Time for the season ending update for the incoming Seawolves rookie class. This is a real positive group of committed players led perhaps by Sam Mellor but there's lots of other good players coming to wear the Green and Gold next year who look to turn a few heads also.
Scott Allen's season with Spruce Grove started off on a bit of a down note. Allen didn't attend Spruce Grove's camp in favor of a preseason tryout with Des Moines in the USHL. When he wasn't one of two import roster spots in Des Moines he headed back to Spruce Grove where they had to work him into their roster.
This seems to have cost Scott opportunities on the top two lines and relegated him to a 3rd and 4th line role. His 21 goals and 23 assists though are testament to his ability to find offensive chances while fulfilling a checking and/or energy role.
Most impressively though, in just 9 playoff games Scott has scored 7 goals with 3 assists to lead the Saints in playoff scoring. They have won the AJHL Playoffs and are poised to play the winner of the BCHL for a spot in the RBC Cup. A reasonable approach to anticipating what Scott Allen will bring to bear as a Seawolf would be to start with what his former Saints teammate Brett Cameron brought to the table this season.
Austin finished with the 3rd highest point total amongst USHL defensemen this season. His 7 goals and 28 assists tied him for 2nd most points on the Des Moines squad. He was named a CCM All-Star on February 21st but you may remember no All-Star game was played in that league this season.
Austin is clearly the power play quarterback in Des Moines and I'd expect that he'll develop here with those skills in mind. As a 16 year old, Coldwell was determined to play major juniors with Portland but he didn't make the team in one tryout. At that point, he set his sights on playing college hockey and achieves that this coming season.
Research tells me that Austin should adapt relatively quickly to the college game. He's a very experienced 20 year old with over 200 junior A games on his resume. If he doesn't earn a regular role next season and play in a majority of games I'll be surprised.
Derek is easily quantifiable as one of the most responsible defensemen in the USHL this season. This is a player that takes some pride in excelling in the shut down role and his team leading +/- of +23 was 8th best in the league this season. He scored a goal and added 10 assists in his 59 appearances. He plays the game clean with low penalty minutes as well.
Derek went right from Minnesota High School hockey to juniors and ended up stuck on a team with who got caught in some fairly shady pay-to-play schemes with certain players. Derek was not amongst them but those events threw that franchise into a bit of a spin. He did his job well through it all though and was noticed. Sohe moved onto through a nice USHL season that sets him up to come here and continue to develop.
Still lots of development upside for Derek. I see him becoming a dominant shut down defenseman by his junior season. I expect responsibility to take him at least that far. Hard wok will do the rest.
West Viginia's own Donnie Harris isn't unfamiliar with being away from Ft. Ashby as his hockey interests took him across the country to the AAA Midget NW Regulators team prior to the above junior career. So coming to Alaska I think we can at least guarantee this will be the prettiest place he's spent playing hockey.
Donnie is a defensive defenseman who specializes in defense. He's big and strong and moves well by all accounts. In Bonnyville's 9 playoff games he bagged a goal and an assist. Here's a real good story about him from back in December.
Corbin's 12 goals and 27 assists put him at 3rd highest points overall on the Grizzly's team. Corbin had a nice veteran season on a mostly young but not great Olds team. His maturity and leadership is what I've found most often mentioned or alluded to in the few internet snippets available.
We seem to have a reasonable split between offensive and defensive minded blueliners. Corbin clearly tends toward the offensive end of that spectrum. The last couple of high scoring defensemen we picked up were Kane Lafranchise and Curtis Leinweber. Hopefully that fact bodes well for what we might see out of Corbin.
Tony is a teammate of Derek Docken on Dubuque's blueline. Last season he was a teammate of Eric Scheid at Blaine High School along with the more well-covered Nick Bjugstad. By all accounts Tony is another defensemen who likes to go forward. His 2 goals and 10 assists don't necessarily back that assertion but he is a rookie in a strong league and perhaps isn't green lighted at all times. He did put up nice offensive numbers (6g-26a in 30games) in his final high school season.
It's hard for me to tell from here what defensive pairings Dubuque used this past season so I won't guess if he and Derek were paired and instead hope that they were. Coming onto a new team with a guy you've been playing with and a guy you used to play with should make Tony's transition to college hockey a little easier.
I can't help but think we'll see a great deal of him as a freshman.
Sam Mellor finished the 3rd highest point per game average last season in the BCHL. His 33 goals and 34 assists in just 45 games put him at 2nd on his squad and 16th on the league leader list. He also played in two in season national select tournaments which in combination with a short term injury kept him out of the other 15 regular season games. His 2 goals and 7 assists led the Smoke Eaters during their 7 game playoff stretch.
Mellor is unquestionably an elite level recruit. He's on the NHL's radar and could be selected in this summer's draft. It wouldn't be wrong to call him one of, if not the top prospect to come out of that league into the NCAA. The Seawolves secured Sam's verbal committment when he was just 17 and though Major Junior did come calling, Sam has always been committed to the college route. He comes to UAA as a true 18 year old freshman.
Make no mistake about it, this guy is going to contribute offense. As with every freshman there'll be some adapting to the game but Sam's got great tools and a nose for the net. He's excelled at every level while always playing against older competition. He'll do the same thing in the Green and Gold.
There's no fudging the numbers so ... Andrew had a down year in terms of production this season with 21 fewer points. However, in 17 playoff games he finished tied for 2nd in points with 4 goals and 8 assists. Pettitt's 2009-2010 numbers peg him as a guy who knows his way around the net so I'm left but to assume he wasn't around the net as often this past season. I can't begin to guess why.
Hopefully, he finds his way back around the net here.
I'm officially more jazzed than before at Eric Scheid coming to UAA. In his rookie USHL season he scored 15 goals and added 21 assists which is better than I had expected and is quantifiably a very nice rookie season. Matt Bailey scored 14 goals in his 2nd USHL season after 11 in his 1st. Eric is skilled playmaker and knows how to get the puck to a guy that knows where to be. And this season he's shown he can put the puck in the back of the net as well.
I'm expecting Eric to be quick with a good set of hands which should make him a pretty dynamic forward here for the next 4 years. I'm expecting that he's at minimum a candidate to reach 100 points during his career.
Stenerson isn't expected to attend UAA until at least the 2012-2013 season. In his first year of juniors he did well and impressed his coaching staff and UAA staff with his poise and skill. He just turned 18 at the end of January. He didn't appear in any Surrey playoff games this season though he was in 54 regular season games. I saw no listing of him as injured but that doesn't mean he wasn't. He'll get closer tracking next season.
Zack isn't scheduled to come to UAA until 2012. He finished his 2nd USHL season with 3 goals and 6 assists for Tri-City in 39 games. Again, it's hard to know how many games he lost to injury. But with another season to watch Zack there's no need for any commentary here.