Michigan goalie Jared Rutledge and defensive recruits Christian Meike and Jared Walsh were selected in the USHL Draft Phase 2 held this evening.
Rutledge was selected in the 4th round by the Green Bay Gamblers. A few years ago the Gamblers took a freshman goalie named Reid Ellingson out of Northern Michigan University, gave him a year of seasoning in the USHL, and Ellingson went on to have an okay career at NMU.
Could they do the same for Rutledge? That remains to be seen as there’s been no official word yet on what his futures holds. As previously reported here, Michael Spath at The Wolverine went on record saying Rutledge will not be back with the team next season, a claim that Rutledge denied to The Michigan Daily hours later. However, with Steve Racine’s play down the stretch plus the late addition of goalie Zach Nagelvoort to this fall’s recruiting class, the writing is on the wall for Jared unless he makes a drastic turnaround from his freshman season play. A year in the USHL, where he will get top playing time, isn’t a bad thing at all and could be what he needs to get his hockey career back on track.
Meike is a 2014 commit who was selected in the 2nd round (20th overall) by Cedar Rapids. He had three goals and 14 assists in 43 games with the Washington Little Capitals (Tier 1 Elite Hockey League) this season. He’ll join future Wolverine Bryson Cianfrone in Cedar Rapids, as he reportedly will defer enrollment until 2014.
Walsh, also a 2014 defensive commit, was selected in the 15th round, 216th overall by the Chicago Steel. Jared played for the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League this past season (yes, the pipeline that gave us Andrew Cogliano, Louie Caporusso, Brandon Burlon, etc…). The Buzzers lost in the championship game of the Dudley-Hewitt Cup. Walsh finished his rookie season in the OJHL with four goals and 26 assists in 75 games.
St Mikes Buzzers defender Jared Walsh goes to Chicago. Quick feet, strong outlets.Really impressed this year. A Michigan commit.
— Sean Lafortune (@SeanLafortune) May 8, 2013
Don’t know yet if Walsh will entertain the idea of jumping from the OJHL to the USHL, but current Wolverine Alex Guptill and future Wolverine Bryson Cianfrone (who plays for Cedar Rapids) both made the switch prior to joining Michigan.
When Michael Spath posted about Jared Rutledge the other day, he also hinted that a 2013 recruit was deferring to 2014. As a non-paying member and since it was premium, I was left to guess. My first guess was indeed who it is—Bryson Cianfrone, according to MGoBlog, who let the cat out of the bag.
A one-time potential first round OHL Draft pick (who only dropped in the draft because he committed to Michigan), Cianfrone has struggled over the past few years since saying he was going to Ann Arbor.
Two years ago he started his first season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League as a 16 year old and split the season between Oakville and Toronto (as well as the injured list). In 43 games he posted 10 goals and 18 assists. Not bad for a 16 year old, but not blow away, either (by comparison, Phil Di Giuseppe had 47 points in 56 games his rookie year as a 16 year old in the OJHL).
Cianfrone moved across the border and joined Cedar Rapids of the USHL this past season. In 52 games he finished with just six goals and 15 assists. He also missed several weeks early in the season due to a concussion and an emergency appendectomy.
Per Cedar Rapids fan and friend of the blog on Twitter Scott Herbst, Cianfrone is a “highly skilled center but undersized. Really turned it on late in the season centering the 2nd line. A couple other (RoughRider) players pushed back their commitments and they want to make a run at the title next year. Bryson is a good kid but with his size another year will do good.”
With Michigan already bringing back 10 forwards plus bringing in five freshmen forwards, it’s probably in his best interests to get another year of seasoning in the USHL.
An internet FIGHT! broke out yesterday as Michael Spath of The Wolverine said in their latest Inside the Fort Extra that there was goalie news and said, “if you’ve read my posts for the past few weeks the writing has been on the wall.” This is in reference to the future of freshman goalie Jared Rutledge, where one option talked about was him going to play in the USHL for a year. The Wolverines just added goalie Zach Nagelvoort to the recruiting class, giving them five netminders, so something has to give.
Rutledge, however, sent a text to The Michigan Daily yesterday afternoon refuting Spath’s story, saying that he will remain with the team.
Spath defended his information after The Daily’s story came out in a post on The Wolverine forum.
“Hey gents, I know The Daily spoke to the kid and is reporting he will be back but I can 100 percent guarantee you that will not be the case,” he wrote.
An interesting situation to watch. Personally, I think a year in the USHL would do Rutledge a lot of good if he has hopes of becoming a starting goaltender again. Steve Racine’s play down the stretch gives him the edge on the No. 1 spot, and the addition of Nagelvoort, on scholarship, is pretty much saying they expect him to come in and compete with Racine and, at worse, be the No. 2 goalie.
Hopefully, whatever happens, happens soon, and the coaching staff confirms it. After all the drama of this past season, there’s no need for this in the off season.
Six incoming and one current Wolverine made NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings list that was released this morning.
U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 forward J.T. Compher is the highest ranked at #34 among North American skaters. That is down from #20 in the Midterm Rankings.
Dubuque (USHL) defenseman Michael Downing checks in at #49, which is the same position he was in for the Midterm Rankings.
U.S. NTDP forward Tyler Motte is next at #84, up from #109 in the Midterm Rankings.
Victoria (BCHL) defenseman Nolan De Jong is ranked #111, up from #150.
Green Bay (USHL) forward Alex Kile is ranked #136. He went undrafted last summer and was not ranked in the Midterm Rankings.
Freshman forward Andrew Copp made the list at #142 after a strong second half of the season saw him end up centering the top line. Copp was also undrafted last year and not ranked in the Midterm Rankings. Well deserved for him to make the list.
U.S. NTDP forward Evan Allen rounds off the Wolverines at #157, up from #180 in the Midterm Rankings.
2014 recruit Dexter Dancs (Vernon/BCHL) was ranked #154 in the Midterm Rankings and ended up unranked in the Final Rankings.
Former Michigan defenseman Jacob Trouba was named to the first team CCM Hockey All American West Team, as selected by the American Hockey Coaches Association, the university announced Friday night. Trouba is the first freshman in Michigan history to receive the honor.
“I really wasn’t expecting this at all,” said Trouba. “It is a pretty neat just to be considered one of the best players in college hockey when you see how many great players there are at this level.
“I remember when I first walked into Yost and saw the pictures of those great players that played at Michigan, I thought that was pretty cool,” added Trouba. “Now to be named a Michigan All-American is very special.”
The talented blue liner notched 12 goals and 17 assists to lead all Wolverine defensemen. He was named the CCHA’s Best Offensive Defenseman, first-team All-CCHA, and CCHA All-Rookie Team. At Michigan’s year end banquet, Trouba was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Defenseman.
The last Wolverines to be named First Team All Americans were Louie Caporusso and Aaron Palushaj in 2009.