Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recruiting: Stats Updated, Potential Player Notes

First things first, I've updated the recruiting statistics spreadsheet, so you can check that out for all the latest statistics on our committed players and potential recruits.

Ok, so now that we have that out of the way I wanted to talk about some potential recruits for the Badgers. The first one is 1992 born forward Garrett Allen (pictured left). I mentioned last week that Allen was a name that was really picking up steam in the recruiting circles.

Originally I thought that Allen would probably wait until later in the season/summer to make a commitment but recent rumblings have given me a feeling that he is going to make a decision sooner rather than later.

As far as I know, the schools in the running are Wisconsin, Colorado College and Denver. Those three schools have been in the race for a while now, so that's nothing new. The biggest surprise is that Hammy, a Minnesota hockey insider recently alerted me that the Gophers may have jumped into the fray and made Allen an offer. I do not have official confirmation that Allen holds an offer from any of these schools, but I think it's safe to say that he holds offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and possibly from CC and Denver.

So where does he end up? It's hard to say. Rumors are that he has strong family ties out in Colorado, so both DU and CC will be in play. Allen is from Wisconsin and while the Badgers don't land every instate kid they offer, they usually do pretty well for themselves. The wild card is definitely Minnesota entering the race late. Allen plays for the Fargo Force with Gopher recruits Nate Schmidt and Nate Condon. If your not familiar, Condon is another Wisconsin born forward (Wausau). I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say he ends up at Denver but that's a pretty wild guess.
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The second player I wanted to talk about was goaltending prospect Troy Grosenick. If your not familiar with Grosenick, he is in his second USHL season for the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders.

I've been getting a ton of recruiting questions over the past couple months regarding the goaltending situation of the future. For as long as I can remember the Badgers have run a goaltending system with a junior/freshman or a senior/sophomore. Transfer Brett Bennett threw a wrench into things since we now have two scholarship junior goaltenders.

A reader this week alerted me to Grosenick who I've grossly been overlooking as a Badger prospect, pun intended. (wow that was lame) Anyways, Grosenick isn't a world beater first round draft pick type of goalie but he could be a player that would fit into our situation.

First of all, he's from Brookfield. Being a Wisconsin native always helps obviously in the recruiting situation with the familiarity of the program and the bonus of having in-state tuition. Second of all, Grosenick ages out of junior hockey this season so he would have to come to Wisconsin next season. I know what your thinking, there is no way we roster three scholarship goalies next year, and you are right. But being an in-state kid, I can definitely see Grosenick taking a 3 for 4 scholarship deal. If your unfamiliar with that, it basically means that he will not receive a scholarship his first year (when we still have Bennett and Gudmandson), but will receive a full scholarship his last three seasons.

Personally i would rather see us bring in a player like Grosenick next season and an elite freshman goalie in 2011 than bring in two freshmen goalies in 2011. Like I said, Grosenick isn't a top of the line goaltender by any means but he's had two very productive seasons in the USHL. He currently has a career 2.63 GAA and a .903 save percentage in 57 career USHL games. He also possesses decent size at 6'0, 190 pounds.

There are a few other goaltenders out there that I would like to bring in next season as well but the problem is the scholarship issue. If I had my first choice we would bring in Green Bay (USHL) goaltender Steve Summerhays. The problem is that Summerhays is an Alaska native and probably isn't likely to pay out of state tuition for a full year at Wisconsin.
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Ok, I'll admit from the start that I don't know much about this kid but I heard about his name last week and I thought he deserved to be brought up. The kid in reference is Delano, Minnesota forward Tyler Heinonen. Heinonen has recently been linked to the Wisconsin program and will be an interesting name to follow in the recruiting process.

At 6'1, 170 and averaging two goals a game, Heinonen brings a lot to the table. The problem is that it's tough to evaluate a kid like Heinonen playing at the level he plays. While Minnesota high school hockey is great, the lower Class A schools that his Delano Tigers play against simply aren't that good so it's tough to evaluate his statistics.

As a positive, Heinonen played pretty well in the Upper Midwest High School Elite league this past fall for Team Southwest which also housed future Badger Troy Hesketh from Minnetonka. Heinonen's 16 points in 23 games were very respectable. Also, I figured this was pointing out, Heinonen recently recorded four hat-tricks in a row. I don't care who you play against, four hat-tricks in a row is impressive.