-Northeastern’s schedule was officially released yesterday after being informally released last week. Our OOC schedule is Harvard, University of Alabama-Huntsville (2), St. Lawrence, the Beanpot, and Bentley, with an exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier to start the season. The schedule gets a pretty neutral reaction for me. The first month or so is going to be incredibly tough, with Northeastern playing BC twice, Merrimack 3 times, and New Hampshire twice, before getting two against UAH. Personally I would have preferred to see UAH either start or somewhere in the beginning, but Hockey East seems to hate doing any major work on the schedule, for they basically just flip games around every year instead of making any real changes. It’s also hard to say much about the schedule now because the teams seem pretty fluid to me right now, and a lot tends to change between now and the season opener (see Northeastern: last summer).
-Coach “Toot” Cahoon of UMass announced he was leaving yesterday from his position. There’s no official reason, but it seems that Cahoon was unhappy with the lack of support from the University, which was pouring money into lacrosse and football, and marginalizing hockey. There are a lot of comparisons to Cronin here: Head coach unhappy with lack of support who leaves right before NHL draft. The difference being is UMass has 1 guy who might go in the draft, while NU had a lot on the line when Cronin left, so I think this impacts UMass less, though they also had less to lose at the start. Cahoon’s departure is partially sad because he seemed like an old breed of coach who actually wanted student-athletes and didn’t run after flighty top recruits who could leave at any time. Secondly, Cahoon really didn’t have that great a record. For better or worse, college hockey is now about finding the top-tier players, even if they only stay 2 or 3 years. Any coach that comes in is going to realize this and you can bet that Hockey East recruiting will get more intensive and competitive.
-Adam Reid was selected as one of 46 players to attend the US National Junior Evaluation Camp in lake Placid this August, as the US National Team forms a team for the National Junior Championship. The team usually is stocked with players that go onto the NHL, so Adam Reid looks like if he gets a spot it will be as a grinder character guy. He’s gotten a lot of well deserved press this summer, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him drafted in the late round.
-Future Husky recruits were busy the last 2 weeks at USHL camps. Zach Aston-Reese, Daniel Willett, and Ross Olsson were all at the Lincoln Stars camp, Garrett Cockerill was at the Des Moines Buccaneers camp, while Cam Askew was at the Indiana Ice camp. While the teams don’t release their initial rosters until July 1, tweets from the players indicate that all three players at the Stars camp got roster spots. Askew hasn’t said anything, though he did make the top-40 All-Star game, and Cockerill made an all-star team for Des Moines. We’ll have to wait until July 1. I think Cockerill will get a slot. John Stevens, a 2013 recruit, played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints for a few games last year, but I haven’t found any mention of him. Regardless, it’s nice to see Madigan and his staff getting a lot of players in the USHL. I firmly believe the USHL is the best junior league to cultivate talent, and the fact that we have most of our recruits playing there is a terrific sign. There was a lot of concern this year as a number of overage Canadian players committed, but it seems increasingly like that was a stopgap measure while he built a pipeline of talent for the next few years.
-UConn officially received an invite from Hockey East today, to the surprise of no one. We’ll wait for an official acceptance, but figure they’ll add 18 scholarships and upgrade their arena (or use the one in Hartford).