I'm not sure this counts as 100% reliable but given the previous rumblings and the twitter below, Zach Werenski appears to have committed to Michigan's 2014 hockey class
Per a reliable source, NTDP dman Zach Werenski has committed to Michigan. Was a target. Ugh.— BC Hockey Blog (@bchockeyblog1) June 6, 2014
As I mentioned in the previous thread when the first rumor popped up, Werenski is unanimously projected as top 10-15 NHL draft pick for 2015. That would put him comfortably in Jacob Trouba territory and the 5* category. If true, it's a big boost for our D-corps as he should be an instant impact guy, although I do believe he's coming in young. The original rumor said he was graduating high school early to get to A2.
He'd join fellow (2014) projected first rounder Dylan Larkin in this years class. For the 2015 draft class (which Werenski is in), we've also got commitments from Kyle Connor (proj. mid-1st) and Brendan Warren (proj. 2nd). A lot of great talent coming in in these next two classes.
FWIW, the website OTB ranked Werenski as their #1 uncommitted college prospect this past fall:
1. 97 D Zach Werenski – NTDP U17 – 6’1 – 206 Versatile, elite defenseman has a pro build and serious mobility. Regarded as one of the USA’s top defense prospects, Werenski is the full package both offensively as well as in his own end. Built out of a franchise defenseman mold and could very well be a one-and-done should he make it to college - London of the OHL own Werenski’s major junior rights.
So this Stanley Cup Final is pretty good already.
Wolverine Carl Hagelin has had three breakaways tonight. One resulting in a shorthanded goal.
The most recent one almost scored the gamewinner. Oh yeah, and it would've also been shorthanded.
Also--he saved the game for the Rangers by knocking the puck away from the line-
All we can say is, "we know". Super Swede at his best.
Been 70 years since the rangers scored a short handed goal in the playoffs...that is hard to believe but good for Carl.
The Big Ten hockey conference schedule was released today and the results are below (including the only non-con games that I'm aware of). We open with our eternal tormentors in Ann Arbor right before Thanksgiving. That should be an early litmus test to determine whether things are normal now or whether you should resume being oh so frustrated with Michigan Hockey. Also, the conference did their best to schedule our two series with OSU in the wildest way possible: two one-offs and a home-and-home in a single weekend.
|1/8 or 1/10||Minnesota|
|1/23 or 1/25||@Wisconsin|
|2/27 or 3/1||Wisconsin|
(Edit: Thanks to redwings8831 for the non-con games)
With the Big Ten - Hockey East challenge continuing, it's a safe bet we'll get play at least one or two more Hockey East teams. I don't think the trip to BC counts toward the challenge.
Mike Babcock confirms that the rumors of him replacing Red upon his retirement were a misunderstood joke.
Sometimes Babcock has fun with the rumor and speculation. There has been a persistent whisper that he will take over for legendary coach Red Berenson at the University of Michigan. He has joked to reporters that if the Wings don’t want him next season, he’ll be Berenson’s assistant so he can stay close to his daughter.
“That’s just me entertaining myself,” Babcock said. “I don’t know who started those rumors, and now I keep them going. There’s nothing to it – zero to it.”
Throughout the spring, Michael Spath of The Wolverine has been dropping hints that US NTDP U17 defenseman Zach Werenski could be accelerating his final year of high school in order to play for Michigan next season. Today, Spath posted another update, and it appears that plan is coming closer to fruition:It's a paperwork issue. He needs some documents from his HS in terms of fast-tracking to a degree this summer in order to sign a letter of intent with U-M. Everyone involved expects that to get done. Hoping to talk to the young man today or tomorrow.Werenski was a bit overshadowed on the U17 blue line this past season by Noah Hanifin, who is projected as a potential top 5 draft pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, but Werenski himself is projected as a mid-first rounder in 2015 as well.
(FWIW, Spath edited his original post but it still says "Have it on good authority that the defensive recruit is going to drop for Michigan")
Looks like this would be a big step toward addressing the fairly well known issues on the blueline for this upcoming season. Freshmen are freshmen, but Werenski is a projected mid-first rounder and should be a pretty solid player.
For comparison's sake here are other 1st round defensemen that have come through our doors lately:
JMFJ - 3rd, 2005
Jacob Trouba - 8th, 2012
Mark MItera - 19th, 2006
Chris Summers - 29th, 2006
Jon Merrill - 38th, 2010 (2nd round)
This guy would be a proverbial 5 star for college hockey. He'd be a significant grab in any year, but would be especially big for this coming season.