UNH Recruits Update: March-25-2015
Player Spotlight - Ara NazarianBefore Ara Nazarian joined the Des Moines Buccaneers this season, he was a prolific scorer for Massachusetts powerhouse Malden Catholic High School. The Lancers won the Massachusetts Super 8 Championship in Nazarian's freshman, sophomore and junior seasons and he compiled 70 goals and 76 assists in 71 games. After his sophomore year, ESPNBoston.com selected Nazarian as the Mr. Hockey Award winner.
As an 18-year-old rookie in the United States Hockey League, Nazarian jumped out to a fast start scoring 2 goals and an assist in the first four games of the Des Moines season. He cooled off a bit as he adjusted to the USHL. Over his first 45 games, Nazarian tallied 7 goals and 9 assists. Fortunately for the Buccaneers, Nazarian has gotten hot again just when they needed him to. Des Moines is battling for the final playoff spot in the USHL's Western Conference.
Over the last 8 games, Ara Nazarian has scored 3 goals and 6 assists. On March 6th, he scored a goal and an assist and earned the #2 Star of the Game in a tough 4-3, overtime loss to the Lincoln Stars. Last week, Nazarian scored the game-tying goal on a power play and added the game-tying assist on another power play as Des Moines downed the Fargo Force 5-2. He picked up the #2 Star once again. Des Moines trails the Sioux Falls Stampede by 6 points with 7 games left in the regular season.
This coming June will be a big month for Ara. He will graduate from high school and turn 19. His target date for enrolling at UNH is the Fall of either 2015 or 2016. A number of factors such as his development and the needs of the UNH squad are bound to be included in the decision. There are similarities between Nazarian and Andrew Poturalski who also played in the USHL. Andrew just finished his first season at UNH and he was the Wildcats' fourth-leading scorer with 14 goals and 14 assists. In Poturalski's first full season in the USHL, he turned 19 in January and scored 12 goals and 21 assists in 53 games. By comparison, Nazarian doesn't turn 19 until after the season is over and he currently has 10 goals and 15 assists in 53 games. Poturalski ended up playing one more season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders as a 19/20-year-old and was the USHL's 6th-leading scorer with 27 goals and 37 assists.
Player Spotlight - Jake Ryczek2016 UNH recruit Jake Ryczek is also approaching the end of his first regular season in the USHL. Ryczek just turned 17 and is a junior in high school. The Sioux City Musketeers' defenseman has stepped up his offensive production as of late. Over the last four games, Ryczek has scored 2 power play goals and added a power play assist.
Jake Ryczek has accumulated 5 goals and 10 assists in his first 50 USHL games. Four of his goals and 5 of his assists have come on the power play. Among the Musketeer defensemen, he is the third leading scorer and second leading goal-scorer. Sioux City has already clinched a playoff berth and has the third most points in the entire league.
Player Spotlight - Justin Fregona2016 UNH recruit Justin Fregona has capped off his playing career at St. Andrew's College by leading the Saints to another championship. Over the first weekend in March, the top prep school hockey teams in Canada travelled to Toronto for the first ever National Independent School Invitational Championship. The ten teams played at the brand new La Brier Family Arena on the campus of St. Andrew's College in Aurora and the Wilder Arena at Upper Canada College in Toronto.
Overall, St. Andrew's won 4 games and tied one. In the NISIC Championship Game, they defeated Upper Canada College 2-0. Justin Fregona was the top scorer in the tournament with 3 goals and 6 assists. He was also named to the Tournament All-Star team.
In February, St. Andrew's College won it's third consecutive Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) Championship. UNH freshman Warren Foegele was a leading scorer on the 2013 and 2014 championship teams. St. Andrew's also finished in first place during the CISAA regular season. During the long 2014-15 season, St. Andrew's College played a total of 52 CISAA and nonconference games. Justin Fregona played in every game and scored 31 goals and 37 assists. He tied J.D. Falconer as the leading scorer on the Saints' squad.
Fregona, who turns 18 in May, is a senior at St. Andrew's. Next season, he will play for the Langley Rivermen in the British Columbia Hockey League. Langley's general manager and head coach Bobby Henderson offered this assessment of Fregona:
"Justin is a natural goal scorer. He’s got great vision and can make plays all over the ice.”2015 or '16 UNH recruit Marcus Vela played for the Rivermen this season and was the team's 3rd-leading scorer with 20 goals and 26 assists in 50 regular season games.
The statistics for the recruits, presented in the table, are categorized by the year the player and UNH coaches have targeted for enrollment in UNH. For example, the "2015 Recruits" have a target of the Fall of 2015 to begin playing for UNH.
|Jason Kalinowski (F)||Bloomington Thunder||USHL||38||1||7||8||48|
|Cedar Rapids RoughRiders||USHL||5||0||0||0||4|
|Joseph Masonius (D)||USA U18 Team||NCAA||18||5||5||10||14|
|Christopher Miller (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||33||8||12||20||10|
|2015 or '16 Recruits|
|Liam Blackburn (F)||West Kelowna Warriors||BCHL||55||22||51||73||34|
|Liam Darcy (D)||Berwick Academy||NEPSHC||26||2||6||8||-|
|Islanders Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||4||0||0||0||0|
|Frankie Cefalu (F)||Walpole Express||EHL||44||17||46||63||48|
|Patrick Grasso (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||53||9||24||33||10|
|Ara Nazarian (F)||Des Moines Bucs||USHL||53||10||15||25||16|
|Nick Nonis (D)||Powell River Kings||BCHL||56||1||6||7||41|
|Brendan van Riemsdyk (F)||Islanders Hockey Club||USPHL||47||29||12||41||56|
|Marcus Vela (F)||Langley Rivermen||BCHL||50||20||26||46||57|
|Joey Cipollone (F)||Selects Academy 18U||USPHL 18U||24||18||33||51||30|
|Justin Fregona (F)||St. Andrews College||CISAA||19||10||13||23||18|
|Charlie Kelleher (F)||Junior Bruins||USPHL||37||11||21||32||26|
|Aaron O'Neill (F)||Green Bay Gamblers||USHL||34||1||1||2||8|
|Jake Ryczek (D)||Sioux City Musketeers||USHL||50||5||10||15||22|
|Mike Robinson (G)||Lawrence Academy||NEPSHC||25||7W||16L/2T||3.20||.902|
|Boston Jr Rangers||EHL||8||4W||4L||2.35||.937|
|2017 or '18 Recruits|
|Eric Esposito (F)||Loomis Chaffee||NEPSHC||26||17||14||31||-|
|CT Wolfpack U16 Split||CT HC||34||17||15||32||44|
|Jason O'Neill (F)||Skipjacks Hockey Club 18U||USPHL 18U||29||16||24||40||39|
|Joel Farabee (F)||Selects Academy 16U||USPHL 16U||28||8||25||33||16|
News & Notes2015 USA Hockey/Toyota National Championships:
~ Both the Selects Hockey Academy 18U and 16U teams will compete for the National Championship in Amherst, NY beginning tomorrow, March 26th. The teams will play as the Central Connecticut Selects. Joey Cipollone and the 18U team will face the Buffalo Junior Sabres. Joel Farabee and the 16U team will play Victory Honda (Michigan). Both teams will play 3 games in the opening round.