In Soviet OHL Draft, Michigan Gets Commitments?

Submitted by Brian on May 9th, 2011 at 11:54 AM


Bryson Cianfrone, Max Domi

If you're a Michigan fan, Saturday's OHL draft was the Best OHL Draft Ever. This isn't exactly a high bar to leap, but not only did Michigan commits plummet well into the "what the hell, why not" range* but Bob Miller of The Wolverine reports Michigan may have actually picked up(!) a commitment instead of lost one:

A very valued source reports this morning that Bryson Cianfrone's selection in the third round of yesterday's OHL draft instead of the first round position he should have held may be due to a commitment to the University of Michigan. Cianfrone is smaller in stature and large in talent. Seen by many as a lock for the first round, he fell to hometown (Toronto area) Brampton in the third round.

The third round is not quite what-the-hell territory but that drop is significant. I poked around some OHL mock drafts published before Saturday, and all had him in the top ten because he is "explosive."  Yost Built has more details. As a small, skilled Italian center from Toronto the comparisons to Cammalleri are inevitable, but Miller says he's more of a Shouneyia—a playmaker. I'm not sure how reliable this site is but it says Cianfrone will graduate in 2012, which means he could be a very young freshman next year if he so desired.

The other possibility is that Cianfrone really wanted to go to Brampton for some reason and he'll sign. We'll see. If Cianfrone is really ready to go in 2012 that means one fewer year cooling his heels and indicates he's the kind of student who puts a priority on his education.

Meanwhile, while Max Domi did go to Kingston like everyone figured he would, the second thing everyone thought he'd do—reconsider the college thing for the OHL and his dad's old teammates—hasn't happened yet. In fact, the younger Domi tweeted he'd be at Michigan yesterday:

@jjmarks16 naw man im not playing for kingston... heading down to the ushl and playing for inde i think

@jjmarks16 ya man im heading down to michigan u in 2 years

Doug Gilmour also said his first round pick wasn't going to report:

“I spoke to Tie and his ex-wife Leanne (recently) and their decision is to go elsewhere right now,” Gilmour said. “But this is junior hockey and there could be changes. If he wants to play in this league, it's kind of up to us. I'd love to have him.”

If that seems insane to you, remember that the OHL now gives you a compensatory draft pick one slot lower if you don't get your first-rounder signed. They may think it's worth the flier that Max doesn't take to the USHL since the cost isn't that steep.

So is that, like, a commitment? We're past the OHL draft and so there's no reason to say you're going to Michigan unless you're… like… going to Michigan. If so that would put Domi in the 2013 class with Compher, et al. (Note: I had erroneously assumed Domi was a 2012 prospect earlier.) If only hockey had developed an intricate hat dance rite that marked a prospect's passage into commitmenthood. Then we would know and pester Chris Heisenberg to update his spreadsheet.

In any case, the possible additions of Cianfrone and Domi in 2012/2013 would create a huge logjam at forward. Those two would bulge Michigan's forward corps to 17 in 2013, and while you have to expect some attrition there aren't a whole lot of early departure types on that list save Boo Nieves (who would be a sophomore) and maybe Alex Guptill (a junior). Two years is a long time to keep 17 kids in the boat, though, and Domi and Cianfrone are still liable to wriggle out.

Bonus Random Scouting

Since the world gets scouted for the OHL draft it provides an opportunity for Michigan fans to figure out just what kind of player they can expect at Yost in a couple years. A few bits on Evan Allen:

Silverstick MVP. Absolutely punishing hitter that plays with a mean streak. Did a great job of overwhelming the Marlies in their lone meeting this season. Very solid skill set, and obvious point producer. Most likely going to be a part of the USNDP team.

More Allen:

“Speedy forward who competes at a very high level. Possesses a very good shot with a pro-style release.”

Tyler Motte:

“Reads the play in the offensive zone well. Extremely dangerous in the goal scoring area. If my team needed a goal, this is the guy I want with the puck on his stick.”

Alex Talcott:

“Good north/south skating prospect with excellent acceleration. Not afraid to go to the tough areas of the ice to score. Another player that improved his overall game by playing Major Midget this season.”

Miller also reproduced the OHL media guide descriptions of Domi, Compher, Cianfrone, and Guertler. Save Compher, They're all small, skilled, and explosive.

*[Motte, Compher, Allen, and Talcott were all drafted after the tenth round and only Allen went to a team (Windsor) with any rep for picking off Americans with college commitments. Michigan target Gabe Guertler went in the sixth but if Michigan really has commitments from Cianfrone and Domi I can't see how they can cram him onto the roster, too.]



May 9th, 2011 at 12:38 PM ^

made my day. I wasn't expecting to get Domi so if we land either Domi or Cianfrone, I call that a win.

I'm telling you Max Domi, Kingston might be cool but it's no Ann Arbor

edit: We've all been talking about the lack of elite offensive talent on the team lately but with the future addition of Boo Nieves, JT Compher and possibly Domi and Cianfrone that would seem to put us right back on top


May 9th, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

I'm not holding my breath on Domi to be honest. 2 years is a long time to say no to the OHL, especially when you have fairly significant ties (no pun intended, seriously) to the team that drafted you. If Michigan has room for Cianfrone in the 2012 class, I say bring him in early, even if he'll be a bit young. If he's first-round OHL talent, he shouldn't have a huge problem accomodating to the NCAA, especially if he's small and quick.


May 9th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

I love when people refer to the University of Michigan as "Michigan University."  It just cracks me up.  People in Ohio do it all the time, not out of disrespect for Michigan but because they are gramatcailly confused by the "The" in front of Ohio State and the existence of Ohio University.

They're dumb.  In fact, the definite article "the" should not go in front of the words Ohio State University.  Rather it shoud be read like all other unversities with "state" in them, without it.

Mi Sooner

May 9th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

Most refer to it as TU but it has been UT for decades. Even grads of UT do it -- don't ask me why. So I am not suprised by someone calling univ of mich Michigan univ.

FWIW OU is really the univ of Oklahoma. But no one calls OU Oklahoma univ go figure.