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 26.
It would be hard to top the 15 commitments of last week, but while this week has lower quantity it certainly is not hurting for quality. This week the recruiting for 2020-21 got into full gear with 5 commitments that far out.
Cam Gray, G (Toronto Patriots-OJHL)- St Lawrence. St. Lawrence reached into the Ontario Junior Hockey League to pull a late goalie commitment from Cam Gray, a Washington native. Gray posted a 2.99 goals against average this past season in 30 games played while also stopping 91.4% of shots faced. Gray is under six feet tall and will be the 4th goalie on the Saints roster.
Christian Jimenez, D (Westchester Express)- Harvard. Harvard and coach Ted Donato picked up a commitment from a top 2002 defensemen this past week in Christian Jimenez. Jimenez is already close to 190 pounds as a 15 year old and projects to be a tough, mobile defensemen in college. Jimenez is a 2020-21 arrival. Neutral Zone rating: 4 stars
Tyler Kleven, D (Fargo Freeze)- North Dakota. If Jimenez was a huge get for Harvard, Kleven is a monstrous get for the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The Fargo defensemen had offers from all the top programs but decided to stay close to home. He is a projected lock for the NTDP after this next season where he will skate for Fargo Davies. Kleven had this to say to the Grand Folks Herald’s Brad Elliott Schlossman:
While one scout told the Herald that Kleven is a “punishing defender,” the 2002-born, 6-foot-2, 175-pound blue liner said he also likes to add offense.
“I like to jump up in the play,” he said. “I like to play the body a little bit and play physical and I like getting the puck out of the zone and into the rush.”
Neutral Zone rating: 4.75 Stars
Ben Kraws, G(Buffalo Jr. Sabres)- Miami. Miami added a 2019-20 goaltending prospect when it got a commitment from New Jersey native Ben Kraws. Kraws spent time with the Little Ceasars AAA program (2015 3rd place finish at USAH Nationals) before moving to play with the ever growing hotbed of talent the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. Kraws has been excellent in Buffalo with above a .930 save percentage and a GAA below 2.00. The Niagara IceDogs pick has “excellent lateral movement, great anticipation and is a leader on and off the ice.” Kraws will represent the USA at the upcoming Ivan Hlinka Tournament. The Tri-City Storm hold his USHL rights.
Tiernan Shoudy F (Little Ceasars AAA)- Michigan State. Michigan State added a Detroit native for 2020-21 this week when it picked up a commitment from Tiernan Shoudy. Shoudy has been coached by Kris Draper in the Little Ceasar’s organization for a few seasons now and has been challenged playing in some of the best international tournaments in the world. Shoudy talked to MIHockey after he made his commitment:
“I picked MSU because they have such a great history of winning hockey,” Shoudy said. “They also have a great coaching staff that will return it to its winning ways.”
Slated to play for the Little Caesars 16U team this fall, he’s still got a ways to go before his college career begins, but he’s certainly on the right track. As a longtime member of Kris Draper’s Little Caesars squad, Shoudy’s no stranger to playing on big stages – he’s won five state titles and competed in many prestigious national and international tournaments.
“You can’t beat playing Division 1 college hockey in the Big 10 in your home state,” Shoudy said. “Michigan State also has a very nice campus and a place where I can get a great education, as well.”
Neutral Zone had this to say after viewing Tiernan at the Select 15s where he earned an A- grade : “Tiernan is a hard worker who has great vision on the ice. He has the ability to read the ice well and make great passes. He has great patience and poise with the puck which makes him an effective player.”
Landon Slaggert, F (Chicago Mission AAA)-Notre Dame. The Irish joined their new conference mate from East Lansing by also picking up a commitment for 2020-21. Landon Slaggart is the son of Notre Dame assistant and former player Andy Slaggart and the brother of Graham Slaggert who is an incoming freshman to the Irish this season. Landon has spent the last few seasons with the Chicago Mission AAA program like his brother did also. Landon attended the World Selects Invite in March where Jeff Cox of SBN College Hockey had this to say about a prospect he graded an ‘A’:
He plays the game the right way and exudes hockey IQ. That’s not to say he isn’t skilled, but his hockey sense is a major factor in his play. He’s a good skater and made a few really nice passes to set up scoring plays.
Landon has a good shot at ending up at the NTDP like his brother after completing this next season.
Dylan Wendt, F (Belle Tire)- Michigan. The University of Michigan continued their hot streak in recruiting by adding a forward to their 2019-20 class. Dylan Wendt, a Grand haven, MI native, has played the last two seasons with the Belle Tire AAA program in metro Detroit and was taken in the 3rd round of the USHL draft by the Green Bay Gamblers in 2017 while the Owen Sound Attack made him a 5th round selection of the OHL draft. Jeff Cox had this to say about Wendt as a possible NTDP invite back in October:
He’s physically mature and rugged so it’s hard to tell if he’s just dominating at this age because of that, but he’s still worthy of an invite. He has a hard shot and plays heavy on pucks. He can power his way into the scoring areas and wins a lot of battles below the dots. He has decent hands and vision.
Michigan has always been a dream school of mine; growing up my favorite college team was always Michigan so it was a no-brainer for me when they offered,” Wendt told MiHockey. “It’s hard to explain how I feel because it just all feels just like a dream to me at this moment. I am extremely thankful and blessed for everyone who has been part of this great journey for me so far. Playing college hockey is just an amazing experience, and getting the education while playing the sport I love, nothing can compare to that.
The 2001 birth-year player will be competing for Team USA at the upcoming Five Nations Tournament, as well.
Neutral Zone rating: 4 stars