in town for free camps
The NHL drafted dudes this weekend, and all four Michigan recruits were picked:
- D Brandon Burlon went in the late second round (#52) to New Jersey.
- Robbie Czarnik went at the top of the third (#63) to the Kings
- Greg Pateryn went in the fifth (#128) to Toronto
- David Wohlberg went in the sixth to New Jersey (#172)
Draft-eligible freshmen Scooter Vaughn and Tristin Llewellyn were passed over, as was 2009 D recruit Lee Moffie. This is the first time since 2000 Michigan didn't have a player picked in the first round. The program is a machine.
Upshot? It's nice to have top-end picks, but a bunch of second to fourth rounders are almost as good since NHL teams are less likely to pick them off after a year or two but they still have excellent talent. See: Porter, Kevin and Kolarik, Chad.
Czarnik going to LA is a little unfortunate. The Kings have a history with Michigan hockey, and by "have a history" I mean "you hate them." Mike Cammalleri, now a (yech) Flame, was pressed and pressed by the Kings until he finally signed right before the season started, pissing Red off something fierce and causing one of his regular diatribes against early signing. Two years ago, USHL player of the year Trevor Lewis never got to Michigan after being picked by the Kings at the tail end of the first round. LA signed him and shuffled him off to the OHL. (Jack Johnson also signed with the Kings early, but he went right into the NHL; can't blame anyone for that.) Czarnik's not going to pull a Lewis, knock on wood, but if he turns into a star he might get signed prematurely.
Other than that, it's nice to see the Devils pick a couple Michigan players. New Jersey's one of the best-run organizations in the league and they get a ton out of the draft, which speaks well of Burlon and Wohlberg's talent relative to their draft positions. They also tend to leave guys in college longer (IMO). Pateryn getting drafted is a major bonus since he's not on much scholarship money.
CCHA Note: Highly-touted Ohio State recruit Zac Dalpe may never see Columbus. He went high-ish in the OHL draft to Plymouth and was just taken by the Carolina Hurricanes. Both franchises are owned by Peter Karmanos. Dalpe was reportedly considering the OHL route but wanted to see what the team who drafted him preferred; Carolina is obviously going to push for the Whalers.
Outside of Michigan, it was a meh year for the CCHA in the draft. MSU recruit Daultan Leveille went 29th; he and Dalpe were the only two players selected before the fourth round, when a couple ND recruits and another MSU player went.
Piled up. Kudos to the Daily's Dan Feldman, who ferreted out a ton of interesting factoids and quotes in his latest article. Remember the spread punt formation that cost Michigan the Iowa game and sent Jim Boccher into insurance or accounting or whatever? It's back:
The Wolverines will use a spread punt formation, and they will send six gunners as opposed to the two last year.
Redshirt junior Zoltan Mesko will roll out on some kicks, and said he will stretch the field as far as he needs to. And he will directional kick, which wasn't part of last year's punting plan but won't be a difficult adjustment.
"Point your body that way, and that's the way it's going," Mesko said. "It's not that difficult."
You know those rumors that Terrance Taylor wasn't buying into the system and had some issues with the coaches and conditioning? True, but maybe not a huge deal:
Taylor said his place on the depth chart was due to "clashing" between himself and the new coaches as they got used to each other's personalities.
"Situations happen, problems occur," Taylor said. "But as the (spring) season went on, things worked out. I'm going to go out there and play. No matter if I'm third, fourth, fifth team, I'm going to go out and play like I'm on the first team, so it wasn't a big deal."
You know those rumors that Darryl Stonum might not be happy? (I didn't, but a couple emailers indicate they've been scooting around message boards.) He seems to be settling in:
Sam McGuffie arrived at the airport during the clinic, and running backs coach Fred Jackson playfully scolded Stonum for signing autographs while stranding McGuffie.
Need Barwis porn?
Stonum was the only early enrollee this year. He said he arrived in Ann Arbor in January weighing about 170 pounds. He now weighs about 195 pounds and has gotten faster.
Need evidence that random middle-aged women ask way better questions than actual journalists?
When Rodriguez asked the participants in the Women's Football Academy if they had any questions, one woman asked which assistants would be on the field and which would be in the press box.
Rodriguez explained offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith would be upstairs so they could see the entire field.
Then he turned to Shafer to ask what his plans were. Because the staff had been so busy with recruiting and spring practice, they hadn't formalized that. Shafer said he and defensive line coach Bruce Tall would be in the press box. ...
"In my opinion, you can't see a thing on the sideline during the game," Shafer said. "Anybody that's watched a game on the sideline in between the 30-yard lines realizes that you don't know what just happened unless it's run right at your side."
Also, Terrance Robinson will get Henne's #7.
By this point I've excerpted almost half the article and seriously pushed the boundaries of fair use. There's more original information in this one article than the Free Press has published in the past week. Contrast their article on the women's football academy with the Daily's: you get all that relevant info in the Daily; in the Free Press you get to find out that Rod Smith compares passing to Tae Bo.
Dear Daily: a winner is you.
Speakin' of... did I freak you out about Stonum and then drop it? Sorry. I will attempt to repair the hurt. A reader forwarded along this message Stonum sent out to Myspace friends:
I got a comment today about me being unhappy at Michigan and wanting to possibly transfer. I just want to take the time to let everyone know it's all rumors. I'm very content with my situation in Ann Arbor and want to wait and see how things play out before I make that kind of decision. I hope all this gossip can stop so I can just go about my business and play football. I love the tradition and hope to live up to all of your expectations.
All due Myspace caution applies (though the Bryce McNeal stuff turned out to be basically correct, if premature); Stonum will be around in the fall but I think Rodriguez will have to pass a bit more to keep the receiving talent Michigan's collected happy.
I loathe MGoBlue's new picture gallery software, which doesn't allow you to save or even link to specific pictures, but there are some great ones in the academy gallery. #39 is a particular favorite.
Scoutin'. The hockey team recently acquired a recruited walk-on from the same school as 2009 D recruit Mac Bennett. Bob Miller took the opportunity to get a scouting report on one Luke Glendening from Bennett. Bennett's favorite thing about Glendening? He uses the point a ton in the offensive zone, naturally. Also:
He's in the gym day in a day out and you can tell that he wants to get better. He was told that he was going to be a "support" player, but with his work ethic and determination I wouldnt be surprised if he ended up being a fourth line player. He's definitely someone that you want on your team and someone you don't want to play against.
Meet the new JJ Swistak/Charlie Henderson/Danny Fardig?
Schedulin'. Michigan's just released the hockey schedule. Michigan State, Ohio State, and Miami are Michigan's clustermates, which should be fun. (In the CCHA, you play everyone twice and two extra games against three teams in your "cluster"; State is always in Michigan's cluster.)
- two home games against St. Lawrence
- A Thursday(!) home game against Niagara, followed immediately by
- a Saturday game at BU
- Minnesota and Wisconsin on the road, and
- the GLI.
Michigan's opening GLI opponent will be Tech; North Dakota is the guest this year. There are no games at the Palace or in Fort Wayne or anything.
Does it seem like the schedule is short a couple games? Michigan trips to Alaska this year. Those games are exempted by the NCAA and should allow Michigan another couple nonconference matchups.
Etc.: This has to be the most unlikely thing that's ever shown up on youtube: a six-minute Johnny Sears highlight reel. No... seriously. Elsewhere, Dave Barry scouts Chad Henne and Jake Long, and Rodriguez blah blah blah West Virginia blah blah.
Alcorn State, home of the epigram. Terry Bowden's latest column for Yahoo starts with this accurate, bizarre explanation of college football from a former Alcorn State head coach Marino Casem:
"In the East, college football is a cultural exercise.
On the West Coast, it is a tourist attraction.
In the Midwest, it is cannibalism.
But in the South, college football is a religion, and every Saturday is a holy day."
Emphasis mine, because !?!?!?!. Mr. Casem's been spending too much time around Ohio State fans.
Tick tock. Michael Shaw is one of the Michigan recruits participating in the annual Big 33 game, a high-school all-star game played between Ohio and Pennsylvania. There has been some mild controversy (read: AAAARGH DESTROY MICHIGAN) about Shaw's last-second switch to the Wolverines after being a Penn State commit for about six months. PennLive talked to Shaw about what went down:
Michael Shaw heard the complaints over his last-minute change of heart to attend Michigan instead of Penn State.
Sometimes, the 18-year-old running back from Trotwood, Ohio wishes he hadn't.
"I just want to be 18," Shaw said during Thursday's Big 33 youth clinic. "It was probably the biggest decision of my life. I lost so much sleep, but at the same time, I mean, nothing is guaranteed. If it was guaranteed ... it would be signed on paper instead of a verbal commitment."
And how about yet another nail in the "snake oil" coffin? Sure, at this point the coffin is about 98% nails, but we've still got two percent left:
Michigan and Lloyd Carr stayed in contact with Shaw after he verbally committed to Penn State, inviting him to Ohio State-Michigan and a few other games.
THINK OF THE GENTLEMEN, LLOYD! THINK OF THE GENTLEMEN!
[don't read the next one if you don't want a Top Chef Spoiler. Weirdo.]
Hail Toledo. Ever since the NCAA hockey tournament went to sixteen teams and four regionals, the CCHA has been perilously close to getting screwed by the committee; this year it happened when there were no acceptable bids in the conference's territory and, as a result, the top two seeds in the tournament got shipped to Albany and Madison. Lame. The problem is two-fold: though the NCAA apparently has no problem putting regionals on Colorado College's home ice -- an Olympic sheet at altitude -- Michigan's back-to-back Yost regionals caused a massive backlash and Michigan's been unable to host since. Other than Munn, which for some inexplicable reason MSU has been loathe to bid with, there are no appropriately sized rinks in the area save for Van Andel in Grand Rapids. Western hosts there about every other year, but the NCAA doesn't want it hosting all the time. Thus last year's fiasco.
Help is on the way. Western College Hockey points to the Lucas County Arena, which is being erected in Toledo as we speak and will be ready for 2009. Bowling Green has already submitted a regionals bid at the arena. It'll be brand new, it's centrally located, and relatively convenient to get to -- Toledo has an airport and NWA hub Detroit Metro is 45 minutes away. It should be a regular NCAA tourney host, and hopefully a regular stop for Michigan fans.
Speaking of: Michigan has bids in for Yost in the coming years, too... maybe they should bid at this place? You host, you get to stay home. It's silly for the CCHA to have Western and BG bid only to see those teams not make the field.
Etc.: Paul DePodesta has a blogspot blog and it's pretty smart; this post is about dissasociating outcome from process and it heavily reflects my worldview. There is a class action lawsuit pending against EA claiming they have unfairly monopolized licenses for football games; godspeed, lawsuit guys.
A couple sources are suggesting Michigan fans breathe easy about this potential academic casualty on the hockey team. Michigan Hockey Net:
Not true, according to a source who said there are not going to be any departures from the hockey program due to academic reasons. He did confirm Pateryn will join this fall, but "it's not because we need him to fill a roster spot of a player not performing well in the classroom."
As of now, no one is out. Red made a comment to Blais about bringing Pateryn this year more as a precaution than a realization that they're going to lose someone. There are a few kids that are not stellar students, but as of this morning there had been no academic causalities. Mitera and Summers are definitely coming back. Pacioretty we're still awaiting word on but feel confident he will return.
Spath would later add that everyone should "relax" and there's "no need to panic," with an explanation pending in Rivals' premium Inside The Fort on Thursday.
I'm still a little leery. I doubt Pateryn would want to give up a year of eligibility to be the eighth defenseman, and I doubt Michigan would want him to spend a critical development year getting scratched. On the surface it makes little sense to bring him in this year unless someone taking a regular shift is departing. We'll see. The one scenario that does make sense: Pateryn is sick of waiting and wants to go to college now.
Michigan went into this offseason with one open spot on the blueline after Kevin Quick bought a "Swedish Credit Card Inspector" t-shirt and Carl Hagelin fell for it. However, they'd signed two players to LOIs. Probable late first-round pick Brandon Burlon is definitely coming in. Greg Pateryn, however, was expected to cool his heels in the USHL one more year unless someone bolted.
Fargo Force Head Coach/General Manager Dean Blais tells WDAY 6 Sports that two of the players he was counting on this fall have chosen to play elsewhere. Garrett Clarke has opted to play with a Canadian Junior Hockey Team, and Greg Pateryn has chosen to skate for the University of Michigan. Pateryn has signed with the Wolverines and had expected to play a season in Fargo before joining Red Berenson's team, but because of a need at the U of M, is now projected to see playing time for Michigan.
Everyone envisioning a gaping hole on the top line can take a breath: this is not necessarily Max Pacioretty, the lone first-round pick who hadn't publicly stated he would return, signing with the Canadiens. In the accompanying video, Blais says Red called him up last week and told him one of his players didn't make it academically, so Pateryn was coming in.
But someone's gone. It's not necessarily a defenseman, since Chris Summers could slide up to forward. Let the speculation begin; watch for a CHL signing in the near future; I just hope it's not one of the freshmen.
Spartanburg quarterback Jones gets offer from Michigan
What about Beaver/Newsome? This Jones guy is a rising junior. And this is how he got his offer:
Cornelius Jones hasn't played a down for the Spartanburg Vikings varsity football team yet, but Michigan has seen enough to offer him a scholarship.
The junior quarterback received his first offer Tuesday, after Vikings coach Freddie Brown sent the Big Ten school a five-minute video of Jones from a scrimmage.
That is a hell of a five-minute video. The article mentions that Jones hasn't played forSpartanburg in "a couple of years" because he "got in some trouble"... what kind of trouble can an eighth-grader get in? Don't answer that.
Burl Ives. The NHL draft approaches, and Red Line Report ranks incoming blueliner Brandon Burlon one of the top ten available. Okay, it's #10, but still:
Brandon Burlon rounds out Red Line's top 10 list. There's not much buzz about him, but we feel he'd be a solid choice anywhere after No. 20. He's got great feet and a mean edge. He's as fundamentally sound in his own end as any defender in the draft, and we think he's got some untapped offensive potential as well.
Yost Built has a little more on Burlon and notes Greg Pateryn is projected by one Sabres site as a potential fifth-round target. Not bad for a guy who was promised very little scholarship money.
Stones. Michigan's baseball team may have received some unexpected good news in the MLB draft, when two draft-eligible juniors fell to the fifth round. Jason Christian, rated at about the end of the third round, was picked by the As. He's widely expected to sign and the relatively small drop probably won't affect that.
Zach Putnam, however, has to be disappointed after he fell to the second-to-last pick of the fifth round after widely being projected as a sandwich pick or even a late first-rounder. Juniors usually sign because they lose their leverage if they return, but Putnam's drop might motivate him to return. Baseball America:
The Indians finally put Zach Putnam out of his misery, taking him with the penultimate pick of the fifth round. If the Indians put him in the bullpen, expect him to move quickly with his fastball-splitter mix. However, Putnam might prove to be a tough sign this low. Suffice it to say he's had an enigmatic career when it comes to scouts, who seem to like him less than his performance would indicate.
A recent change in the draft rules allows teams that draft college juniors to retain their rights until a couple weeks before the next year's draft. (High schoolers have to be signed by August 15th.) If Putnam thinks he's been shorted, he could return to Michigan in the hopes he has a wicked pissah of a senior year and either forces the Indians to shell out considerably above slot or watch him re-enter the draft (and hopefully go much higher). His situation bears watching, which is more than you could say before the draft.
Meanwhile, the Indians went Michigan mad, drafting Adam Abraham with the 411th pick and Nate Recknagel with the 591st. Cislo and Fetter were not drafted; Mike Powers went in the 31st round to the Mets. We'll know about everyone's fate by August 15th.
Raise a glass to the NCAA hockey rules committee. In marked contrast to the constantly blundering football committee, they've made every effort to improve the game. To wit, the rules changes for this year:
No change after an icing. As per the NHL rule that everyone loves.
Limited-application shootout. When I heard college hockey might be considering the addition of a shootout, I was pretty leery. The Pairwise is so jittery and shootouts are so random that instituting them would add even more weirdness to the NCAA's selection criteria. But this seems okay:
In a release from the NCAA today, it says the rules committee has voted to maintain the current game structure of 60 minutes, followed by a five-minute overtime, but individual conferences are allowed to use a shootout at their discretion.
The shootout could be used to award points towards the league race, though any game decided by a shootout would go into the record book for NCAA Tournament qualifying purposes as a tie.
I'm still not a big fan of the idea -- seems gimmicky -- but if those are the rules any grumbling I have is minor.
All games have two referees now. This one I'm not so sure of. The CCHA had zero competent referees at last count and will now have twice as many incompetent ones. OTOH, cutting down an incompetent ref's responsibilities should edge him towards competence, or at least consistency. We'll see how it goes.
All faceoffs are held on faceoff dots. This is a minor change but a good one. Those faceoffs right inside the blue line have always bothered me. Your reward for winning one is the puck outside of the zone and a dump-in. Now those will be from the proper dots inside the zone, and winning one will lead to a scoring chance. More chances == always good.
Only in Ohio. Ha-ha:
A Cleveland-area principal says he's embarrassed his students got proof of their "educaiton" on their high school diplomas.
Westlake High School officials misspelled "education" on the diplomas distributed last weekend. It's been the subject of mockery on local radio.
Etc.: You remember these?
Mike Barwis had one, and some wolves.