A weekend recap of recruits in action.  NHL.com releases three mock drafts for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  No surprise to see recruits Jacob Trouba and Boo Nieves on the list, but what other Wolverine do they favor?  And a pair of recruits talk to the press and reiterate their desire to play at Michigan.

WEEKEND RECAP
Chicago 6, Team USA 4 – Friday

The U.S. Under-17 Team lost to Chicago, 6-4, Friday night, but Michigan’s recruits performed well.  Tyler Motte had two goals, including a shorthanded unassisted tally, and five shots on goal.   J.T. Compher added a pair of assists.  Evan Allen had no points, a -1 rating, and four shots on goal.

For the season (including all games, not just USHL) Motte leads the Under-17 in scoring with 5-5-10 in 8 games.  He’s tied for the team high in goals and assists and leads in points.  Compher has 3-4-7 in 10 games and is tied for second in points.  Allen has 2-2-4 in 10 games.

Green Bay 4, Fargo 1 – Friday
Green Bay 4, Sioux City 1 – Saturday
Michigan recruit Alex Kile scored a goal against Fargo.  He was held pointless against Sioux City, but still finished the game a +1 and had two shots on goal.

For the season Kile has three goals and zero assists in nine games with a +3 rating and 11 shots on goal.

Muskegon 5, Chicago 1 – Saturday
Muskegon 4, Waterloo 2 – Sunday
Forward recruit Max Shuart recorded an assist and +1 rating in the win over Chicago.  No points Sunday and a -1 rating.

For the season Shuart has one goal and two assists in eight games along with a -2 rating and 12 shots on goal.

Dubuque 4, Fargo 1 – Saturday
Defensive recruit Michael Downing had a short night as he was given a double minor and game ejection for checking from behind late in the second period.  He also took a high sticking penalty midway through the first period.  He had no points, a zero rating, and no shots on goal.

For the season Downing has one assist in seven games, a +1 rating, and 30 penalty minutes (half of which came during this game).  Keep in mind when looking at the stat line that Downing is only 16 years old in a league that boasts players upward of 20 years old.

Newmarket 5, Oakville 2 – Thursday
Oakville 5, Burlington 0 – Friday
North of the border in the Ontario Junior ‘A’ Hockey League, Oakville posted a split on the weekend.  Michigan recruit Bryson Cianfrone had no points against Newmarket and recorded an assist against Burlington.

For the season Cianfrone has zero goals and six assists in 10 games for the Blades, who are in a three way tie for the West Division lead. Like Downing, again Cianfrone is only a 16 year old in a league with players upward of 21 years old (Oakville’s leading scorer is 20 years old and will turn 21 next February).  So don’t expect earth shattering numbers this season.

Markham 9, Hamilton 1 – Friday
Oakville’s West Division foe Hamilton got crushed in their on game this past weekend.  Michigan recruit Spencer Hyman did not play.

For the season “The Bus” has 2-10-12 in 16 games along with 14 penalty minutes.  Spencer leads all Red Wings defensemen in points.

Keep an eye on… Oliver Hyman.  Could he be the next Hyman brother in the pipeline to join the Wolverines?  Time will tell but he just turned 16 years old in August and has one goal in 17 games.  He’s also listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and I would suspect is still growing.

St. Michael’s 5, North York 3 – Friday
The Buzzers avenged one of their two losses on the season by defeating North York Friday night.  The Rangers upset the Buzzers, 4-3, back on October 19.

Michigan recruit Daniel Milne had an assist on the opening power play goal to help lift St. Mike’s.  For the season Milne has 6-14-20 in 18 games along with 25 penalty minutes.  His six goals already ties his total from last season.  Milne is 36th in league scoring and the third highest scoring 1994-born prospect in the OJHL.  The two players ahead of him have 28 and 21 points this season.

St. Mike’s is destroying the South Division with a 17-2-1 record.  The second place Toronto Lakeshore Patriots have a 7-8-2 record.  In fact, all the other teams in the division have a losing record.

NHL MOCK DRAFTS
Three NHL.com staff writers released their first mock drafts for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

In no surprise, 2012 defensive recruit Jacob Trouba is the highest ranked. Steven Hoffner has Trouba going 5th overall.  Adam Kimelman has him 8th, and Mike Morreale has him going 10th.

In not too much of a surprise, 2012 recruit Boo Nieves is on all three mocks.  I previously said he could slip in to the first round.  The big, highly skilled forward is the highest rated high school prospect by NHL Central Scouting this season after he tore up the New England Prep School league for 43 goals (!) and 18 assists in only 23 games.  That’s almost two goals per game (!!).  And he’ll be back at The Kent School for his senior year coached again by former Wolverine great Matt Herr.

Hoffner has Nieves going the highest at 19th overall, while Kimelman has him going 26th and Morreale has him 28th.

In what perhaps is a bit of a surprise is to see current Michigan freshman Phil Di Giuseppe appear on two of the mock drafts.  The freshman standout, who has 5-4-9 in eight games this season and just took home CCHA Rookie of the Week honors, is ranked as high as 11th (!) in Morreale’s draft and 28th by Hoffner. Kimelman doesn’t have Di Giuseppe going in the first round.

ON THE RECORD
A couple of recruits talked to the press this past week—U.S. NTDP goalie and newest Michigan commit Jared Rutledge and 2012 recruit Boo Nieves.  I highly recommend reading both.

Rutledge talked to Michael Spath of The Wolverine about his commitment to Michigan and joked he didn’t want to be Red Berenson’s “hat trick” of goalies de-committing.

“Even though I made my decision in a short time frame, I’ve been thinking about college hockey versus the OHL for a long time and I am 100 percent committed to play college hockey,” said Rutledge. “I joked around with Coach Berenson that I don’t want to be his hat trick. I am 110 percent behind this decision. I will play at Michigan.”

Rutledge also talked about how Michigan’s interest in him got started, which actually is something I asked the night of the U-M vs. Team USA exhibition game.  In my weekend roundup following the game I said this after Rutledge’s 33 save performance in the 3-1 loss to Michigan:

For those who went to the game, how did Rutledge look in net for the NTDP?  He’s hasn’t committed to any college yet, so I wouldn’t be surprised if last night was perhaps a little bit of an audition for him.

The answer:

“I had no idea they were interested but after the game I shook Red Berenson’s hand and he asked if I’d like to visit,” Rutledge said.

Score one for blindly nailing it.  Woo!

Russ Bitely of Examiner.com talked to Nieves earlier this week. Nieves reiterates that he is going to Michigan.

Examiner: Just a few weeks ago the Wolverines received another commit from a high-profile recruit, Jacob Trouba (USTNDP). It’s still early as Michigan in the past has lost top recruits like Campbell and Gibson to the OHL. Are you just committed to Michigan or are you committed committed to Michigan?

BN: I am committed, committed to the University of Michigan, not for leverage in another league, but to attend school and play hockey there.

Examiner: Tim Connolly (Maple Leafs) also a Syracuse local opted for the OHL. Have you been persued by the CHL ranks at all in trying to get you to de-committ from Michigan and continue your career north of the boarder knowing that it is your draft year?

BN: Yes, but my advisor, Alec Schall, and father do a great job handling all of that for me. I want to play college hockey.

Nieves also says that he chose to return to Kent Prep instead of going to the USHL because of coach Matt Herr, who he credits with helping him take his game to the next level.