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  • Sunday, March 13, 2022 4:56 PM
    Message # 12660541

    2021-2022 Omaha Maverick Post-Mortem

    Part I: The Roster

     

    Just to open, I did not match the excitement that many others seemed to have in roster that had very little turnover from 2020-2021 to this year. We didn’t lose much, and we didn’t bring in much. Relatively no change to a roster that was barely in the tournament. This year, barely out of the tournament.

    Four players are certain to leave the roster. The ‘Super Senior’ class of Conley, Knoepke, McManus, and Sundberg. It’s not a crushing blow. Conley was the on-ice leader. Knoepke was a solid, steady presence on the defense. McManus brought a little scoring depth, but wasn’t an upgrade over what existed. Sundberg was a non-factor, really just seeing out his Master’s Degree.

    But there are five other Seniors who normally you would be bidding farewell to. None are guaranteed to leave, but the reality is that some will.

    I would expect in the coming days Taylor Ward signs an AHL deal to begin the next phase of his career. He has nothing left to prove in the college game, and teams will see his Hockey IQ and see if they can mine anything more out of him. Is he going to the NHL? Probably not. But I’ve seen less talented players find their way up by doing whatever is asked of them.

    Likewise, I suspect Johnny Tychonick will move to the professional ranks. He has plateaued in the college game, and always presented himself as destined for bigger things. If Ottawa puts a sheet of paper in front of him, he’ll sign it.

    There are two players who might take a chance on a ‘Super Senior’ year. Of the two, I think Chayse Primeau has the lowest chance of returning. His size and pedigree will likely land him a look from an AHL team. His age is also a factor, as there would not be much benefit for a would-be 25-year old in the NCAA game. If Chayse stays, it is likely the end of the line for his career – as it was for the four SSs mentioned above.

    The really interesting case is Tyler Weiss. He is still relatively young (22). It all comes down to what Colorado thinks his best step for development. He’s undersized, but talented. He’s electric with the puck, but still a bit immature. A fifth year in Omaha is not a condemnation. It might be a chance to take another step.

    As for Jason Smallidge, I believe we’ve seen the last of him in Omaha. He might play another year of college hockey, but after sitting out most of this year, his best chance is at another program.

     

    Outside of the Senior class, there are a couple names that Mavericks fans will be holding their breath, hoping they don’t turn up on the NHL Transaction Wire.

    The most likely to leave is Brandon Scanlin. It might be the worst-kept secret on campus that NHL teams were heavily scouting him. He has developed nicely over the past three years, has an NHL shot and decent size. Someone is going to throw some money at him.

    Meanwhile, there has been a constant fear that Isaiah Saville is just a phone call away from leaving… for three years. I’m not sure I buy that. There is still a lot he can clean up in his game, and he can do that in college. The wild card, though, is organizational depth for Vegas. They are thin at goaltender, and Lehner is frequently injured. They could use an extra body between the pipes, but they’re more likely to go looking for someone who is NHL-ready.

    Speaking of Wild Cards – Victor Mancini. The odds of him leaving this summer are low. But he’s a man among boys in the NCAA. We’ve seen him physically dominate opponents, and take a few penalties simply because he was bigger and stronger than anyone else. That will get noticed by professional clubs. But – while he pops up with good offensive sense – the numbers weren’t there as a big, strong, two-defenseman… and I think that is the reason he has at least one more year in the Crimson and Black.

     

    At the bottom of the roster are a couple players who might be destined for the Transfer Portal. Jake Harrison has seen little-to-no playing time over two seasons at Baxter Arena. That makes it likely he will go looking for more playing time at another school. Likewise, Kaden Bohlsen arrived at Omaha with a little bit of hype, but hasn’t been in the lineup consistently. When on the ice, he looks have a possession-based game. But aside from circling the offensive zone looking for a pass, have we seen him do anything else?

     

    Omaha stands to lose anywhere from 9 to 14 players in the summer. That’s a lot of room for turnover. Between College Hockey, Inc. and Heisenberg’s list, Omaha look to have seven, maybe eight, committed skaters coming in for next season.

    At the back, there are a pair of exciting offensive defensemen ready to jump from the USHL to college. Jacob Guevin and Joaquim Lemay are both skilled passers at the blue line. Guevin has put up back-to-back 40-point season at Muskegon. While Capitals-drafted Lemay is closing in on 30 assists with Lincoln. Neither are particularly big in stature, so they might not be the full defensive package Scanlin is, but both look to be upgrades over the loss of Tychonick.

    One more rearguard coming to Omaha is Sioux City’s Griffin Ludtke – the older brother of another future Maverick, Tanner. Nothing stands out about Ludtke. He’s small, doesn’t put up many points, but does hover around a ‘even’ mark in plus/minus. That said, if he becomes a smaller version of Kirby Proctor, I think he’ll have a place on the roster.

    Up front, the question becomes: who replaces Ward as the primary scoring threat. The most likely solution is: nobody. The forwards for the past two seasons appeared to be ‘Taylor Ward + 11’ – with eleven spots being essentially interchangeable. It could be that Gabinet wants to create matchup issues with rolling four lines that can do the same thing, and daring opponents to choose one to try to shut down.

    But there are a couple potential threats coming in – both from the happy hunting ground, known as the BCHL.

    Under the radar, Omaha signed Jacob Slipec back in September. An over-ager at Surrey, Slipec appears to have taken a step forward in development – reaching 20 goals this season. Those numbers look similar to what Ward put up at Penticton. Does Slipec have the same pedigree? No. But scoring in the BCHL translate well to success in the NCAA ranks.

    The question mark is: when will Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero arrive? He’s eligible for another year of juniors, and the sources can’t agree on his commitment year. With 16 goals this year, he could easily reach 20… and maybe even touch 30 next year in the BCHL.

    Omaha Lancers winger Cam Mitchell ages out this year, and will most-certainly move up 72nd Street. A five-year junior player, Mitchell is another undersized pitbull – the type of player Omaha already has several of: Jack Randl, Jimmy Glynn, Brock Bremer. A 5-foot, 9-inch player who brushed 100 penalty minutes last year, I have a feeling Mitchell is an Andrew Tortorella-type pest.

    Swiss International, Ray Fust, is another late signing for Omaha. While the numbers aren’t there, he did feature on the Swiss U-20s at the WJC, and brings something no other player in the recruiting class does: size.

    And then there is the entry for the All-name team: Tyler Rollwagen. Another in the mold of the average size, average number, plays with a chip on his shoulder crowd.

     

    With all that said, I don’t think that’s the entire group coming in. I suspect there will be some rummaging at the Transfer Portal. My guess it looking for a defenseman to play on the left side, and a left wing. If Scanlin leaves, it might be two D on that side – though it’s possible Emmanuelson Charbonneau could be brought in a year early.

     

    In addition to the skaters, there is the impending arrival of Simon Latkoczy. If Saville leaves, he’s here this summer. From what I’ve seen – based more on his play with Slovakia at the WJC than in the USHL – even if he comes in this year, he could push for playing time. Think Evan Weninger, but bigger. Why do I discount his numbers in juniors? Madison is not a very good team. But maybe we should look at the wins, not the GAA or SvP.

  • Sunday, March 13, 2022 4:57 PM
    Reply # 12660542 on 12660541

    TL;DR Version…

    Seniors Out: Conley, Knoepke, McManus, Sundberg.

    Seniors Likely Gone: Ward (pro), Tychonick (pro), Smallidge (transfer).

    Seniors Maybe Returning: Primeau (unlikely), Weiss (maybe).

    Early Departures, Transfer: Bohlsen, Harrison

    Pro Signing Watch: Mancini, Scanlin, Saville

     

    Incoming Talent: Guevin, Lemay, Slipec, Van Houtte-Cachero (maybe)

    Incoming Pieces: Fust, Ludtke, Mitchell, Rollwagen

    Incoming (?): Latkoczy

     

    Transfer Portal Needs: LD, LW

  • Monday, March 14, 2022 2:00 PM
    Reply # 12662428 on 12660541

    Just to open, I did not match the excitement that many others seemed to have in roster that had very little turnover from 2020-2021 to this year. We didn’t lose much, and we didn’t bring in much. Relatively no change to a roster that was barely in the tournament. This year, barely out of the tournament.

    Agreed, but we didn't lose many games based on talent. Once again, it was 'play' that cost us a much better ranking and I am still confused as to why that was so.

    Four players are certain to leave the roster. The ‘Super Senior’ class of Conley, Knoepke, McManus, and Sundberg. It’s not a crushing blow. Conley was the on-ice leader. Knoepke was a solid, steady presence on the defense. McManus brought a little scoring depth, but wasn’t an upgrade over what existed. Sundberg was a non-factor, really just seeing out his Master’s Degree.

    Agreed.

    But there are five other Seniors who normally you would be bidding farewell to. None are guaranteed to leave, but the reality is that some will.

    I would expect in the coming days Taylor Ward signs an AHL deal to begin the next phase of his career. He has nothing left to prove in the college game, and teams will see his Hockey IQ and see if they can mine anything more out of him. Is he going to the NHL? Probably not. But I’ve seen less talented players find their way up by doing whatever is asked of them.

    The feedback on Taylor from a scout I was talking to supports your perspective. Great hands, size, etc. Interestingly, his one question was effort. That was the one thing that he felt had to be proven as yet. I have to say that I concur. Sometimes, Taylor "disappears" only to re-appear at an opportune moment. Something to understand, but that could be coaching. Time will tell.

    Likewise, I suspect Johnny Tychonick will move to the professional ranks. He has plateaued in the college game, and always presented himself as destined for bigger things. If Ottawa puts a sheet of paper in front of him, he’ll sign it.

    He better, based on the amount of missed games, sometimes I wonder if my excitement was misplaced.

    There are two players who might take a chance on a ‘Super Senior’ year. Of the two, I think Chayse Primeau has the lowest chance of returning. His size and pedigree will likely land him a look from an AHL team. His age is also a factor, as there would not be much benefit for a would-be 25-year old in the NCAA game. If Chayse stays, it is likely the end of the line for his career – as it was for the four SSs mentioned above.

    The really interesting case is Tyler Weiss. He is still relatively young (22). It all comes down to what Colorado thinks his best step for development. He’s undersized, but talented. He’s electric with the puck, but still a bit immature. A fifth year in Omaha is not a condemnation. It might be a chance to take another step.

    Exactly my thoughts. I think that Weiss stays, he needs strength, he needs to improve his shot choices, he needs to show off some of that stick skill he showed oh so long ago.

    As for Jason Smallidge, I believe we’ve seen the last of him in Omaha. He might play another year of college hockey, but after sitting out most of this year, his best chance is at another program.

    Outside of the Senior class, there are a couple names that Mavericks fans will be holding their breath, hoping they don’t turn up on the NHL Transaction Wire.

    The most likely to leave is Brandon Scanlin. It might be the worst-kept secret on campus that NHL teams were heavily scouting him. He has developed nicely over the past three years, has an NHL shot and decent size. Someone is going to throw some money at him.

    I know the scouts are, I just wonder if his skating will hold him back. I watch the game closely and have seen several weaknesses in his game. When taken to the outside, Brandon is regularly beat. He also has a tendency to 'watch' the game as opposed to play it. His offense if excellent but his position is defense.

    Meanwhile, there has been a constant fear that Isaiah Saville is just a phone call away from leaving… for three years. I’m not sure I buy that. There is still a lot he can clean up in his game, and he can do that in college. The wild card, though, is organizational depth for Vegas. They are thin at goaltender, and Lehner is frequently injured. They could use an extra body between the pipes, but they’re more likely to go looking for someone who is NHL-ready.

    I think this will happen, but I am comfortable with Roden. I know he isn't elite, but he gives the Mav's a pretty solid backstop.

    Speaking of Wild Cards – Victor Mancini. The odds of him leaving this summer are low. But he’s a man among boys in the NCAA. We’ve seen him physically dominate opponents, and take a few penalties simply because he was bigger and stronger than anyone else. That will get noticed by professional clubs. But – while he pops up with good offensive sense – the numbers weren’t there as a big, strong, two-defenseman… and I think that is the reason he has at least one more year in the Crimson and Black.

    He is "my guy". I am very impressed with him all around. I believe he is the replacement for a Scanlin. We haven't seen him on the power play, but the read ups on him say that is a position he is comfortable with. I hope he stays 2 more, but time will tell. The kid has wheels, and can drive the net from the point with ease. 

    At the bottom of the roster are a couple players who might be destined for the Transfer Portal. Jake Harrison has seen little-to-no playing time over two seasons at Baxter Arena. That makes it likely he will go looking for more playing time at another school. Likewise, Kaden Bohlsen arrived at Omaha with a little bit of hype, but hasn’t been in the lineup consistently. When on the ice, he looks have a possession-based game. But aside from circling the offensive zone looking for a pass, have we seen him do anything else?

     I honestly think Bohlsen stays with the current state of the forwards. I think he becomes a regular. Truthfully, he hasn't produced much but can skate and just needs the confidence to show what he has. He missed a lot last year with illness and an injury so he doesn't have the resume yet.

    Omaha stands to lose anywhere from 9 to 14 players in the summer. That’s a lot of room for turnover. Between College Hockey, Inc. and Heisenberg’s list, Omaha look to have seven, maybe eight, committed skaters coming in for next season.

    At the back, there are a pair of exciting offensive defensemen ready to jump from the USHL to college. Jacob Guevin and Joaquim Lemay are both skilled passers at the blue line. Guevin has put up back-to-back 40-point season at Muskegon. While Capitals-drafted Lemay is closing in on 30 assists with Lincoln. Neither are particularly big in stature, so they might not be the full defensive package Scanlin is, but both look to be upgrades over the loss of Tychonick.

    I am probably over excited about Guevin because he hasn't signed yet. His reviews are excellent. Agree with everything you say here.

    One more rearguard coming to Omaha is Sioux City’s Griffin Ludtke – the older brother of another future Maverick, Tanner. Nothing stands out about Ludtke. He’s small, doesn’t put up many points, but does hover around a ‘even’ mark in plus/minus. That said, if he becomes a smaller version of Kirby Proctor, I think he’ll have a place on the roster.

    Up front, the question becomes: who replaces Ward as the primary scoring threat. The most likely solution is: nobody. The forwards for the past two seasons appeared to be ‘Taylor Ward + 11’ – with eleven spots being essentially interchangeable. It could be that Gabinet wants to create matchup issues with rolling four lines that can do the same thing, and daring opponents to choose one to try to shut down.

    Agreed.

    But there are a couple potential threats coming in – both from the happy hunting ground, known as the BCHL.

    Under the radar, Omaha signed Jacob Slipec back in September. An over-ager at Surrey, Slipec appears to have taken a step forward in development – reaching 20 goals this season. Those numbers look similar to what Ward put up at Penticton. Does Slipec have the same pedigree? No. But scoring in the BCHL translate well to success in the NCAA ranks.

    Agreed.

    The question mark is: when will Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero arrive? He’s eligible for another year of juniors, and the sources can’t agree on his commitment year. With 16 goals this year, he could easily reach 20… and maybe even touch 30 next year in the BCHL.

    Problem I have here is there is so little written about him, other than he has a cool name!

    Omaha Lancers winger Cam Mitchell ages out this year, and will most-certainly move up 72nd Street. A five-year junior player, Mitchell is another undersized pitbull – the type of player Omaha already has several of: Jack Randl, Jimmy Glynn, Brock Bremer. A 5-foot, 9-inch player who brushed 100 penalty minutes last year, I have a feeling Mitchell is an Andrew Tortorella-type pest.

    Like this kid, think of him as a Tyler Vesel, who is by the way one of my all time favorites.

    Swiss International, Ray Fust, is another late signing for Omaha. While the numbers aren’t there, he did feature on the Swiss U-20s at the WJC, and brings something no other player in the recruiting class does: size.

    And then there is the entry for the All-name team: Tyler Rollwagen. Another in the mold of the average size, average number, plays with a chip on his shoulder crowd.

     Agreed to above paragraphs.

    With all that said, I don’t think that’s the entire group coming in. I suspect there will be some rummaging at the Transfer Portal. My guess it looking for a defenseman to play on the left side, and a left wing. If Scanlin leaves, it might be two D on that side – though it’s possible Emmanuelson Charbonneau could be brought in a year early.

     Will have to see who "wants out". It will be interesting, 2 maybe 3, but who knows.

    In addition to the skaters, there is the impending arrival of Simon Latkoczy. If Saville leaves, he’s here this summer. From what I’ve seen – based more on his play with Slovakia at the WJC than in the USHL – even if he comes in this year, he could push for playing time. Think Evan Weninger, but bigger. Why do I discount his numbers in juniors? Madison is not a very good team. But maybe we should look at the wins, not the GAA or SvP.


    All in all, excellent analysis. Thanks for keeping things interesting Chris!

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:14 AM
    Reply # 12664589 on 12660541
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My expectations for this season were higher. In retrospect, last season’s COVID-condensed schedule created a false sense of strength. 

    Because of the pod being in Omaha, the Mavs played 17 games at Baxter Arena — more home games than any other team. Ten of 14 wins came at Baxter.

    Under Gabinet, the Mavs are 50-33-8 at Baxter. They are 25-53-3 away from Omaha. 

    I expect all 9 seniors/grad students will be gone. I also think Scanlin leaves. In addition, I think 2 others leave — the aforementioned Harrison and someone else. 

    For those who didn’t see it, trips to Long Island and Lake State are on the non-conference slate. We’ll see Alaska and St. Lawrence in Omaha. The other non-conference series is Niagara. 

    (People can pontificate that the non-conference slate doesn’t matter, but a weak schedule puts more pressure on the team to win “in conference” games to get an at-large bid in the PWR). 

    I think it’s something of a crapshoot figuring out how freshmen will do for UNO. Stats can be deceptive in juniors. 

    I tend to think Michael Abgrall (F) and Tyler Rollwagen (F) are the most interesting looking forwards. Over the years, though, it’s been hard to gauge how incoming forwards will perform at UNO (I call this the “Aaron Smith Rule”).  

    On the blue line (as Chris points out) Jacob Guévin and Joaquim Lemay look like they *could* be more impactful than Scanlin and Tychonick. Of the recruits during the Gabinet era, these two have created the most “buzz.” 

    I’ll be interested to see who we get via the transfer portal. Brannon McManus certainly helped this season, but it’s possible the coaching staff will simply bring in 10-11 freshman. 

    The bigger question involves the “intangibles” as it regards on-ice success for this program. 

    The team had a penchant for playing tentative at key times throughout the season. They also seemed to lack a killer instinct — the exception being the final 6 games at Baxter Arena. 

    The fact that Miami/CC (combined) went 5-3 against Omaha and 5-33-2 against the rest of the NCHC this season is still a head scratcher. 

    I really can’t get a good read on the next couple of seasons. It’s a coin toss at this point, but there is some potential there.  

    If this incoming recruiting class — combined with the returning roster — finds some chemistry, they could finish with 17-18 wins (the non-conference schedule should allow the 2022-23 Mavs to rack up some early Ws). 

    It’ll be interesting to see… 

    Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022 12:25 PM
    Reply # 12664866 on 12664589
    Jon wrote:

    Under Gabinet, the Mavs are 50-33-8 at Baxter. They are 25-53-3 away from Omaha. 

    Just want to point out Western Michigan has similar numbers at/away from Lawson.

    For those who didn’t see it, trips to Long Island and Lake State are on the non-conference slate. We’ll see Alaska and St. Lawrence in Omaha. The other non-conference series is Niagara. 

    Road trip to LIU might help those road numbers. Just saying.

    Lake Superior on the road is the big non-conference challenge. I look forward to that series.

    I tend to think Michael Abgrall (F) ...

    Thank you for adding Abgrall. I couldn't find anyone confirming or suggesting he is in this summer. But he's 20-goal, 40-point BCHL guy. That seems to be something to be excited about anymore. (...as opposed to the Alex Nikiforuk 100-point season 20 years ago. My how times change.)

    On the blue line (as Chris points out) Jacob Guévin and Joaquim Lemay look like they *could* be more impactful than Scanlin and Tychonick.

    I think they fall in between Scanlin and Tychonick. Which makes them Top 4 D. The comparison to Scanlin might not be fair due to the size discrepancy.

    The fact that Miami/CC (combined) went 5-3 against Omaha and 5-33-2 against the rest of the NCHC this season is still a head scratcher. 

    As I've mentioned before, I think this take a change in system for Omaha. Not an implosion, but a secondary system to run in these games.
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:23 PM
    Reply # 12666013 on 12660541

    Jon wrote…

    On the blue line (as Chris points out) Jacob Guévin and Joaquim Lemay look like they *could* be more impactful than Scanlin and Tychonick. Of the recruits during the Gabinet era, these two have created the most “buzz.” 

    if they can handle the puck, break the forecheck, and play active defense (what I’ve read), I see this as an upgrade. Several of the forwards scouting reports have good things to say, hopefully they’re accurate!

  • Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:20 PM
    Reply # 12670281 on 12660541

    With Roden hitting the transfer portal, that can only mean Saville is staying for his Senior Season and with Simon coming in as competition, he wants playing time, but unfortunately for us, will find that elsewhere.

  • Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:24 PM
    Reply # 12670283 on 12670281
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Kevin Neubauer wrote:

    With Roden hitting the transfer portal, that can only mean Saville is staying for his Senior Season and with Simon coming in as competition, he wants playing time, but unfortunately for us, will find that elsewhere.


    My assumption — like your post suggests — is that the Roden departure means Saville is staying. 

    But... if we lose Saville, too, then it'll be an interesting season between the pipes. 
  • Thursday, March 17, 2022 5:10 PM
    Reply # 12670696 on 12660541

    Really liked that kid. Sorry to see him go, bird in hand.

  • Friday, March 18, 2022 9:21 AM
    Reply # 12671373 on 12660541

    Certainly not the goaltender I expected to see leave Omaha this summer.

    Roden was certainly a good teammate, and it was a comfort to know we had Austin behind Saville -- as there was not much of a falloff in quality.

    I would agree that this appears to be a good omen for Isaiah returning... I hope. If that is true, it might be a bit of a blessing in disguise.

    Omaha was eventually going to need to break cycle with a goaltender -- never was a good idea to have three goalies in the same academic class.

    As I mentioned earlier this week, subbing Latkoczy for Roden appears to me to be a even trade. We're no worse off. I think Simon can come in and push for playing time right away -- even though I am a fan of redshirting freshmen goaltenders.

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