Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Recruiting News: Max McCormick, Michael Vilardo

As the Wisconsin high school hockey action picks up with the playoffs starting this week, one name keeps coming to the forefront, Max McCormick (pictured left) from Notre Dame Academy.

McCormick has really had a good year of hockey. He started things off last spring by being a key member of the Team Wisconsin U-16 squad that made it all the way to USA Hockey nationals and fared very well for themselves once they got there.

He continued that play this fall with with Team Wisconsin Major program, leading the team in scoring in the fall with 10 goals and 14 assists in 24 games, good enough for 10th in the league in overall scoring.

McCormick didn't slow down once he started his high school season. He took the bull by the horns this year with (in my opinion) the best team in the state Notre Dame Academy, leading them to a remarkable 23-1 record heading into the playoffs.

McCormicks stock has continued to grow after his impressive performance in the Elite league in the fall. Minnesota State has been on him hard, recently bringing him in for a visit where he toured the campus and met with the coaching staff. According to his high school coach, Cory McCracken, Wisconsin has also been showing interest and was in attendance to watch him play recently.

McCracken had very nice things to say about McCormick. "Max, in my opinion, is the best forward in the state. We played a top 5 schedule and Max finished 5th in overall scoring. We have a handful of game changers at the high school level and Max is one of those."

He also had a lot of praise for his senior goalie Tony Kujava, who like McCormick is up for the WHCA Player of the Year award. "Tony is certainly among the elite goaltenders in our state. Based on the entire regular season, Kujo led the state in Wins, save percentage, and Goals against average. When you play a tough schedule and post good numbers it speaks to why he is a finalist. I do think goaltenders have traditionally taken a back seat during the POTY consideration. I hope our coaches give Tony fair consideration. I do think it's time to give a goaltender of the year award out in Wisconsin and recognize our state's best.

According to McCracken, Kujava has signed a tender with Janesville for the NAHL.
It looks like Michael Vilardo has left the NTDP and will not be returning. Vilardo has battled shoulder injuries and has recently decided to take the rest of the season off to recover. He injured the shoulder when he was playing with the USA NTDP U-18 squad against Maine.

Vilardo tried battling through the injury and kept aggravating it. He recently traveled with the USA U-17's to Slovakia to compete where he further injured the shoulder to the point where it was recommended he receive an MRI.

According to Vilardo, his left shoulder has never fully healed from a previous injury and is sore, and he has a grade 2 separation and deep muscle bruising in the right shoulder.

Vilardo is an uncommitted forward who will spend at least next season in the USHL. He was scheduled to visit Denver, Harvard, and Notre Dame and has also talked with a few other schools.

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