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.