This was first reported about a week ago, and Jared confirmed with me the other day it was going to happen, and today it was finally made official as Mississauga (OHL) announced the signing of 2014 defensive
commit Jared Walsh.
Recently rated a ‘C’ skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary “Players to Watch” list, Walsh was the Wolverines’ top incoming blue liner who played for the St. Michael’s pipeline in Ontario.
With the loss of Walsh and Bryson Cianfrone, also to Mississauga, in recent weeks, the Wolverines 2014 recruiting class is down to four players, only one of which is a defenseman. With seven returning blue liners next year (provided no one leaves early) and one recruit, the Wolverines could risk not finding another player to replace him, but I think it’s more likely they’ll pick up blue line commit.
NHL CSS released their preliminary Players to Watch list for the 2014 NHL Draft and a few current and future Wolverines pop up on the list. Headlining the group is forward Dylan Larkin out of the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team, who is listed as an “A” skater out of the USHL (“A” rating = potential first round pick, “B” = rounds 2-3, “C” = late round potential).
“Dylan skates well and has great closing speed, uses his body well,” Central Scouting’s David Gregory told NHL.com. “He has skill to make plays but is not afraid of using his body and getting physical in an attempt to gain puck possession. He’s got good vision and playmaking ability.”
Also making the list out of the USHL is goalie commit Hayden Lavigne, who is listed as a “B” prospect. Lavigne just made the jump from the Ontario Junior Hockey League to Tri-City of the USHL. If the preseason statistics are any indication, he should be the starting goalie. He saw action in three games with a 2-1-0 record, 2.42 GAA, and .925 save percentage. Statistically, he was far and away the best of the Storm’s three netminders that played in the preseason.
Wolverine freshmen Evan Allen and Alex Kile both garnered “C” ratings. Allen was one of the top scorers with the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team last season and some were surprised he went undrafted. Kile posted 31 goals and 31 assists in 60 games with t he Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL last season.
@intheoradio told through connections at SMC he has signed with Mississauga of OHL. Forgoing scholarship w/ Michigan. SAT intimidation.
— Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) September 21, 2013
So this passed by my Twitter feed this morning. I’m waiting to hear back from someone that might know, too. If the Wolverines lose Walsh, that would be another blow to the 2014 recruiting class. This coming on the heels of Mississauga signing commit Bryson Cianfrone, too.
Walsh is considered Michigan’s top blue line recruit for the class, and he’s probably their second best recruit behind Dylan Larkin.
UPDATE: I checked with someone with a few OHL connections and neither of their sources have heard anything regarding Walsh signing with Mississauga.
When it comes to OHL signings, there’s usually a reason for smoke when it’s detected.
Neither of my main guys has heard it, though.
I will keep you posted of any further developments.
UPDATE #2: Going, going…soon to be gone.
Kept it quiet until I knew for sure, but St. Mikes Buzzers defender Jared Walsh will soon sign with the Mississauga Steelheads.
— Sean Lafortune (@SeanLafortune) September 22, 2013
And with that, Michigan’s 2014 recruiting class now down to four commits. They’ll graduate five seniors this season and could lose more players early to the pros. It’s already late in the recruiting cycle and just about all the top players have committed, so it will be interesting to see who the coaches can snag at this point.
Big Ten Hockey is holding their first Media Day this morning. In the preseason coaches’ poll, the Wolverines were predicted to finish in third place. Wisconsin took the top spot, followed by Minnesota. Ohio State and Michigan State tied for fourth, and Penn State was picked to finish last.
Junior forward Alex Guptill and senior captain Mac Bennett were named to the Big Ten’s Preseason Players to Watch list. On a downer Guptill note, according to The Michigan Daily, he hasn’t skated yet.
Tuesday, Berenson announced that junior forward Alex Guptill — last year’s leading scorer — hasn’t been skating so far. Berenson didn’t specify as to why, but said that he removed him “because of something that happened this fall.”
Berenson didn’t say how long Guptill would be off the ice, but said he would be back at some point.
No word on what that “something” is, but the way it’s worded sounds like an off-ice issue rather than injury issue. If you recall last season, Guptill was left home for a weekend road trip at Ferris State because Berenson said he didn’t like the way he practiced that week. Not sure what’s going on with him, but after all of last season’s problems and everything this team fought through, this isn’t the way I envisioned the fall starting out.
— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) September 19, 2013
"I'm not surprised that every year more and more players make it to the NHL, and it's nice to see that most have their degrees." -Red B
— College Hockey, Inc. (@collegehockey) September 19, 2013
Berenson on the GLI outdoors: "We’ve been fortunate at Michigan to fall into these (outdoor) games. I’m a big proponent of them.”
— Nate Wells (@gopherstate) September 19, 2013
— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) September 19, 2013
The University of Michigan released their 2013-14 hockey TV schedule. This season 28 games will be televised. I’ve updated the 2013-14 schedule to show what games will be on TV, so check it out here.