Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm Going "All In"

Sometimes in poker you just got shove everything you have into the pot and see what happens. If I actually played the game I have little doubt that my opponents would love me. I'd hang around too long before folding, I'd bluff too often and when I got a winning hand everyone would know it. The "know when to hold-em, know when to fold-em" adage just doesn't apply to me.

So since for the moment there's nothing really significant in the UAA hockey world I thought I might as well go "all in". Speculation, rumor and official information included. I'm giving you everything I "know" or pretend to know here.

UAA's official roster has been updated. Aside from the graduated players there are 4 players who had eligibility remaining that aren't on the roster. Jay Beagle, Mike Rosett, Nathan Lawson have all been discussed here. The fourth player is Ryan Berry. Ryan looked good to me in the action he saw last season (12 games) but being a freshman defenseman on a team with 9 other defensemen is a tough challenge. Jared Tuton was in the same boat but was moved to forward (and did a great job by the way). The games Ryan did get were mostly in response to injury and Shane Lovdahl's academic ineligibility; his biggest obstacle to more ice time was probably the late addition of Nils Backstrom. Ryan was definitely in a tough situation and probably made a good choice in leaving to find more ice time. I hope he finds a place to continue his development. He's a good looking skater with quality skills that should be playing D-1 somewhere.

Naturally, the updated roster only includes players that have signed LOI's (LaFranchise, Daychief and McCabe). To me this means one of two things. Either Jeff Carlson, Chris Rengert, and Tommy Grant signed their LOI's back in April and the school just hasn't gotten around to an official release or they didn't sign the LOI's (which doesn't necessarily mean they aren't coming). The Great North Athletic Conference maintains this page where they list all the official signees from all member schools in all sports and the only additions during the spring period were McCabe and Daychief (LaFranchise signed last spring). Nick Haddad was a late addition after the signing period. So what do I think? I'm assuming Carlson, Rengert, Haddad and Grant are coming just as I assume that Matthew Gordon is coming. There's no LOI for Matthew because he was recruited after the spring signing period. Now there's a rumor that another forward from the Cowichan Valley Capitals has been added but I haven't had any confirmation between the two players it is likely to be. But pouring through Cowichan's roster from last year, their known commitments and the roster for next season I'm led to believe that the player is "probably" Craig Parkinson who's numbers were 42g-37a in 55 games (14th overall in the BCHL).

So ... there are eleven confirmed forwards on next years roster. Rengert, Haddad and Grant would make that number fourteen. And the latest (Parkinson) would be fifteen. There are seven confirmed defensemen with Jeff Carlson being number eight (that includes Jared Tuton returning to the blueline). So far in goal it will be the Jonny-O show and Matthew Gordon; expect a third goalie to be added at some point.

To end the player speculation I'll say the only other specific player I've heard mention of is Chris Connolly who I was told UAA talked to earlier this past season. Connolly was the 8th leading scorer in the NAHL last year playing for Fargo. He hasn't committed to anyone but I know Chris at Western College Hockey is high on him. My assumption was that as an '87 birthdate he is ready for D-1 but hopefully he'll stick around juniors for another season and come to UAA next year. His younger brother Jack is highly-touted and committed to UMD for '09.

Finally, a word about my Final Five fundraising efforts. So far three kind people have donated to the effort. Each one of them has made it known who they are so aside from the private thank you's that I've given I'll publicly thank RunninWiththeDogs blogger Donna for getting it started as well as MTU blogger Bethlyn (who visited Anchorage with MTU last season) and last but certainly not least Damien Goddard of LetsGoDU fame. DG went above and beyond the call of duty though by starting a thread over at USCHO (zero prompting from me). It should be noted that any preference for anonymity will certainly be respected and absolutely maintained.

That's it. That is all I've got. I don't know anything else. When and if I do you'll be the first to know.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

The Jhonny-O Show; I like the sound of that.

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