Sunday, June 8, 2008

USHL Recruit Wrap Part II

Ok, I'm finally getting around to finishing this. Here is Part I, and the USHL Playoff stats.

First, the Unofficial USHL Blog has finished their 2008/2009 Previews w/ the Omaha Lancers. New coach, but the defending Clark Cup champs should be quarterbacked rather effectly by Badger recruit Patrick Wiercioch nextseason.

Matt Thurber, Beaver Dam native, spent the last 3 seasons with Omaha Lancers and was a large part of their Clark Cup victory this season.

Stats: 58 game, 14-41-55, +23, 71 PIM, 1 PPG, 12 PPA, 6 SHG, 1 GWG & 10.1% shooting

Regular season: 169 games, 36-85-121, +53, 188 PIM, 2 PPG, 17 PPA, 7 SHG, 4 GWG & 10.1% shooting
Playoffs: 24 games, 4-5-9, -2, 20 PIM, 7% shooting

By all accounts Matt had a breakout year in the USHL. He was tied for 14th in scoring, 4th in assists, 5th in +/-, and 1st in SHG league wide. He should provide some much needed playmaking for the Badgers, along w/ solid work on both sides of the special teams. I have no doubts that Matt will be able to step in right away and contribute. Also of note, 5 of Matt's penalty minutes were from a fight w/ future teammate Ryan Little. Apparently, Matt can get under other player's skin (kinda like Ratty Johnson), and Ryan was sick of it and it was time to drop the gloves.

Patrick Wiercioch spent last season as Matt's teammate on the Omaha Lancers.

Stats: 40 games, 3-18-21, +12, 24 PIM, 3 PPG, 12 PPG & 8.3% shooting

Patrick sat out a portion of the season due to a thumb injury. From his stats, its obvious he was a large part of Omaha's success on the Power Play, and should be a great PP quarterback for the Badgers starting in 2009. Patrick is originally from Poland and moved to Canada when he was young. Being Polish already makes him one of my favorite players; the fact that he has great talent is a bonus. He is also friends w/ Kyle Turris.

Eric Springer, the Wrightstown native, played last season w/ the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Stats: 60 games, 8-23-31, +21, 94 PIM, 5 PPG, 12 PPA, 2 GWG & 6.3% shooting

Eric finished tied for 8th in the USHL in +/- and is more of an offensive defenseman. He was a late pickup for the Badgers, but based on his All-Star season in the USHL, Wisconsin might have gotten themselves a steal here, and a nice 4 year player.

Craig Smith, the Madison native, has played the last few season w/ the Waterloo Blackhawks.

Stats: 59 games, 13-10-23, -3, 90 PIM, 2 PPG, 3 PPA, 3 GWG, 5.7% shooting

I don't know much about Craig, though I'm looking forward to seeing him play in the USHL next season. Based on stats alone, Craig was struggling to start the season, but had a stronger second half, and a good playoff.

Brock Montpetit, from Somerset, played last season w/ Craig Smith and the Waterloo Blackhawks.

Stats: 55 games, 12-18-30, +14, 34 PIM, 2 PPG, 8 PPA, 12.4% shooting

In 2006/2007, Brock played w/ Jordy Murray and Derek Stepan at Shattuck St. Mary's. I was a little surprised that Brock wasn't part of the 2008 recruiting class, and I think he is prime for a breakout season in the USHL next year.