Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ryan Walters De-Commits From Minnesota **UPDATE: Just Spoke With Walters**

Just spoke to sources close to the situation (Updated: Talked to Ryan as well) that have confirmed that Ryan Walters has de-committed from Minnesota.

Walters from the time he committed was promised a spot in 2010. Even when he left for Des Moines this fall he was still told he would be a 2010. He committed in the fall of 2007. He did everything that was asked of him.

I was told that Minnesota set goals for him, and that they wanted him to have a 60+ point season in the USHL this year and he put up 61. They wanted him to be a USHL All-Star and he was the MVP at the All-Star game.

I spoke to Ryan this afternoon and he confirmed the rumors were true. "I sat down with my family today and we came to the realization that this was the best decision for me. I've been trying to get a hold of Coach Lucia all day but have been unsuccessful."

Minnesota met with Walters on Friday and told him not only was he going back to the USHL for another season but they wanted him to change his style of play. They wanted him to stop being "chirpy" and an agitator and more of a pure scorer. The source told me that he was willing to change his game for the coaches, "but it was like they were just coming up with one more thing because he met all the goals maybe they thought he wouldn't."

When asked if high school players that were brought in early affected his decision Walters said, "I'm happy that those guys are Gophers, they are my friends and they deserve everything they have been given."

The source I talked to this afternoon talked about the Gophers recruiting strategies, telling me that not one of the Gopher coaches called Ryan to congratulate him on being a USHL All-Star or for the season that he had. The source also said, "Minnesota was at several games at the end of the season but not once did they stay after to say hi while other schools were talking to their guys."

I talked to Ryan about why he made the decision and he talked about wanting to play college hockey this season, "My family felt that I am ready to play college hockey this upcoming season so I'm going to try and find a school that will allow me to do that."

I asked about potential schools and he didn't hesitate, "I want to play in the WCHA. Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota are two great schools, but I want to play in the WCHA."

I wrote an article back in early March talking about how the Gophers have over-recruited the forward position for 2010 and that there were going to be a lot of pissed off players. I knew that there were going to be some kids that wouldn't make it to Minnesota and it looks like Walters is the first shoe to drop.

This is what I had to say about Walters in the article, "Ryan Walters committed shortly after Youso. Walters is having an excellent season in the USHL right now. He's averaging over a point per game right now for Des Moines. I know that there has been talk that he'll do what the coaches tell him, but you don't ask a point per game player in the USHL who is committed for 2010 to play his third season in the USHL so Tom f'ing Serratore can come in and play."

When I talked to the source early this afternoon they referenced the article stating, "You were right, if he didn't go in this year, he's never going to the U of M."

Looking at the Minnesota roster for next year, it was clear that they were going to have issues. They return 11 forwards. From what I can tell, they have at least 7 forwards committed for next season (Youso, Condon, Bjugstad, Ambroz, Haula, Larson and Serratore) putting them at an INSAINE 18 forwards. That is not including Max Gardiner (Projected Second Rounder), or Christian Isackson both who will be drafted in the upcoming NHL Draft. This is all in addition to Walters.

Sorry, I know I said I was retired but when this gem falls in your lap I had to inform my readers. Now...back to retirement.