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 19.
Colby Ambrosio, F (Buffalo Jr Sabres AAA 16U)- Boston College. Ambrosio is one of two Boston College commits for 2020-21 this week. The Welland, Ontario native spent last season with the Southern Tier Admirals Minor Midget team registering a 19-9-28 scoring line in 36 games. Ambrosio is projected as a top pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft so this will be an intersting player to follow. Is he making a commitment early to show he has true NCAA interest or is he trying to dictate his OHL selection through this commitment. One OHL scout had this to say to Niagarathisweek.com:
Another impressive underager playing in the SCTA, Ambrosio has high-end skill and an excellent shot,” read a scout’s notes. “An effective sniper that is shoot first, he has an uncanny ability to score goals. Ambrosio has the ability to beat defenders one-on-one and to create something from nothing. Once he becomes bigger and stronger as he gets older he will become even more effective.”
John Beecher, C (Salisbury Prep/NTDP U17)- Michigan. Beecher is possibly the highest regarded commit this summer so far, and the first of two commits this week to pledge to the Michigan Wolverines. John Beecher is a 2001 center who will skate with the NTDP U17 team next season. He is projected to arrive to Ann Arbor in 2019-20. Jeff Cox wrote a great scouting report on Beecher back in October 2016 and on twitter this week said he has great pro upside. Beecher will be a prospect Michigan may need to battle with the CHL to hold onto but NTDP players tend to stay the NCAA route. It may be unlikely that Beecher stays all 4 years in Ann Arbor but the Wolverines will be ecstatic to have him. Beecher is rated a 4.75 star prospect by Neutral Zone.
He’s a big time pro prospect with good size. He has decent to above average hands for a player his size. His stride and ability to protect the puck are both assets. He has that reach that you just can’t teach. He can put a puck out there, pull it back and rip a wrist shot on net. He drives the net and does a good job using his size down low and along the boards. He’s got that extra gear to win a battle along the wall and just separate himself from the defender to get to the slot and get a hard shot on net. (Jeff Cox)
Nick Cardelli, RW (Brookings Blizzard NAHL)- Bemidji State. The Bemidji State Beavers were able to secure an Illinois commitment scooping up Nick Cardelli. Cardelli, 20 years old, completed his first full NAHL season registering a 20-33-53 line in 59 games played with the Brookings Blizzard. Cardelli was a 6th round draft pick of the Fargo Force in the 2017 USHL draft and will play one more season of junior before reporting to Bemidji. Neutral Zone rates Cardelli a 3.5 star prospect.
Ryder Donovan, F (Duluth East)- North Dakota. Donovan, who had offers from Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan among others, pledged to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks for 2019-20. Donovan has had an excellent last year with 30 points in 24 games for Duluth East as a sophomore. This turned into offers from Dubuque in the USHL and an invite to join the NTDP but Donovan has already decided he will return to Duluth East for his junior season. Donovan will be on the US Ivan Hlinka Tournament roster and is a great pick up for the Hawks. Neutral Zone tagged Donovan a 4.25 star prospect.
Cal Dybicz, D (Milwaukee Jr. Admirals & Cedar Rapids RoughRiders)- Michigan State. Dybicz was 1 of 2 MSU commits on July 25, with Dybicz pledging for the 2019-20 season after a visit to East Lansing. Dybicz is a defensemen who is strong in joining the rush and ran the power play for his AAA team. He is likely to join the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for the next two years before starting his NCAA career. Neutral Zone rating: 3.5 stars.
Cameron Hebert, RW (Cumberland Grads/Cornwall Colts)- Robert Morris. Robert Morris was able to add a forward to their class of 2019-20 in Hebert. Hebert is moving on to the Cornwall Colts of the Central Canada Hockey League after skating with the Cumberland Grads Jr A program this past season (10-12-22 in 54 games).
A strong skater with a good shot, Hebert plays in all situations as he has a quality two-way game and understands his role in all three zones of the ice. He will be looked upon to continue to take strides in his development and become a young leader for the Colts forward core over the next couple seasons before heading off to RMU. (link)
Kevin Lombardi, F (Northwood School)- Michigan State. Lombardi is a commitment that screams “Joe Exter!” Exter a former player from Merrimack University and rhode Island native is the main recruiter at MSU and has been tasked with opening up the Spartan pipeline to include players out East. Lombardi, played at the Northwood School (3-3-6 22gp), a Lake Placid boarding school last season and was drafted by Cedar Rapids in the USHL and Lone Star in the NAHL in 2017. I would expect Lombardi to spend at least 1 but maybe 2 seasons in junior as he gets ready for the college game and Danton Cole juggles his future commits left over from the Tom Anastos era.
Riley McCutcheon, F (Whitby Fury/Ridley College)- Vermont. McCutcheon, who has announced he will skate with the Whitby Fury of the OJHL next season, committed to UVM for 2019-20. McCutcheon, an Ontario native, is a power forward who likes to engage physically and projects as a bottom six forward at UVM. Graded a 3.75 star by Neutral Zone.
Cole McWard, D (St Louis Blues AAA 16U)- Michigan. McWard who graded out well at the Select 16 camp, earning a roster spot for the Five Nations Tournament, continued an exciting summer by committing to the Wolverines and new head coach Mel Pearson. McWard is a product of the excellent St Louis Blues AAA program, where he had a 4-8-12 scoring line in 32 games last season. His USHL rights are held by the Tri-City Storm. McWard is a defensemen who is skilled at making the first pass out of the zone and has the skating skills to join the rush. He is rated a 4 star prospect by Neutral Zone.
Maxwell Newton, F (Cowichan Valley Capitals-BCHL)- Alaska-Fairbanks. Alaska-Fairbanks has picked up their first commitment since naming Lance West interim coach for 2017-18. Newton has spent the past two seasons in the BCHL and was a point per game player in 2016-17 with 25-34-59 in 58 games played. The Vancouver native is set to enroll at Fairbanks this fall. Neutral Zone rated Newton a 3.75 star prospect.
Eamon Powell, D (Syracuse Nationals 14U)- Boston College. Powell is a 2020-21 commitment for the Eagles and was a leader of the Syracuse Nationals run to the Tier I 14U National Semi-Final where they were defeated by the eventual champion Chicago Mission. Powell is a defensemen who can jump up into the play and possess the puck with a calm approach. He had a good camp at the USA Select 15s and also the recently completed Chowder Cup. Powell is rated a 4.25 prospect by Neutral Zone.
Jake Ratzlaff, D (Rosemount Bantam AA)- Minnesota. The Golden Gophers got a very early commitment for 2020-21 from 2002 birth year defensemen Jake Ratzlaff. Ratzlaff recently competed at the USA Hockey U15 Select Development Camp with 1 assist in 3 games played. Ratzlaff is a big 8th grader who will likely play on the Rosemount varsity next season. This is a great early get for the Gophers and one to watch over the next few seasons. Ratzlaff is rated a 4.25 star prospect by Neutral Zone.
Louie Roehl, D (Minnesota Wilderness-NAHL)- Minnesota-Duluth. Roehl, who played his high school hockey at Eden Prairie High School, recently completed his first season in the NAHL with the Wilderness. Roehl had 6-35-41 in 67 games between regular season and playoff games. He was selected by Madison in the Phase II draft for the USHL and liekly will spend one season in Madison before reporting to Duluth in 2019-20.
Tate Singleton, F (Proctor Academy)- Army. Army secured a commitment from a forward for the 2018-19 class in Singleton. Singleton will play for the NAHL’s New Jersey Titans next season before enrolling at West Point. Singleton was nearly a 2 point per game player at Proctor this past season and was rated a 3.25 star prospect by Neutral Zone.
Jack Williams, F (Berwick Academy)- Northeastern. The Huskies picked up a future 2020-21 commit from a Biddeford, ME native in Williams. Williams is moving from playing at Berwick Academy, where he had a 9-15-24 line last season, to Selects Academy at South Kent School. Williams has good hands, decent size at this age but needs to work on his skating according to Jeff Cox of SBN College Hockey. Neutral Zone rated Williams as a 4 star prospect.