Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Recruit Pipeline at Even this week

We lose one recruit, we gain another this week. I'll cover Matt Paape first. The Appleton United forward will join the Badgers in 2010 or 2011 after spending a year or two in the USHL following this season. Matt is playing w/ Team Wisconsin in the High School Hockey Elite League, and is teammates w/ recent verbal Cody Strang. Matt was receiving initial interest from CC and North Dakota.

You can read more about Matt here, and more about Nick Pryor as well. Todd of TCT talked w/ Nick about his decommitment and some new information has come to light. Here are some quotes:

said he made the decision in the last week that Wisconsin "wasn't a good fit for me anymore."

Asked why, he said: "I don't really know. I don't really have anything to say about that."

"It's kind of hard for me to explain, still, right now," Pryor continued. "It's hard for me to explain to my parents. They understand where I'm coming from. But it was just a decision I made. It didn't seem to be a good place for me."

He denied rumors that his decommitment had something to do with academics. "I could have gotten in if I wanted to," he said.

He said he liked everything about Wisconsin, including the hockey coaching staff. "It had nothing to do with them because they're all first class and a first-class program," he said.

This contradicts what Nick told Chuck earlier about academics being the main reason why he couldn't get in. Todd did a followup w/ Nick and here is the whole post.

** On whether he's looking to play somewhere else: "Now I'm just playing whatever I can get and wherever I can go. I'm keeping everything open right now."
** On whether he's heard interest from other schools: "I've gotten calls. I'm keeping my options open right now. I don't have my mind set on anywhere right now. I'm just going to play - I've got a tournament coming up this weekend, the USHL Fall Classic, and see how everything goes after that. Nothing too serious at all right now."
** On how he made the decision not to play for UW: "I don't know where it came from, but it was a choice that I made and it's over with now as far as I'm concerned, and I've got to move on."
** More on the decision: "It was a tough decision, but I'm going to be able to play hockey somewhere. I just want to play hockey. It doesn't really matter where I play hockey. As long as I have a good fit for me and I'm enjoying myself there and having fun, that's fine with me."

The interesting thing for me was that when I asked Pryor what made him now think that UW wouldn't be a good fit for him, he paused for a few seconds before basically saying he didn't have an answer. Fair enough, but it keeps you wondering.

I wonder too Todd, no doubt. This doesn't all add up to me. He's still a kid so I cut him slack, but I have to wonder how you can make a big decision like this and don't know why. If its an issue w/ playing time, well the chances of McDonagh and McBain being back in Madison a year from now are pretty slim. That doesn't even account for some part of Brendan Smith, Cody Goloubef or Jake Gardiner making an unexpected though possible jump to the pros. Obviously as a fan, I'm not owed anything by the players, especially recruits, but I'm not overly happy when you say academics is a reason and then you tell Todd at TCT that you just changed your mind. Tell the truth right away, people might not be happy w/ you, but at least they know you were up front about things. Down the road in life that is important, whether you are an NHL prospect or a janitor.