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 August 2.
This week saw Danton Cole and the Michigan State Spartans continue their hot streak, earning a 4th and 5th commitment in 2 weeks, and saw a top 2002 birthdate also choose a B1G school. Hit the jump to see the list of commitments this week.
Erik Bargholtz, F (Appleton United)-Michigan State. Bargholtz, an Appleton, Wisconsin native, is the 5th player in the past two weeks to commit to MSU. Bargholtz is a strong power forward who has put up more than a point per game in his first two seasons in high school play. The forward will likely report to Green Bay of the USHL next season and report to East Lansing in 2019 or 2020. (3.5 stars according to
Brett Berard, F (South Shore Kings)-Providence. Providence starts the first of their 2 commits this week with a forward set to enroll in 2021-22 in Berard. The son of former Providence player and assistant David Berard, current coach at Holy Cross, will enroll at South Kent this upcoming season. Berard is a bit undersized for his age group but has a nose for scoring.
Chase Blackmun, D (Hudson HS)-UMass Lowell. Blackmun was one of two former Team Wisconsin players this week to commit to an out of state school, when he committed to the Riverhawks. Blackmun just finished his senior season at Hudson High, registering a 13-31-44 line in 24 games played. Blackmun will report to Cedar Rapids in the USHL for the next season or two before heading to Lowell.
Regen Cavanagh, F (Bloomington Thunder)-Bentley. Bentley secured a commitment for 2018-19 in Regen Cavanagh. Cavanagh finished his first season in the USHL last year, split between Dubuque and Sioux Falls, posting a 8-15-23 line in 55 games played. He was traded to Bloomington in May and will spend next season with the Thunder.
Parker Ford, F (South Kent Selects)-Providence. Ford, who has played the last few seasons with South Kent Selects, joined his future teammate Berard in pledging to Providence. Ford is also a smaller forward but makes up for that with a tenacity to win puck battles. Ford’s USHL rights belong to Sioux City and he recently told Neutral Zone that he plans to report to Sioux City for 2017-18.
The former Selects Academy U16 forward, currently ranked as a 3.5-star prospect by Neutral Zone, plays a fast, energetic and relentless game that mixes speed with skill and flat-out hustle. Every time we’ve seen Ford he’s been among the hardest workers on the ice and has proven over and over that he’s willing to pay the price to win pucks and create turnovers. He’s also shown an ability to get by defenders 1 vs. 1, using his quick hands, feet and change of speed. Some might consider him to be undersized, but his energy and athleticism certainly make up for that.
Ryan Kirwan, F (Syracuse Nationals)-Penn State. Penn State picked up possibly the premier commit of the week in Kirwan. He was ranked #2 forward by Jeff Cox among 2002 players who played in the USHL 14U Fall Classic in 2016. Cox had this to say about Kirwan:
He has pro written all over him. Not only is he talented, but he competes hard
and gets in the dirty areas to distribute pucks to open linemates. A few of his
assists were from below his own goal line. His vision was exceptional and he has
a quick stick. His older brother Luke plays in the OHL with the Flint Firebirds.”
Kirwan will be a prospect that Penn State will have to watch closely but could be a high impact player.
Carter Mazur, F (Little Ceasars)-Michigan State. Danton Cole continued his recruiting futures hot streak getting a 2nd commit from the Little Ceasars Bantam Major squad this week after landing Tiernan Shoudy last week. Carter Mazur will be playing 15U next season for LC’s as Shoudy moves on to 16U. Mazur picked MSU because of Cole and renovations to Munn, combined with an education:
I picked MSU because of the education I can get, the new coaching staff, the building and the renovations eventually coming to Munn, really everything,” Mazur said. “I’m excited for the new coaching staff with Danton Cole, and glad to be a part of it.
Mazur is a talented goal scorer, registering 16 goals and 9 assists in 19 league games last season. (Rated a 4 star prospect by Neutral Zone)
Arlo Merritt, F (Kimball Union Academy)-Ohio State. Merritt, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, spent last season in New Hampshire with Kimball Union where he posted a 5-6-11 scoring line in 33 games played. Merritt was drafted in the 7th round of both the QMJHL (Halifax Mooseheads) and USHL draft (Lincoln Stars). Jeff Cox from SNB College Hockey saw Arlo in action this season and had this to say:
He’s a high-end talent who will be highly sought after by every Hockey East program and should hear his name called pretty high in both the USHL Phase I Draft and the QMJHL Draft. He has good size, skates well and has a first step that has pro potential written all over it. He thinks the game well and moves well without the puck. He snuck into the backdoor, finding a seam between two defenders for a good chance in the third period. He also made a really nice backcheck in the third period, showing off his speed.
(Arlo is rated a 3.75 star prospect by Neutral Zone)
Austen Swankler, F (Oakland Jr. Grizzlies)-RPI. Austen Swankler, a player moving from Pittsburgh to play in metro Detroit with the Jr. Grizzlies, will eventually continue his travels to New York suiting up for RPI. Swankler was a draft pick of the Ottawa 67’s in the 3rd round of the OHL draft which is slightly concerning if you are an RPI fan. He may not be interested in reporting to Ottawa, hence his commitment, but could always be dealt to somewhere he may end up reporting. Swankler is an energy forward who sets up teammates and can score as well. If he reports to the USHL Wateloo holds his