Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Look to the Future: Class of 2009

After a couple of years that each included just one member of the NTDP as part of the recruiting class (Summers in 2006, Rust in 2007), Michigan is back to recruiting the heck out of that fertile ground of high-end talent. Out of the 12 players currently committed to Michigan who have yet to play for the Wolverines, eight have played, or will play, for the national team. Included in that number are three out of the four members of the Class of 2009.

Chris Brown, forward, USA NTDP Under 17 Team
In 63 games for Team USA this year, Brown scored 13 goals and tallied 7 assists for 20 points. His 13 goals tied him for 5th on the team, but he was second in game-winning goals with 4. He was also fourth on the team in PIMs with 74.

Brown had 4 goals and an assist in international play this year, including an unassisted game-winner in the opening game of the Four Nations Cup. He had a 2-1--3 line in the seven games of the World Under 17 Challenge.

USA Hockey had a feature about Brown in February and it's a good read. There was a transitional period for him, coming from midgets, but he sounds as if he's progressing. He's a big kid (6'2", 190ish) and it makes sense that it's a little harder to play the power forward role against 20 year olds than it was in the MWEHL.

In February, McKeen's wrote the following about him:
02/06/2008 - Brown does many little things right but does not excel at anything in particular .. he is a role player who will not hurt you with his skill set or decisions on the ice .. a tall, upright skater, he maximizes his speed with long graceful strides .. makes timely hits when he realizes his team needs a boost .. will always go to the boards and the wall to dig up the puck for his more talented linemates .. showed some good patience in front and knows what to do with the puck .. he scores many clutch goals, as he is the perfect player to go to war with in tight-checking games such as the playoffs .. he led his Midget team in scoring that featured many players who were drafted ahead of him in the OHL draft .. due to his sound defensive game, he could be molded into a solid two-way player cut from the same cloth as a Jamal Mayers.
Kevin Lynch, forward, USA NTDP Under 17 Team
Lynch ended the season in third place on the U-17s with 19 goals (5 game-winners, which was tops on the squad) in 63 games. He also had six assists for 25 points, which placed him 8th on the team. He also added 44 penalty minutes.

Lynch was quiet in the Four Nations Cup and didn't tally a point, but he responded in a big way with a 3-1--4 line in the World Under 17 Challenge. He had the game-winning goal for USA against Canada-Pacific. He had two points in the Vlad Dzurilla tournament and scored a pair of goals in the NAHL Playoffs, where the 17s were swept in the opening round by eventual champion St. Louis (Scooter Vaughan's old team).

Here are a pair of articles about him: MiCHO and USA Hockey's feature.

Redline was also impressed with him when he played for Honeybaked:
Kevin Lynch/RC - Honeybaked. Underrated pivot is a coach's dream. Does whatever is needed to win. Rarely loses an important face-off. Great penalty killer and has more skill than he's given credit for. Scores big goals.
Lee Moffie, defenseman, Avon Old Farms, New England Prep
Moffie was ranked as the #181 North American skater in this year's draft. Avon Old Farms went 27-1-0 on the season and won the New England Prep Championship. Moffie had 7 goals and 25 assists, but there's no stat page for Avon, so I can't tell you where he ranked on his team.

McKeen's interview, along with a slew of articles that I linked before.

I don't believe I've posted this part before. Here are the latest comments from McKeen's after seeing Moffie play for the NE Prep Championship:
03/09/2008 - Recently committed to Michigan for 2009 .. logs a lot of icetime .. a fluid skater with a nice stride and speed .. during the St. Paul's game, one forward looked to have a step on him, but Moffie was able to catch him and get the puck away from him .. moves the puck quickly and gets open while jumping up into the offense .. also has the ability to skate the puck .. his one-timer is strong, low and very effective in creating numerous scoring chances around the net .. in the championship game against St. Paul's, he showed a feisty side .. rarely makes a mistake with the puck and is very poised, even when being pressured .. strong on the PK with the ability to make sure all his clearing attempts get out of the zone .. also rang one shot off the post in the championship game .. his offensive skills are top notch at the prep level, but as stated before, the lone issues with his game is in the defensive zone .. still stand-by the fact that he should receive more consideration for the upcoming draft, as his deficiencies in the defensive zone can be fixed, but he remains one of the top defenseman in prep with the highest potential .. had 32 points (7 goals 25 assists) during the season.
We've got quite a few defensive defensemen on the blueline. Probably doesn't hurt to add some offensive skill. In the interview with McKeen's, Moffie indicated that he's likely going back to Avon for his senior season. They've won back-to-back prep titles. I'd prefer to see him in the USHL (I'm within driving distance of a slew of USHL rinks and I have no one to go watch).

A.J. Treais, forward, USA NTDP Under 17 Team
Treais is another of those small (5'8"), shifty, offensively-gifted guys that I just love. He's drawn comparisons to TJ Hensick, which gives warm fuzzies to all. He had a 12-17--29 line in 63 games for the 17s this year, ranking him 8th in goals (he had 5 on the PP) and 5th in points.

In the tournaments, he had a goal in the Four Nations, 1-3--4 in the World Under 17s, and led the Americans with four points (2-2--4) in the Vlad Dzurilla. He had just one assist in the NAHL Playoffs.

Not an overly deep feature on him, but one from USA Hockey.

Treais wasn't as prolific as Hensick as a U-17 player, as Hensick put up 25-30--55 in 63 games (wow). His numbers were more in line with Robbie Czarnik's totals when Czarnik played for the 17s (17-12--29). Still a clearly talented player who should fit in perfectly at Michigan.

He definitely has some impressive stick-handling skills (NSFW music). *

*In his driveway on a sheet of plastic.

You can also go to Treais's Youtube page if you'd like to see a video of Kevin Lynch stretching in a patriotic jock. I'd recommend not heading that way.

I think that's about all I've got on him.

I'll be out of town until Tuesday of next week. I'm heading down to Charlotte to take in the Nascar race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Go Wings and Pistons!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good stuff on these recruits, keep it coming!! nice articles and cannot wait to see them at MICH.