I have been remiss as of late in updating the recruiting section of this, and the Recruits tab is woefully out of date. So here’s my attempt to catch up:
-Last week Dubuque players Matt Benning (RD) and Michael Szmatula (F) committed to play for Northeastern next year. They join Dubuque forward John Stevens who is also on the team and will come to NU next year. Szmatula currently leads the scoring race in the USHL with a 13-12-25 line in 15 games, and is a 1992 birthdate. Szmatula was committed to Sacred Heart but having really taken off he decided to move up and come to Hockey East. Here is a nice piece about his commitment. Szmatula looks like a great offensive pickup for next year. As for Benning, he’s a 6th round pick by the Bruins, which is great, and is also the top-scoring defenseman for Dubuque. Northeastern could always use more offensive-defensemen, and he looks like a very good prospect.
-Northeastern also got a commitment from Center Will Messa of the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Messa is a 1993 birthdate, and has a 0-3-3 line in 14 games. I’m not sure what to make of Messa. Maybe he’ll explode soon and tear it up, or maybe he was only ever meant to be a grinder kind of person.
-Finally from this year, Defenseman Chad Duchesne committed to Northeastern for 2015. Duchesne was listed as a “C” prospect by the NHL’s Scouting Rankings, meaning he may be a late pickup, but he’ll have another year of eligibility after this as well. Duschesne has a 1-9-10 line in 21 games, and has been used to quarterback power plays, so another offensive oriented blueliner. There’s still time on him, so we’ll see how he develops, and if he makes the jump to the USHL next year.
With the recent recruits and the loss of Darcy, that gives us 15 forwards for next year. Of those 15, I think Stone, Messa, and Torin Snydeman (who is here but sitting out the year for NCAA reasons) are the biggest question marks for who plays. That leaves 12 guys who might makeup the lineup usually, but there is a chance a player like Olsson stays in the USHL for another year, so I think it’s quite likely the coaching staff adds one more forward.
For defense, the Huskies have 12 defensemen fighting for 6 slots. Of those, Hoeffler, Oskroba, and Fennell will likely not see tons of time. Recruit Garrett Cockerill is the biggest question mark, he’s only played 10 of 15 games, has no points and is -4. I think the defensive side of recruiting is closed for next year, even if someone like Cockerill gets deferred for a year. Benning will definitely start as a Bruins draft pick.
Of the recruits we have right now:
Of the prep guys, Cam Askew will almost certainly play for the USHL next year (he was drafted by the USHL team Indiana Ice, but remained at Cushing Prep), while Nathan Ferriero has already signed his National Letter of Intent and will be showing up next year directly from prep.