(Note: The majority of the players mentioned here have signed official National Letters of Intent. There may be some players with only verbal commitments. The confirmation of these players has been culled from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, information released by their current leagues.)
Graduates: Forwards: Matt Kohansky, John Petricig, Jon Zielinski, Doug Janjevich; Defense: Mike Pratt, Chris Warrington
Brown received a commitment from Chris Swon, a forward who moved to the USHL for his senior year after playing at Hotchkiss Prep. Swon has shown glimpses of good puck skills as a youngster in the veteran USHL (5-4-9 in 18 games). Les Haggett, a smooth right winger, formerly with Northwood Prep, is now scoring for Ottawa of the COJHL (10-27-36 in 26 games), after 18 points in 19 games last season.
Graduates: Forwards: Murray Kuntz, Don Smith; Defense: Kent Huskins, Gasper Sekelj
Up front, Clarkson added Guelph’s Chris Blight (20-22-42 in 25 games), Northwood Prep’s Jay Latulippe, and Wexford’s Mac Faulkner. Faulkner (10-23-33 in 22 games) has adjusted to his first year in Jr. A, teaming with Merrimack recruit Matt Foy to form a formidable top line. Defenseman Randy Jones (6-10-16 in 14 games) was voted the OPJHL’s top defenseman last season when he scored 20 goals and 56 points, and comes in to compensate for the loss of Huskins’ offensive skills.
Graduates: Forwards: Sean Nolan, Kevin Johns, Mike O’Malley, Chad MacDonald, Sam Sturgis, Jay Varecka, Dan Stay; Defense: Bryan Long, Cory Murphy
Losing six forwards, Colgate went to work in Ontario’s Mid-West Junior hockey league, coming away with linemates Adam Mitchell (12-24-36 in 26 games) and Darryl McKinnon (6-15-21 in 19 games), both promising youngsters. Mitchell is one of the fastest skaters in junior hockey. Colgate also recruited lanky defenseman Richard Hodgkinson (3-6-9 in 25 games), who will add a stay-at-home approach to the blueline.
Graduates: Forwards: David Hovey, Andrew MacNiven, Daniel Svoboda; Defense: Larry Pierce, Danny Powell; Goal: Ian Burt
Highly regarded 18-year old Mike Knoepfli, a high-scoring left wing (20-26-46 in 22 games) with Georgetown (OPJHL), committed to Cornell after an impressive 84-point 1999-00 season. Defensive power forward Paul Vanteressian‘s production has jumped from 17 to 46 to his current 60-point pace (8-16-24 in 18 games). The Big Red also added Burlington (OPJHL) product Jan Pujerski, a solid defender, and later, Charlie Cook from the NAHL (2-14-16 in 19 games), who moved to Cornell after Michigan Tech’s mid-season coaching change.
Graduates: Forwards: Mike Byrne, Peter Mahler; Defense: Dory Tisdale
The Big Green will not be losing a lot of players to graduation, but nonetheless is bringing in four talented forwards in Nathan Szymanski (7-11-18 in 23 games), Lee Stempniak (15-19-34 in 19 games), Chris Snizek (Choate Prep) and Joe Gaul (Chicago, NAHL). Offensive defenseman John Ostapyk has displayed offensive skills both this year (1-12-13 in 22 games), and in his 32 points last year with Ottawa of the COJHL.
Graduates: Forwards: Steve Moore, Chris Bala, Harry Schwefel; Defense: Tim Stay; Goal: Oliver Jonas
A very good recruiting year for second-year coach Mark Mazzoleni. Harvard has long tradition of garnering New England Prep School products, and this year was no exception. Losing Stay on defense, its recruiting focused on upgrading the blueline, with commitments from slick Jesse Lane; Noah Welch, a top 6-foot-3 two-way defender from St. Sebastian’s prep; and Ryan Lannon, a stay-at-home defender from Cushing Prep. Up front, the Crimson landed Tom Cavanagh from Phillips Exeter, and Andrew Lederman, a playmaking center from Ontario, who has 26 points in 21 games after scoring 40 points in 39 Ontario Provincial Junior League (OPJHL) games as a 17-year old last season.
Graduates: Kirk Lamb, Chris Corrinet, Ethan Doyle, Shane Campbell; Defense: Jason Dillow, Peter Zavodny
The Tigers have landed Mike Patton of Cedar Rapids (USHL), a speedy 5-9 winger who leads the team in scoring with nine goals and 16 points in 20 games. They recently added veteran BCHL winger Neil Stevenson-Moore (Burnaby), who has some speed and a pretty good scoring touch.
Graduates: Forwards: (possibly Matt Murley); Defense: Glen Coupal
With only two spots to fill, RPI secured Kanata (Ont.) defenseman Matt McNeely and C.J. Hanafin. McNeely is a great skater, who led the Kanata blueliners with 45 points last season as a 17 year old. Hanafin is a Massachusetts public school forward who has shown his bona fides at the Hockey Night in Boston tournament.
Graduates: Forwards: Erik Anderson, Mike Gellard, Andy Marchetti, Alan Fyfe; Defense: Kevin Veneruzzo, Matt Desrosiers, Josh Leroy; Goal: Jeremy Symington, Sean Coakley
St. Lawrence parlayed its NCAA run into a March commitment from Jimmy Ball, a highly-recruited, burly two-way defenseman who had been a 1999 first-round pick of North Bay in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) draft. Ball, already in his third Jr. A season at the age of 17, has slowly added offense to his considerable defensive skill. By August, Matt MacDonald, a defensive stalwart, and another 1999 OHL first round pick, chose to go the college route and St. Lawrence. A third defender, James Hakewill, from Westminster Prep, brings size to the lineup. Up front, John Zeiler has adjusted slowly to his first USHL season, but has shown promise, posting 2-6-8 totals in 22 games. Stace Page has displayed his offensive prowess by putting up 123- and 80-point seasons in the OPJHL, showing that this year’s 37-36-73 totals in 32 games is no fluke. Finally, Dan Dupuis, will be eligible next year, after a 100-point, first-team all-star performance with the Brockville Braves of the COJHL. He brings is an imposing finesse package in his 6-4 frame, which includes reach and vision.
Graduates: Jason Ralph, Alex Todd, Clark Jones, Mason Anderson, Bryan Yackel, Bryant Westerman, Paul Kilfoy
Looking to replace seven senior fowards, Union has landed Jordan Webb, a young center from Kanata (COJHL), who has 10 goals and 28 points in 27 games. Brian Kerr is a gritty winger who moved to the USHL and has 6-7-13 totals in 18 games, after a 56-point season in the SJHL. Another winger with a strong winning tradition, Max Seel, from Green Bay (USHL), brings an awareness of defensive play (1-3-4 in 23 games). Chris DiStefano is a defensive defenseman with Choate Prep.
Graduates: Forwards: J.F. Caudron, Jerry Gernander; Defense: Andreas Moborg, Jim Gernander, Mike Torney, Martin Wilde; Goal: Andrew Allen
The Catamounts got off to a good start by adding U.S. National Team member and Vermont native Braden Leisenring early in the season. August brought speedy Taft Prep winger Tim Plant. Diminutive speedster, Scott Mifsud, stands atop his division’s scoring with 22-25-47 in 23 games. Back on defense, Derek Wagar, from Cornwall (COJHL), has filled in his slight frame, and accelerated his offensive production (6-23-29 in 26 games), figures which already surpassed his past scoring totals. Another puck-moving defender, Gerard Miller of N.Y. Apple Core is set to fill the Moborg-Torney slots on Vermont’s blueline.
Graduates: Forwards: Jeff Hamilton, Ben Stafford, Adam Sauve, Peter Toomey, Lee Jelenic; Defense: Joe Dart, John Gauger
The Bulldogs created a stir by luring high profile prep talent early in the summer. Chris Higgins established himself in a Select 17 tournament and for the New England Prep champions Avon Old Farms, while Christian Jensen, a talented left winger for Taft Prep, also drew numerous other offers. Jensen’s linemate, Ryan Trowbridge, also should fit in with Yale’s resurgence. Defender Joe Callaghan comes from BC High. Defenseman Mike Grobe is the sole Jr. A addition to the squad. Goalie Peter Cohen has solid credentials, and should have time to adjust to the big jump from the prep league to college.
(Chris Heisenberg operates the ultimate independent web site on recruiting, chronicling the progress of each school’s incoming class).