I thought it'd be a good time to review the progress of UAA's currently listed recruits. All are performing well. Curtis Leinweber and Tyler Moir are scheduled to join the team this coming fall. Gustav Bengtson and Mickey Spencer are due in the fall of '09. All four are forwards.
Curtis Leinweber (5' 8" 169lbs) turns 20 the coming February 20th. He is in his third season with the AJHL Okotoks Oilers. His first year he played only 11 games and scored 1g and 1a. In his 2nd he had 9g with 18a in 57 games. So far this season he has doubled that production with 14g and 33 assists in 47 games. 6 of his 14 goals have come on the power play. Much of Curtis' play this season has been spent in left wing lock mode so his 1 point per game production is a nice stat. On an AJHL fan forum thread announcing Curtis' commitment to UAA a fan described Curtis:
"Curtis is a very quick and shifty player. He sees the ice well and generally makes good decisions with the puck. He is also able to find his way to the net and put the puck behind the goalie when he gets there. Is also strong along the wall. Fun to watch!"I also noticed some Okotoks fans mentioning (with some agreement from others) that Curtis was unfairly overlooked for the recent AJHL All-Star game. Part of that was the probably due to the number of players from the Okotoks team that were named to the team. Okotoks has the #1 goalie in Canada as well as a couple of other highly rated players. They are currently in 2nd place behind perennial powerhouse Camrose.
Tyler Moir (6' 1" 205lbs) of the Drumheller Dragons in the AJHL turns 20 this coming September 17th and is in his 3rd season of Junior A hockey. He spent his 1st year with the Drayton Valley Thunder and scored 4 goals with 6 assists in 51 games. In 06-07 he played 40 games and scored 12 goals with 24 assists. So far this season with both Drayton Valley and Drumheller he has played 45 games and has 19 goals with 42 assists for a nice 1.4 point per game average.
He is the 2nd leading scorer on the roster. More interestingly perhaps is the fact that Tyler currently sits at 4th league-wide in total penalty minutes with 206. You don't get minutes like that without dancing with a few opponents. That sort of toughness bodes well coming into Division 1 hockey but obviously will need to be harnessed since fighting isn't part of the NCAA game. Tyler was traded early in the season from Drayton Valley and was named to the South Division AJHL All-Star team.
Gustav Bengtson (5' 9" 175lbs) turns 19 on August 31st. He began the season with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in the USHL and though he had a couple of fairly promising preseason outings he wasn't able to crack the lineup as a skilled playmaker. With those roles filled by 2nd and 3rd year players and Gustav not suited for energy or checking line play he didn't see much ice time. He was traded to the Texas Tornado and since then he has played 22 games and scored 9 goals with 8 assists. Earlier this month Torando's coach Dwight Mullins said this about Bengtson;
“He’s really added an offensive spark that we were lacking early on in the season,”In half as many games as his teammates he is already the 7th leading scorer on the team and leads in shot percentage. He has 3 power play goals. After lots of success in the last few years the Tornado have been struggling so far this year. Though in January they have posted a record of 7 wins and 2 losses and look poised to make a move up the standings. Gustav is the only UAA recruit that I've noticed has his own Wikipedia page.
Mickey Spencer (6' 1" 180lbs) of the Cowichan Valley Capitals turns 19 on June 11th. In his first year playing Junior A hockey Mickey is currently 4th among rookies and 11th overall in goals scored in the BCHL. His 27g and 12a put him at 1st in goals and 3rd on Cowichan's team in points and is their leading rookie. 15 of his 27 goals have come on the power play.
Cowichan isn't having their best season ever as they sit in 6th place in the 8 team Coastal Division but are just 8 points out of 2nd place and 6 points away from 3rd.
I'll have another recruit update at the beginning of April. I look forward to the addition of Moir and Leinweber next season. They both look to bring a different set of skills but also both appear to be able to fill roles well also. Leinweber looks to have some playmaking skills and toughness. Moir looks to be a classic power forward that can both put the puck in the net and make room for teammates. He should probably be thought of in the same manner as Winston Daychief. Bengtson reminds me of a Kevin Clark like player but perhaps doesn't have quite the chip on his shoulder that Kevin does. Mickey Spencer is a bit of a guessing game to me but the fact that he can bury the puck sure holds promise. It will be interesting to watch both Gustav and Mickey through their next junior seasons and we should get a better idea of exactly what each could bring to the team in 09.