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University of Maine Off-season 2024: Insert Pun Here

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  • Well, taking a longer view, 2024-25 certainly looks like it has the possibility of being a really rough time, at least at the moment. However, there's still a lot of time until opening night, so we should probably give the staff some time to react to these negative developments. I mean, they pulled Boija seemingly out of nowhere with like a week to go until the season this past year, and he seemed to turn out alright. Lots of portal guys are also still available, and as much as I would really like Copponi, he isn't the only quality option available.

    The incoming class is a little flimsy, especially with Kuzma now apparently out the door. I don't think it's completely devoid of talent, with James, Komarov, and Pichette all looking like at least serviceable players at worst, and Berzins in goal probably being the new top recruit. What I do think is intriguing, Anderson, McKinnon, and Munroe are all playing in the USHL under 18, and Wooten has started playing there as well having just barely turned 18. Those guys are all 06s or 07s, so they might be a few years away, but even being in the USHL at that age is noteworthy in my opinion. Peterson and Sofikitis on defense also fall into this category. Just want to keep in mind that while there may not be any Nadeau-tier prospects currently in the pipeline, there is still talent on the way and the entire farm has not burnt down.

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    • Originally posted by JB View Post

      WOW - sucks for Maine and I think it sucks for UNH too. I was depending on you guys to be good again to shame UNH into actually doing something.

      Side Note: Carolina pulled Brett Pesce out of UNH after 3 years in Durham and he played 69 NHL games the next year. They also pulled Jaccob Slavin after 2 at CC and he played 63 NHL games the next year. So they seem to have an eye for this, although the examples are both D-men.
      In contrast, the ‘Canes pulled forward Andrew Poturalski from UNH after two years, whereby he played 16 games for their AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers to finish up that year, followed by 60+ games for the Checkers the next year, but only four games total for the ‘Canes over the next four years. Hope that Bradly Nadeau fares better, but this season the ‘Canes are the only NHL team with neither an AHL nor an ECHL affiliate, with their prospects “on loan” all over the country and in Finland.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by UncleRay View Post
        Brad has been exposed to goons at every level of his career, and that will continue. The skill sets of shooting, passing, skating, 'tending improve at each succeeding level. As does goonery - they get bigger, stronger, sneakier. "Protection" only goes so far. Anybody here remember Paul Kariya??
        Yep..see Paul Kariya and Scott Stevens. The difference is Paul Kariya was ready after 1 year. Bradly is not.

        Comment


        • I see top scorer Cruz Lucious is transferring out of Wisconsin. So I added him to the list of good targets with more than one year of eligibility left. Lucious has two years left, likely to have everyone after him like Wood did. I included the nuetral zone rating and the adj game score per game played index from college hockey insider.

          Forwards
          *********
          Cruz Lucious - RW - 4.5 - 1.44
          Samu Salminen - LC - 4.25 - 0.77
          Steven Sardarian - LC - 4.0 - 0.76
          William Whitelaw - RC - 4.5 - 0.74
          Luigi Benincasa - RW - 3.5 - 0.53
          Charlie Stramel - RW - 4.5 - 0.33
          Daimon Gardner - LC - 4.0 - 0.23
          Michael Emerson - RW - 4.0 - (-0.1)

          Defense
          ********
          Sebastian Tornqvist - RD - 4.0 - 0.33
          John Driscoll - RD - 3.75 - 0.33
          Victor Hurtig - RD - 4.0 - 0.19
          Nate Benoit - LD - 4.0 - 0.19
          Ben Brunette - LD - 4.0 - (-0.04)

          Comment


          • Stramel has gone to Mich State

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            • I like Jack Richard. '02, 3 years of eligibility. Good freshman season on a poor Niagara team. Drafted by Buffalo and, most importantly, 6'4. That should be the kind of player Maine can pick up, and keep.

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              • Originally posted by OronoKO View Post
                I like Jack Richard. '02, 3 years of eligibility. Good freshman season on a poor Niagara team. Drafted by Buffalo and, most importantly, 6'4. That should be the kind of player Maine can pick up, and keep.
                Good eye. Size and draft pedigree, and the last time they brought in top pieces out of AHA, they had a 50% hit rate. I second this notion.

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                • Richard aged out of tier 2 junior in Stoney Creek (OJHL). Maine has had luck with guys aging out of tier 2 junior in unfashionable places. Houle aged out in Flin Flon (SJHL), Brazeale aged out in Shreveport (NAHL), Scott aged out in Amarillo (NAHL), Freel aged out in Ottawa (CCHL), Holt aged out in New Mexico (NAHL). Everyone wants the young stars, but teams can certainly build competitive rosters with guys like this complementing the odd superstar. And Maine probably needs to 'moneyball' things a little to compete.

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                  • I think a blueprint that Maine should try to emulate is Mike Hastings when he was at Mankato. His 2021+2022 FF teams each had only two (2) draft picks on their roster. They had a well-functioning team that didn't have tons of upper echelon star power because they didn't need it.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by amkirby10 View Post
                      I wonder why Carolina would act like that. At first I thought perhaps it was just Canadian arrogance, and that those guys believe that major junior is the only way and that the CHL is superior to NCAA? But then I looked it up, and Don Waddell, CARs GM, is an American and is an alumnus of a school with an active D1 program (Northern Michigan). I'm not sure what their track record is with any other college prospects they've had, maybe its standard procedure for them to get their top prospects out of the college ranks as quickly as possible? Or maybe they don't believe in Barr's program, for some reason? I just find it odd on the timing, if they've watched any game footage they should be aware that while his potential is as high as advertised, he's very raw and has a lot of growing to do. Playing in the NCAA against older and stronger players, along with the top talent in the conference in particular, should be an attractive place to allow him to continue to develop.
                      Don't assume he's going straight to the NHL team, even if they might give him a (meaningless) game or three before the start of the playoffs. He's still a young kid, and he wasn't like a top 10 pick, so he's probably gonna be spending most of the next year or two in the AHL developing other parts of his game. Maybe they see parts of his game where they think they can accelerate his development at the AHL level? Maybe he was seen as inconsistent, or indifferent to the greasier parts of his game, and they want to rid him of those habits ASAP before they become ingrained?

                      I see my UNH colleagues have mentioned both Poturalski and Pesce, and their histories with Carolina and Waddell (whom I believe was formerly an assistant GM with DRW). Poturalski was an older player by the time he left UNH after only two seasons, and he was always a soft player besides being a top scoring talent, and he's actually gone on to being an AHL MVP (IIRC?), not unlike a certain Darren Haydar, who was smaller and also struggled (and ultimately failed) to make the NHL grade, but will probably end up in the AHL Hall of Fame (lol such a thing actually exists!). For whatever reason, Pesce was trusted at UNH as a younger player for 3 seasons, but made the big team very quickly after signing, and has never looked back.

                      Carolina is a big, strong veteran team, and Coach Brind'Amour is a no-nonsense tough guy who isn't gonna tolerate any lightweights anywhere near his team. Nadeau may run into the same issues Poturalski did - namely, not well-rounded/tough enough for bottom six duty, and not quite skilled enough for top six duty. Bringing him in early makes me think, they think they can work with him and better round out missing portions of his game, where at UMaine he might be allowed to get away with less effort in his own end, and poach a little too much up at the other end. Definitely not Carolina's modus operandi. Which makes me wonder why they picked him so high to begin with ...
                      Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                      Montreal Expos Forever ...

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by OronoKO View Post
                        I like Jack Richard. '02, 3 years of eligibility. Good freshman season on a poor Niagara team. Drafted by Buffalo and, most importantly, 6'4. That should be the kind of player Maine can pick up, and keep.
                        Added him to our wish list…

                        Forwards
                        *********
                        Cruz Lucious - RW - 4.5 - 1.44
                        Samu Salminen - LC - 4.25 - 0.77
                        Steven Sardarian - LC - 4.0 - 0.76
                        William Whitelaw - RC - 4.5 - 0.74
                        Luigi Benincasa - RW - 3.5 - 0.53
                        Jack Richard - LW - 3.5 - (0.4)
                        Daimon Gardner - LC - 4.0 - 0.23
                        Michael Emerson - RW - 4.0 - (-0.1)

                        Defense
                        ********
                        Sebastian Tornqvist - RD - 4.0 - 0.33
                        John Driscoll - RD - 3.75 - 0.33
                        Victor Hurtig - RD - 4.0 - 0.19
                        Nate Benoit - LD - 4.0 - 0.19
                        Ben Brunette - LD - 4.0 - (-0.04)



                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                          Don't assume he's going straight to the NHL team, even if they might give him a (meaningless) game or three before the start of the playoffs. He's still a young kid, and he wasn't like a top 10 pick, so he's probably gonna be spending most of the next year or two in the AHL developing other parts of his game. Maybe they see parts of his game where they think they can accelerate his development at the AHL level? Maybe he was seen as inconsistent, or indifferent to the greasier parts of his game, and they want to rid him of those habits ASAP before they become ingrained?

                          I see my UNH colleagues have mentioned both Poturalski and Pesce, and their histories with Carolina and Waddell (whom I believe was formerly an assistant GM with DRW). Poturalski was an older player by the time he left UNH after only two seasons, and he was always a soft player besides being a top scoring talent, and he's actually gone on to being an AHL MVP (IIRC?), not unlike a certain Darren Haydar, who was smaller and also struggled (and ultimately failed) to make the NHL grade, but will probably end up in the AHL Hall of Fame (lol such a thing actually exists!). For whatever reason, Pesce was trusted at UNH as a younger player for 3 seasons, but made the big team very quickly after signing, and has never looked back.

                          Carolina is a big, strong veteran team, and Coach Brind'Amour is a no-nonsense tough guy who isn't gonna tolerate any lightweights anywhere near his team. Nadeau may run into the same issues Poturalski did - namely, not well-rounded/tough enough for bottom six duty, and not quite skilled enough for top six duty. Bringing him in early makes me think, they think they can work with him and better round out missing portions of his game, where at UMaine he might be allowed to get away with less effort in his own end, and poach a little too much up at the other end. Definitely not Carolina's modus operandi. Which makes me wonder why they picked him so high to begin with ...
                          Carolina doesn't have an AHL team
                          I swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.

                          Maine Hockey Love it or Leave it

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by walrus View Post

                            Carolina doesn't have an AHL team
                            That surprises me that a NHL team does not have there own AHL team...especially close by. Just odd.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by walrus View Post

                              Carolina doesn't have an AHL team
                              I believe they are affiliated with the Florida Panthers and are known as the Florida Checkers Hockey Club.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Runsub5 View Post

                                I believe they are affiliated with the Florida Panthers and are known as the Florida Checkers Hockey Club.
                                He means the Hurricanes don’t have an AHL affiliate.

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