Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Recruiting Notes

Just spoke with Notre Dame Academy (Green Bay) defenseman Tim Davison (pictured) about his future plans. The junior to be was recently selected in the USHL Futures draft in the first round, 12th overall by the Youngstown Phantoms.

The Phantoms love Wisconsin players. They selected Jefferson Dahl and David Donnellan, both from Eau Claire in the 2009 expansion draft. Then they took Madison native Cody Strang in the 6th round of the 2009 USHL Draft.

Davison finished up camp with the Phantoms and was offered a spot on the team, a rarity for a player of his age. "It was a great experience being at the tryout camp. They treated everyone well. It seems like a great organization. I am very honored with the opportunity they have given me."

However Davison won't be in Youngstown this season. After talking it over with his parents, he has decided to go back to Notre Dame Academy for at least one more season. He said he also plans on (hopefully) playing with Team Wisconsin U18's. (Um, heres a secret, he'll make the team)
Another Wisconsinite who recently made a USHL team was Milwaukee Jr. Admirals defenseman Jarrod Rabey. Rabey, who was a 15th round selection by the Indiana Ice in the 2009 USHL Draft has made the Ice for the 2010-2011 season. Rabey was instrumental in helping the Jr. Admirals to capture the WAHA Midget Major State Championship this season.

Rabey, who is currently listed at 6'2, 223 played in five games last season for Indiana. In those 5 contests, he was held off the score sheet. Don't expect him to stay off the USHL score sheets for long. Rabey recorded 53 points in 63 games for the Jr. Admirals last season.

For a kid that I initially criticized when he was drafted for being over weight, it looks like the future is bright for this blue liner. Reports I've heard indicate that he's gotten serious about hockey and has lost some weight. He's generated interest from some D-1 programs so keep an eye on his progress.
In addition to the original two that I found out had made USHL rosters, I just found out that Green Bay Native Ryan Belonger has made the Youngstown Phantoms. Unlike Davison, Belonger is expected to play in Youngstown next season.

Belonger spent last season (his high school senior season) playing for the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL and had a successful season. The 5'10, 180 pounder put up a 14-21-35 line in 60 games for the Bandits. The 1992 born forward really came on at the end of the season recording 7 points in 10 playoff games including four goals.

Belonger has been on a visit at Wisconsin and I know he's been in contact with a number of schools including (but not limited to) UW, UMD, MI Tech, MI State, Quinnipiac, and Yale.
Another interesting kid to keep an eye on is Michael Vilardo. I've spoke of him on this site many times and he's still uncommitted. He originally committed to Ohio State when he was way too young and quickly decided that it wasn't the right place for him. He's taken his time in the process on this go round and is still evaluating his options.

Last season he started off playing midget hockey with the Chicago Mission program but was extended an invite to the NTDP after a few injuries mid-season. He himself ran into some shoulder injuries and was shut down in mid-February. Vilardo is now healthy but has aged out of the NTDP program and will be playing for the Indiana Ice this season with Rabey.

Vilardo is still keeping his options open but told me recently that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are likely possible destinations. He did say that he still has strong interest in Wisconsin and Michigan as well. Last season he had also mentioned Notre Dame and Denver.
I almost forgot about this but I'm glad I caught myself because this is pretty important news as well. Thanks to USCHO poster Ralph Baer, we've learned that Wisconsin is in on Canadian recruit Steven Beyers.

Beyers did an interview with a Toronto sports radio station The Fan 590 with David Grossman. In the interview, Beyers reveals that Wisconsin and RPI are on the top of his list. By the way if you listen to the interview, it's kind of awkward if you ask me.

He was drafted in the OHL Draft by Sudburry with the first pick in the third round but just listening to Beyers thoughts on Sudbury in the interview I don't think we need to worry about him ending up there. Chris Dilks from Western College Hockey projected him as a first round OHL pick in his draft year.

Beyers spent last season with Orangeville in the CCHL in Ontario. He was recently drafted in the USHL Draft by Fargo and it would make a ton of sense for him to play there next season. Beyers continues to grow and currently stands 5'11, 185 pounds.

It should be interesting to see if Beyers is drafted by an NHL club this summer. He was ranked #199 by NHL Central Scouting at the year end rankings. That means that it's probably a toss up as to him getting drafted. But all it takes is one team to like you.