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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

(as in "the one in which I agree with my readership": college)

My body's saying "let's go," but my jersey's saying "hyyyyarrrr!!!"
...has had a significant amount of news come down the pipe recently. To wit:

Aaaargh! A defection! Sort of: Zach MacVoy is leaving Michigan for the USHL. From there he'll recommit to a college that will put him on the ice. MacVoy played in about half of Michigan's 41 games a year ago but missed 14 of the last 16, something that did not look to improve with the (presumptive) return of all forwards save Kaleniecki and Ebbett. Good luck to Zach as long as he doesn't end up at State.

The USHL gives as it takes away, as '06 forward recruit Trevor Lewis continues to rocket up in the estimation of hockey scouts everywhere. The Des Moines Buccaneers (hyyarrr!!!) went from missing the playoffs to USHL champions this year with Lewis as their captain, prompting articles like this called "Hidden Trevor," which I originally thought was some sort of tortured Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon reference because I am retarded for Zhang Ziyi.

Anyway, Bob Miller of The Wolverine talked with Lewis' coach recently:
I'm not sure if I can say enough about Trevor. The accolades he received this year from the USHL say it all: USHL Player of the Year, USHL Curt Hammer Award winner (the first time in the history of the league that a player has won both), All-USHL First team, and he finished 2nd overall in points in the league. He's rated #30 for North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings. There is a good buzz about him by NHL teams that he's got a chance to go late in the 1st round and won't go later than the 2nd. He tied for the point lead in play-offs - and really helped to carry our team. He developed into a solid leader when he was appointed Captain in January (we lost our previous captain to injury).
The Hammer Award is, ironically, the USHL equivalent of the Lady Byng.

The best part about Lewis is that he should be ready to make an impression immediately upon matriculation. He's a year older than most freshmen and played at a high level in the USHL, which is a league on a whole different level from the Junior A leagues in Canada that produced freshman year disappointments Andrew Cogliano (mild) and Tyler Swsytun (severe) a year ago. There may be a slight adjustment period, but I would pencil him in on the top two lines.

Des Moines' coach also commented on '07 forward commitment Aaron Palushaj.

The CHL draft may be changing significantly. This matters how? Well, prospective CHL players have taken to rumbling about going the NCAA route in the weeks leading up to the draft, causing an artificial slide in their position so that a team they have pre-arranged a deal with can scoop them up later than their talent dictates. Chris Heisenberg explains the situation in-depth if you'd like more detail.

Reducing the prevelance of 'cooking,' as this sandbagging is generally called, would help the competitive equity of the CHL, make their draft significantly more comprehensible, and potentially push a few guys from the CHL to the NCAA. The effect of the latter factor is likely to be extremely small -- you're either a college guy or you're not -- but it would reduce nasty surprises. Heisenberg doesn't think it'll ever happen, but The Scouting News says that (scroll allll the way down) they've "learned the highly reliable sources major changed may be made to the OHL draft over the summer months." (Apparently the Babelfish is moonlighting as a hockey scout.) Despite the sketchy nature of the site, which has been around for a while in various incarnations, these guys do have connections.

Speaking of the OHL draft, this one was a portentious one for Michigan fans as their three 2008 recruits -- highly touted all -- were eligible. Robbie Czarnik went in the sixth round to Oshawa, AJ Jenks went in the seventh to Plymouth, and Wohlberg was undrafted. That's very late for three guys who are shoo-ins for the USNTDP and garnered offers from Michigan at least six months ago and should defuse any lingering paranoia about poaching. Plymouth taking Jenks is mildly worrying -- is Czarnik really going to go wherever Oshawa is? -- but those who have spoken first-hand with him say he's committed to his, er, commitment. As per usual, a bunch of guys who made noises about college were scooped up by teams like London late in the first.

No Kitchener, no London, and no early picks, though: exhale.

Johnson, Hensick, and Hunwick have not yet stabbed us in the eye, but one of them will. And then we'll be like all "arrrgh" and they'll be all like "what, don't you learn?" and we'll all be like "no!"