After I'm done writing the article, I'll be having a seat over there. Time to take a look at the kids who will (hopefully) be joining the Wolverines in 2010.
First, a bit of news: Brandon Burlon was given the OHA Top Prospect Award. The OHA honors--or should that be "honours"--the six players that they feel have the best chance to go on to a career in the pros. Burlon was one of the six. He'll be receiving his award later this week at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Congrats, Brandon.
Mac Bennett, defenseman, Hotchkiss Prep, New England Prep
There's really not much info on Bennett out there. Hotchkiss went 13-6-4 this year and won the Flood Marr Tournament. Bennett was on the All Tournament Team.
He comes from quite the hockey family. His grandfather was the goalie victimized for Rocket Richard's 50th goal in 50 games. His father and four uncles all played pro hockey. Three of his uncles played in the NHL--two of them for Red Berenson (as an asst. coach)--and one was a two-time All Star.
USHR, in the above link, indicates that he had a 6-5--11 line as a freshman and a 1-5--6 line in the first 19 games of the season. They also claim that no defenseman in prep hockey is better at breaking the puck out.
Despite the lack of numbers, he apparently will be a high pick in next year's NHL Draft (even though he's a 2010 recruit, he has a March 91 birthday).
The New England Hockey Journal profiled Bennett before the season.
Jared Knight, forward, Compuware, MWEHL
Despite an injury that cost him a decent portion of the season, Knight was 12th in the MWEHL in scoring with an 8-21--29 line in 22 games for Compuware's 25-4-2 team.
In his return from the knee injury, Knight had a hat trick against Belle Tire. He is #12.
He likely would have been a first-round pick in the OHL Draft had he not indicated a desire to come to Michigan.
Jon Merrill, defenseman, Little Caesar's, MWEHL
Merrill led Little Caesar's defensemen with 2 goals and 9 assists in 25 games. He also had just 26 PIMs. His team finished 3rd in their league with a 15-7-3 record.
There have been rumors about him playing for Plymouth in the OHL rather than for the NTDP next year, but it looks like he'll keep his college eligibility.
He, too, would have been a very high OHL draft pick were it not for his collegiate commitment. Plymouth had him as the top defenseman available and he's widely thought of as the best defenseman in his age group.
Luke Moffatt, forward, Compuware, MWEHL
Ewwww. Moffatt led the MWEHL in scoring by 9 points with a 37-19--56 line in 30 games. He scored 17 more goals than the second-place player. He was held off the stat sheet just four times the entire season.
Moffatt was the #2 overall pick in the WHL draft, but it looks like he'll be headed to the NTDP next year.
One highlight of his incredible season was scoring all five Compuware goals in a game against Little Caesar's. He's #9 in the dark jersey.
He's really good. From what I've read, it's quite possible that he's the top forward in his class. Why do I get the feeling we'll be keeping our fingers crossed until both he and Merrill set foot on campus?
That does it for my review of our future players. I fully expect to have to write a mea culpa to Ken Holland tomorrow night (for some of the things I've written about him). So that will probably be next on the agenda. In the meantime, GO WINGS, and let's bring home Cup #4!
Note to the NHL: Sometimes when you market the heck out of a 20 year old player, he acts like a 20 year old. Crosby, grow up. Then again, it's not like his coach is setting a real good example. They better put the Waaahmbulance outside the Joe tomorrow night in case Detroit wins.