Each Wednesday we look to highlight commitments made across college hockey. I will try to predict when a player will arrive on campus but as we all know that can be flexible in NCAA Hockey. Check below to review the commitments made since July 12.
Josh Astorino, G (Georgetown Raiders-OJHL)- University of Alabama-Huntsville. The Chargers picked up a late goalie commitment for 2017-18 in Astorino. The 20 year old native of Niagara Falls, Ontario is coming off of a great season in the OJHL posting a 1.93 goals against average and .936 save percentage in 35 regular season games. Astornio won 9 games in the playoffs, leading the Raiders to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup before they were defeated by the Trenton Golden Hawks.
Cullen Barber, G (Livonia Stevenson)- Ferris State. Ferris State also picked up a goalie commitment this week with Cullen Barber of Livonia pledging to the Bulldogs. Barber started 23 games for Livonia Stevenson posting a 1.73 GAA and .925 save %. Barber has his NAHL rights held by the Minnesota Magicians where I expect Barber will report next season before joining Ferris in the fall of 2018.
Brody Claeys, G (Alberni Valley Bulldogs-BCHL)- Alaksa-Anchorage. Claeys continues the week of the goalie commit as he pledged to join the Seawolves in 2017-18. Claeys is from Manitoba and just completed his second season in the BCHL with the Bulldogs. In his second season his save percentage improved to .908 (up from .897) and his goals against improved slightly lowering to 3.09. Claeys will be the backup right away as senior Olivier Mantha is currently the only other goaltender listed on the Seawolves roster.
Tim Clifton, F (New Jersey Avalanche U18)- Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart got a commitment from a 2018-19 arrival in the Clifton, who likely will spend next season with the Chicago Steel in the USHL. In 65 games played this past season Clifton had a 19-28-47 scoring line.
Jacob Crespi, RW (Brighton High School)- Michigan tech Huskies. Crespi made it 2 commitments from Michigan high schools this week joining Cullen Barber. Crespi, set to make it to Houghton in 2019-20, had a 30-29-59 scoring line in 31 games played. Crespi was named 1st team All-State, Mr. Hockey Michigan and was a leader for Brighton winning the 2017 State Championship. Crespi was a senior this past season and is set to report to Tri-City of the USHL where he could spend 1-2 seasons. This is a great pickup for new Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan.
Mark D’Agostino, F (Gunnery Prep)-UConn. D’Agostino, a 2001 birth year forward from Connecticut, is the first player from last weeks U16 Selects to make a commitment and he decided to stay in state committing to UConn. D’Agostino put up 5-4-9 in 31 games played for Gunnery Prep last season and also played for the Yale Junior Bulldogs AAA team. Last week at the U16 camp D’Agostino was tied for 5th in the entire camp with 3-3-6 in 5 games played, leading to a selection for the All-Star game. D’Agostino likely will spend another year at Gunnery Prep before moving on to junior and is listed as a 2019-20 arrival.
Jack Zielinski, D (Lone Star Brahmas-NAHL)-Niagara. The Niagara Purple Eagles, looking to rebound from an awful 2016-17 season were able to add a strong defensemen to the fold for next season in Zielinski. A Richmond, VA native Zielinski comes well traveled as he spent time in the AJHL, and the OJHL before settling in Texas this past season with the Robertson Cup Champions. Zielinski, who scored 10 goals in the OJHL in 43 games, showed a more defensive game this past season with the Brahmas posting a 2-18-20 line. He will be needed immediately as Niagara was the worst team in all of NCAA hockey last season surrendering 4.31 goals per game.