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Stay updated on recruits as we detail Atlantic Hockey commits ahead of the 2022-23 season in the ten-team conference.
AIC Recruits Worldwide
The Yellow Jackets have paced Atlantic Hockey over the past four years, claiming each regular season title since 2018—excluding the canceled 2020 season—and have six commits in their 2022-23 class ready to learn AIC’s culture.
The strength of the Yellow Jackets doesn’t offer much room, but every program relies on the production and advanced maturity of freshmen. Swedish forward Alex Malinowski leads the pack of international players after a 33-goal, 75-point season with the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs in his first North American season.
AIC recruiting was rounded out by Slovakian forward Matus Hadusovsky, American defenseman Hunter McCurdy, and Canadian forwards Casey McDonald, Brett Rylance, and Grayson Dietrich.
The Falcons held the top of the standings for a brief period last season but would ultimately wind up in ninth place. Thirteen seniors or graduate transfers mean the three-man recruiting class will likely get some good looks.
— Hockey Commitments (@HockeyCommits) May 24, 2022
Josh Seeley enters in the crease and will look to supplant junior Nicholas Grabko for the bulk of starts. Defenseman Ryan Nause brings an offensive-minded game to the blue line that will be a complement to first-pair Drew Bavaro’s offensive inclination. The pair will give the team a different look with added dynamics.
But forward Ryan Upson brings a scoring touch after recording 44 points (18 G, 26 A) in 46 games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen last season.
Canisius’ Confident Catch
The regular season runners-up Golden Griffins also sport just three new faces in their recruiting class. Hunter Andrew and Stefano Bottini add to the offense, but Oliver Tarr’s recent OJHL play suggests the Griffins have a rare talent incoming.
Tarr finished eighth in OJHL scoring with 33 goals and ninth in overall scoring with 70 points in 52 games. The 20-year-old brings a slight age advantage, scoring confidence, and a college-level 6-foot frame to the table. Regardless of league, his play suggests the ability to take the next step for the Griffins and help them contend with AIC and other conference rivals.
Niagara Finds Eagle Eyes
The Purple Eagles went heavy on the backend, bringing in five freshmen defensemen and three forwards. The Eagles bring a mix to the blue line with four strong puck movers in Max Ruoho, Cole Mickel, Lane Brockhoff, and David Posma who likes to find the back of the net.
— Hockey Commitments (@HockeyCommits) May 13, 2022
Add in stay-at-home defenseman Samuel Davies and there will be a solid group of assets for coach Jason Lammers to create his pairings after the loss of four defenders.
Up front, forwards Jonathan Wescoe and Noah Hackett bring offensive consistency and Ethan Lund has the skillset to add another layer to the depth.
Mercyhurst Adds Puck Movement
The Lakers were led by a trio of sophomores last year, each building on their freshman seasons. This fall coach Rick Gotkin will be looking for another wave to add to the team’s offense-first mentality.
That wave would come from the blue line with five defensive recruits in Tyler Nasca, Cole Oravitz, Nicholas Kent, Jackson McCarthy, and offensive stud Trent Sambrook.
Sambrook recorded 58 points in 49 games last year from the blue line for the Winkler Flyers. He will add an advantage as a puck-mover on the backend to help remove defensive zone pressure and force the play up ice, where the Lakers strive.
But netminder Owen Say and forward Tyler Gaulin will also bring their games to help stabilize the run-and-gun squad that is the Lakers.
Holy Cross Hoards Help
As the last place team in 2021-22, the Crusaders are hoping their nine-man freshman class brings some help in 2022-23. Offensively, Jack Stockfish leads Joe Solimine, Coleman Jenkins, and Owen Kim in the forward recruits.
On the backend, the Crusaders have the chance to build a young, fresh blue line with William Troutwine, Weston Turner, Charlie Spence, and Mack Oliphant. Louden Hogg enters seeking to steal time in the crease and give the Crusaders some consistency and strong play in the net.
The Crusaders don’t bring in as much flash as other programs this year, but their added depth and strength in numbers should help see the program take a step forward.
The Tigers’ Carter Wilkie took home the AHA Rookie of the Year honors after a blistering season.
There is no doubt RIT is hoping one of their seven freshmen can make it back-to-back awards in 2022-23.
That starts with forwards Tyler Mahan and Phillippe Jacques, each of whom posted strong offensive seasons with their respective programs and leagues in 2021-22. Mahan posted 29 goals and 71 points in 60 games in the AJHL, finishing eighth in league scoring. Jacques scored 31 goals and 76 points in 52 games in the CCHL, finishing second in league scoring.
Forwards Hunter Brazier and Simon Isabelle also bring a scoring touch from the CCHL while Adam Jeffery and Christopher Duclair will look to translate their own games to RIT.
On the backend, Gustav Blom brings a Swedish defensive presence, which means offensive flair and defensive responsibility.
Sacred Heart Seeks Scoring
The Pioneers managed to find some of that 2019-20 chemistry in their program-shaping year. Tyler Chenevert makes the atypical jump from high school to college, but his 21 goals in 32 games suggests he’s ready to score some goals.
Add in scorers Jake Bongo and Chikara Hanzawa—along with Jeremi Tremblay—and the Pioneers are adding some serious offensive potential in 2022-23. Now they just need those freshmen to adjust and add to the program.
West Point Welcomes
As an academy, Army’s recruiting is tougher than that of other programs. Players enter the academy with military service agreements—that doesn’t make commitment easier for players hoping the NCAA can help develop and keep their careers going after four years.
With the subtraction of Colin Bilek, who brought goals, offense, leadership, and just about every other positive adjective, coach Brian Riley will have some big skates to fill. The incoming freshmen class of 10 could fill those skates via the collective, but Brent Keefer and Lucas Kanta are the leading candidates to replace the missing offense.
The pair bring offense and grit to the Black Knights, where they’ll push forwards Owen Nolan, Stephen Willey, Trevor Smith, Reese Farrell, and Joey Dosan. On the backend, Jude Brower, John Driscoll, and Sean Vlasich will compete for defensive roles.
Air Force Ignores Age
The Falcons may have been the youngest team in the NCAA last season with just one senior on the roster. But the youth held strong, and their naivete brought them to a championship loss in the postseason, just one win shy of a National Tournament berth.
— Hockey Commitments (@HockeyCommits) March 8, 2022
With eight more freshmen entering the mix, coach Frank Serratore will leave all options on the table as he seeks some more first-chairs for his orchestra.
Offensively, Sam Jacobs and Holt Oliphant bring some scoring touch from the NAHL, but Chris Hedden and Nolan Cunningham bring offensive-thinking to the blue line, too.
Add in forwards Joe Shubert, Sean Bunting, Mason McCormick, defensemen Brett Oberle, and utility player Liam Hansson, and Serratore will be sure his new guys can play in tune.
Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.