Blue Chips: Latest Prospects Committed, Still Available

Minnesota-Duluth landed its goaltender of the future after getting a verbal commitment from Alex Stalock of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.

Stalock, who sparkled in last year’s Minnesota state high school tournament as a junior, owns a 14-4-2 record with a 2.67 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. The decision was somewhat of a surprise as many thought Stalock’s decision would come down to Michigan and St. Cloud State. The netminder will remain in the USHL for another year before joining the Bulldogs in 2006.

The Michigan Wolverines, meanwhile, may have missed out on Stalock, but they did nab another prize in defenseman, Tristin Llewellyn, the youngest player in the USHL. The only USHLer born in 1989, Llewellyn is an Ann Arbor, Mich., native and will join Michigan in the fall of 2007. The 6-foot-1, 178-pounder is one of the top-rated defensive prospects in the country.

Who says the USNTDP Under-18 team only sends its players to college hockey’s big boys? Sure, five are going to Michigan with the rest headed to such destinations as Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Boston College, Boston University and Michigan State. But defenseman David Inman blew off that trend when he recently committed to Yale.

He’s not the only future Ivy Leaguer on the squad. Forward Jimmy Fraser will attend Harvard next year.

Inman’s Yale commitment leaves forward Phil Kessel, defenseman Chad Morin and goaltender Billy Blase as the only uncommitted players on the United States Under-18 program. Morin will remain in Ann Arbor for another year before going to school in the fall of 2006.

In keeping with recent trends, highly regarded prospect Jonathan Toews of Shattuck-[nl]St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., gave his word to North Dakota. Toews’ teammate Taylor Chorney and current Green Bay Gambler Brad Miller, who skated at Shattuck last year, will also play for the Fighting Sioux next year.

Jordan Parise, Drew Stafford, Brady Murray, Chris Porter and Matt Smaby are all former Shattuck products currently with the Sioux. Former North Dakota star forward Zach Parise also played at Shattuck.