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  • Tuesday, March 14, 2023 6:34 PM
    Message # 13131891

    First answer of the off-season has arrived:

    Jake Kucharski is done at Omaha, signing with Chicago (AHL) on an ATO. Chicago is the farm club for Carolina -- whom drafted the goaltender.

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023 8:31 AM
    Reply # 13133758 on 13131891

    Watching 3 closely...

    1. Randall
    2. Sullivan
    3. Proctor

    Will be interesting, as will who comes in. Assuming 7 of 11 recruits if those 3 stay.

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023 11:40 PM
    Reply # 13134834 on 13131891

    It has been suggested behind closed doors that Randl, Sullivan, and Proctor are all expected to return.

    Kucharski may have been a surprise departure.

  • Friday, March 17, 2023 11:53 AM
    Reply # 13135426 on 13131891
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Proctor has said (to people we know) that he is coming back. 

    Sullivan and Randl — I know that the coaching staff would really like them back. 

    (According to Sullivan's Insta account, he is in Cabo this week, so he's obviously not in any hurry to go pro — and I don't see him wanting to transfer to another school.) 

    Possible transfer portal players?

    >> Cam Mitchell 
    >> Michael Abgrall 

    I could be wrong on Mitchell. I'm not sure what role the coaching staff has in mind for him. 

    Abgrall had 23 goals and 23 assists in the BCHL last season. 

    NOTE: I don't say that to slight those two forwards in any way... it's just possible they might find more opportunities, minutes, and success with other programs — like Noah Prokop has with CC. 

    And... Coach Gabinet and Coach Noel-Bernier have proven an ability to find "diamonds in the rough" with players and make them work within their system. 

    But with 9 (possible) forwards available for next season — and only 2 (Weiss and Pivonka) leaving for sure — something has to give. 

    Among the freshmen forwards... Slipec, Fust, and Rollwagen are the three that left a solid impression with me. They will be back!

    Current stats on forward recruits: 

    • Tanner Ludtke — 27 goals and 23 assists with Lincoln (USHL) ... 18 years old

    • Liam Watkins — 26 goals and 41 assists with Spruce Grove (AJHL)... 18 years old

    • Jacob Bonkowski — 25 goals and 26 assists with Surry (BCHL) ... 19 years old 

    • Ethan Whitcomb — 18 goals and 14 assists with Muskegon (USHL) ... 18 years old

    • Myles Hilman — 17 goals and 6 assists with Waterloo (USHL) ... 19 years old

    • Matthew Maltais — 12 goals and 24 assists with Alberni Valley (BCHL) ... 18 years old 

    • Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero  — 11 goals and 21 assists with West Kelowna and Powell (BCHL) ... 19 years old

    • Charlie Lurie — 11 goals and 13 assists with Omaha/Cedar Rapids (USHL) ... 20 years old

    • Conner Schneider — 6 goals and 7 assists with Madison (USHL)/Surrey (BCHL) ... 19 years old 

    You have to figure Ludtke is a lock to come to Omaha next fall. 

    You could make the case that Watkins, Bonkowski and Whitcomb should come in to help boost point production on the roster. 

    You also look at the size of some of the forwards in the pipeline, and it looks like we're going to have some bigger/taller players up front in the coming years. 

    Extra COVID eligibility creates both opportunities and challenges for teams. 

    The goaltending situation is interesting... 

    The initial assumption is that Kucharski's replacement would be Raythan Robbins (who was here earlier in the season when Kucharski's status was in doubt). 

    But a 3.94 GAA and a .886 SV% with Muskegon aren't the stats the coaching staff is likely looking for. 

    Yet... if they are looking at him as a mere backup, that might be alright. 

    Or, does recent goalie commit Jack Spicer (who turns 19 on April 28) join the team. 

    Spicer has a 2.94 GAA and a .891 SV% with Waterloo (USHL). 

    It's always tough to tell with goalies... sometimes they'd rather wait to come in so they can maximize their opportunities in net.  
    Last modified: Friday, March 17, 2023 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Friday, March 17, 2023 1:57 PM
    Reply # 13135565 on 13131891

    Two things to look at: age, and who signed an NLI.

    Lurie has to come. He's aged out of juniors.

    Ludtke I know signed his Letter of Intent. He'll be here.

    Who else does Omaha have on their twitter page as signing their NLI?

  • Saturday, March 18, 2023 11:16 AM
    Reply # 13136274 on 13131891
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following players have signed NLIs (that I was able to find with a basic search): 

    Tanner Ludtke - F
    Charlie Lurie - F
    Liam Watkins - F
    Ethan Whitcomb - F
    Marcus Broberg - D 

    At minimum, there will be 4 new forwards on the team next fall (hopefully, those skaters can give more dimension to our offense next season). 

    Last modified: Saturday, March 18, 2023 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Sunday, March 19, 2023 5:41 PM
    Reply # 13137480 on 13131891

    According to Neutral Zone, these are all solid recruits. The issue I see is that it (if all is as it seems) leaves us with 8 defensmen, 28 total if we pick up another goaltender. My gut tells me that 29 is the number, adding another defensemen (Charbonneau?) and two goaltenders.

    • 9 defensemen
    • 17 forwards (minus those that may choose the portal)
    • 3 goaltenders

    Better in the case of injuries. If we lose some to the portal, you've got Bonkowski, Hilman, Cachero and Schneider and Maltais to choose from if they are still inclined.

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 12:39 PM
    Reply # 13138357 on 13131891
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Omaha defenseman Jonny Tychonick signs a 2-year contract with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) today... 

    ... it seems like Tychonick started playing for the Marlies 3 weeks ago, to be honest... ;-)

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 12:42 PM
    Reply # 13138358 on 13131891
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Also... today is the day undergrads could enter the portal... interested to see who (if anyone) enters the portal from Omaha. 

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 4:11 PM
    Reply # 13138636 on 13131891

    Davis Pennington to the portal…more than a bit surprised. I wonder if this signals either A) Proctor returning and/or B) We are bringing someone in through the portal. D group is already thin to begin with even with Broberg coming in as a freshman…

    Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2023 4:13 PM | Anonymous member
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