Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recruiting: It's Vladdy D Time (And Time To Sign Fiala)

Wisconsin recruiting took a large step this weekend when we landed a premier goaltender for the 2011 season with Joel Rumpel. It's been the number 1 priority for a while now. In my opinion, our next step is to lock down Joe Fiala, a defenseman from Verona.

Fiala, who has been talked about here many times has recently accepted a mid-season invitation to join the USA NTDP U-17 squad full time. The NTDP has experienced an exorbitant amount of injuries and suspensions this season leading to Fiala's invitation.

At 6'2, 190 pounds, Fiala already has the size you look for in a Division 1 WCHA defenseman. His biggest problem was his every day competition at Verona high school. Moving to the USA NTDP will accelerate his development. We have two defensemen coming in for the 2011 season, Jake McCabe, and and Troy Hesketh. Fiala would fit in well in 2012, arriving with Chicago Mission defenseman Jordan Schmaltz.

Speaking of Schmaltz, he has been added to the USA U-17 squad for the upcoming 2010 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament. "The defenseman helped the U.S. National Under-17 Team capture first place at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in January. Schmaltz participated in each of Team USA’s seven games and notched one goal. In 39 games with the Mission, Schmaltz has led the team’s defensemen with 31 points (10-21)."

The tournament starts on Thursday but they played an exhibition this morning which they lost, 4-3 to Slovakia. Schmaltz had a goal in the exhibition. "Jordan Schmaltz (Madison, Wis.) skated in from the blue line, wheeled around a defender and put a backhanded shot under the blocker of netminder Dusan Szalontay with 4:52 remaining in regulation."