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.
Watching 3 closely...
Will be interesting, as will who comes in. Assuming 7 of 11 recruits if those 3 stay.
It has been suggested behind closed doors that Randl, Sullivan, and Proctor are all expected to return.
Kucharski may have been a surprise departure.
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:
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?
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).
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.
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.
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... ;-)
Also... today is the day undergrads could enter the portal... interested to see who (if anyone) enters the portal from Omaha.
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…