Notre Dame Buoyed by Strong Recruiting Class

Notre Dame has signed four players, including three members of the national junior development program, to national letters of intent during the spring signing period.

The signees include forwards Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), defenseman Paul Harris (Ridgefield, Conn.) and goaltender Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.). Zasowski is wrapping up a successful season with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League, while the other signees have completed play with the U.S. under-18 team.

The foursome joins Notre Dame’s pair of fall signees, right wing Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.) and defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.).

“These six players complete a string of four straight classes that have added tremendous talent to our program. We have some pretty serious holes to fill due to graduation, and the newcomers should be up the challenge of adjusting to Division I hockey,” said Fighting Irish head coach Dave Poulin.

Notre Dame will lose six seniors from the 1998-99 squad, including team captain and right wing Brian Urick, left wing Aniket Dhadphale, All-America defenseman Benoit Cotnoir and goaltender Forrest Karr.

The 5-10, 185-pound, Dunlop totaled 46 goals and 56 assists in 136 games with the U.S. Developmental Program during the past two seasons, including 23 goals and 42 assists over 70 games in 1998-99. His father, Blake Dunlop, played 11 years in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings.

Wroblewski, 6-1 and 200 pounds, a winger with the U.S. program, totaled 32 goals and 25 assists in 135 games over the past two seasons, including 19 goals and seven assists in 75 games during 1998-99.

A classic stay-at-home defenseman, the 6-2, 195-pound Harris registered four goals and nine assists in two seasons with the U.S. program while helping anchor one of the USHL’s top penalty-killing units.

Zasowksi is expected to challenge for time between the pipes after being named a first-team USHL all-star. The 5-11, 190-pounder set a USHL record in 1998-99 for victories (35-11) and tied a league record with five shutouts, in addition to a league-best 1.96 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage that earned him goaltender-of-the-year honors.


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