumors in recent days that the coaching staff was on the verge of landing a “big fish” and Boeing seems to be just that. I’m not sure what happened at MTU but you don’t finish in the top ten in USHL goal scoring by accident. This could end up being a significant addition for next year, even if just for the second half of the year.
McElhenie is also a ‘95 birth year and has spent the last two seasons with the USHL’s Madison Capitols in his native Wisconsin. This past season he had 14 goals and 13 assists in 60 regular season games. In his first season in the USHL he had 7 goals and 6 assists in 57 games. That season McElhenie scored the historic first goal as the Capitols re-joined the USHL for the first time since the mid-90’s.
Here’s an article from his hometown paper when he joined the Capitols.
Prior to playing with Madison the 5’10, 170lb McElhenie played high school hockey in Wisconsin where he had 40 goals and 28 assists in 23 games for Sauk City during the 2012-13 season.
We could see a Minuteman raise the Stanley Cup over his head tonight as Conor Sheary’s Penguins lead Justin Braun’s Sharks 3 games to 1. Game 4 was pretty boring…because no UMass players scored. But the Minutemen have had a pretty big influence on this Final series up to that point. At one point 4 of the first 10 goals in the series were scored by Sheary or Braun.
There are a bunch of good reads to share regarding the alumni in the series.
Justin Braun was the subject of this NBCSports article where his play is described as exceptional. CBSSports listed him as one of the many Sharks who have overcome long odds to be where they are. I said it on social media, but I’m personally not surprised to see Braun where he is. When he graduated from UMass I had no doubt he’d play significant minutes in the NHL. UMass has seen better offensive defensemen and perhaps better defensive defensemen but I’d argue there have been no better all around defensemen for the Minutemen than Justin Braun.
Puck Daddy had this story about what an inspiration he’s been for his teammates in this series.
Lastly, the Star Tribune has this article on Minnesota native Braun where they mention the fact that UMass was the only DI school to offer him a scholarship.
This article traces Sheary’s journey from Cushing Academy to Stanley Cup Final hero. Similarly it states that UMass was the only school to offer him a full time scholarship. Maybe its time to recognize the quality job done by former coach Toot Cahoon and his staff at finding and landing these high impact players.
Stanley Cup Of Chowder had this recap of Frank Vatrano’s season.
Vatrano and Sheary are covered in the most recent edition of the New England Hockey Journal.
Matt Vautour covers a wide range of topics in this piece on Coach Carvel from last week.