Off Season News and Notes
- Northeastern’s captains were announced at the year end banquet last week. Vinny Saponari will be the Captain, with Robbie Vrolyk and Ludwig Karlsson as his alternates. You can read about the event and all of the awards that were given out here. Saponari, a transfer from BU, could be considered a bit of controversial pick, but personally I like it. Its been clear since Saponari arrived at NU that he is extremely grateful for getting a 2nd chance. He won a national championship with BU, and he also served as a leader on his Dubuque team that won the USHL title. He looks like a changed man and I think he is the perfect guy to lead the team. Vrolyk is an obvious choice. No one outworks him. Karlsson is interesting. Definitely a popular guy among teammates and fans alike. I guess he is going to lead by example.
- Never say never, but I don’t think Northeastern will suffer any more losses this summer. So that means the team is losing 5 forwards and just 2 defenseman. They have 3 forwards and 4 defenseman coming in. I’m speculating here, but even though the numbers matchup, I don’t think the scholarship money does. I believe Bitetto, Quailer and the Daniels were all on pretty large scholarships. Out of the guys coming in Darcy will almost certainly be getting a full ride or close to it. I would guess Gunn and Belonger are getting a decent amount as well. The three Canadians kids are all in their 20′s already, so I’m betting they aren’t getting much. So while we can’t say for certain, I think that NU might have some money to go get another forward if thats what they want to do. Don’t be surprised to see Madigan bring someone in this summer.
- Who might that player be? Hard to say. It could be another older kid from Canada, or it could be someone committed to another college for 2013 that wants to play in the NCAA next season. St John Prep star Sam Kurker could fit the bill. The Reading, MA native is committed to BU for 2013, but rumors have been swirling regarding him wanting to play college hockey next season. BU doesn’t have a scholarship for him next year, so he may be on the open market. Northeastern was among his final 3 before he decided on BU, but that was when Greg Cronin was still the coach. Kurker had this to say about choosing BU: ”It’s Division 1, a Hockey East and Beanpot school … everything you dream of”. So you have to think NU could be a possibility.
- Another guy who is still out is Mike Vecchione of Saugus, MA. Vecchione played at Malden Catholic before leaving for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. He decommited from UNH this winter when they asked him to come in 2013, and he has not committed anywhere yet.
- The schedule for next year is starting to take shape. Fans on the USCHO forum have for the first time in history contributed something positive to society besides massive amounts of laughs. They have created a master schedule for next year based on teams that have released info. Northeastern has not released any info, but from spreadsheet we learn that NU will be hosting St. Lawrence of the ECAC the Friday after Thanksgiving. We also know the Notre Dame and Michigan owe them return games. Notre Dame will probably be at Matthews for 1 game this season. Michigan will probably buy their way out of it, if they didn’t already do that in the initial agreement. On the flip side, NU owes RPI a return game from 2010, but RPI’s schedule for next year does not include NU. So maybe it was pushed back, maybe it was cancelled. The two Beanpot games are given which means NU only gets 5 OOC games. So that means there is still 2 (3 if Michigan bails) games to fill. A home game against Alabama Hunstville has been rumored on DHD. We should have more on this as the summer goes on.
- We will continue updating our Hockey East Off-Season Movement article with any additional departures around Hockey East. Our most recent update added the announced Captains for Maine and UNH.
- UConn to Hockey East remains the big story. Nothing official yet, but it is clear UConn is the favorite. I just don’t see UConn being a successful team in Hockey East, especially playing games off-campus. Hockey East would have been better off just sticking with the 10-team, bus league that we all know and love.
- Joe Vitale and the Penguins are down 3-1 in their first round series against Philadelphia. Vitale has played in 3 of 4 games and he picked up a game misconduct last night. The playoff games are the first of Vitale’s NHL career. He has yet to register a point.
- In the AHL, the playoffs begin tonight. Tyler McNeely and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are the 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They host the Connecticut Whale. Brad Thiessen and the WBS Penguins are the 4 seed. They host the Hershey Bears. Anthony Bitetto has joined the Milwaukee Admirals, but he won’t play in their playoff series.
- All of NU’s ECHL players have seen their seasons end either by missing the playoffs or being knocked in the first round.
- Best wishes to Kyle Kraemer. He was injured in Game 3 of his team’s playoff series when he was “head-checked” by an opponent.
- Jamie Oleksiak and his Niagara are in the Eastern Conference Finals of the OHL. They face Ottawa in a best of 7 that starts Friday.
- Cam Askew is headed to Cushing Academy in the fall. He is accelerating his studies and is planning on playing for Northeastern in 2015.
- Daniel Willett was selected by Plymouth in the OHL Draft. Should he choose to sign with them, he would lose his NCAA eligibility.
- While most of the recruits’ seasons have ended, the USHL playoffs are just getting underway. Mike Gunn (’12), Ryan Belonger (’12) and the Youngstown Phantoms head to Green Bay as the 4 seed in the East this weekend.
- Zach Aston-Reese (’13) and Lincoln are the 1 seed in the West. They host Fargo this weekend. Colton Saucerman (’12) also plays for Lincoln, but he season was ended by a torn ACL.