Monday, April 22, 2013

UMD Announces 2013-14 Recruiting Class

The UMD men's hockey program has announced a seven-member recruiting class for this fall. Here is the release from the school about the three players to ink letters of intent during the spring signing period.

Two talented prospects from the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Spruce Grove Saints -- defenseman Carson Soucy and forward Sammy Spurrell --- and Shattuck-St. Mary standout blueliner Willie Raskob have all signed National Letters of Intent to attend and play hockey for the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013-14.

That trio joins four early signees -- forward Alex Iafallo (Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League), defenseman Dan Molenaar (Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL), forward Kyle Osterberg (Omaha Lancers of the USHL) and forward Dominic Toninato (Fargo Force) -- as the 2013-14 Bulldog signees.

Willie Raskob (Defenseman • 5-9 • 190 • Hastings, Minn.) - Becomes the third Shattuck-St. Mary’s product to enlist his services with the Bulldogs (senior-to-be right winger Joe Basaraba and Michael Gergen are the other two) … took a back seat to no Shattuck-St. Mary’s defenseman in scoring (47 points) and assists (38) while skating in 57 games this past winter ... helped lead SSM to a berth in the 2013 USA Hockey Tier I national tournament … participated in the 2012 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp … struck for 15 goals – tops among all of his blueline colleagues -- for a 2011-12 SSM club captured the USA Hockey Tier I national championship … also finished second among that group in both assists (24) and points (39) … left his scoring mark on the Shattuck U16 team one year, amassing 15 goals, 57 assists and 72 points – the best stats by any other defenseman on the team in each category … has never missed a game with Shattuck-St. Mary’s – at any level.

Carson Soucy (Defenseman • 6-4 • 195 • Irma, Alberta) - Certainly made his presence felt during one-plus seasons of blueline work in the Alberta Junior Hockey League  … accumulated 15 points (five goals and 10 assists) in 35 regular season games with the Spruce Grove Saints this season ... missed a healthy portion of the team's schedule while nursing a knee injury and also representing Canada at the 2012 International Softball Federation World Junior Championship (outfielder) ... still played an instrumental role in the Saints' conquest of both the 2013 AJHL North Division regular season and playoff titles … went pointless over the course of a seven-game spell in Spruce Grove in 2011-12 ... maintained a near point-per-game scoring average as a Lloydminster Bobcat Midget AAA combatant that same season.

Sammy Spurrell (Forward • 5-11 • 180 • Sheerwood, Alberta) - Set up shot the past three winters in Spruce Grove, Alberta, and flexed plenty of offensive muscle in the process ... his 1.12 points per game average (28 points in 25 outings) during an injury-plagued (shoulder) 2012-13 regular season topped all Spruce Grove Saints and was the eighth best figure in the Alberta Junior Hockey League ... has pumped in the second-most goals (21) of any Saint thus far despite only suiting up in 40 of the team's 75 games … currently shares the Saint lead in playoff scoring with 13 points ...  also paces Spruce Grove in overall game-winning goals (four) and is third in power-play tallies (eight) … took part in all 60 Saint regular season games and 10 playoff assignments one ago and had 47 points to show for it ... resided atop the AJHL rookie scoring charts in 2010-11 ... finished with 15 goals and 50 points in 70 overall games that year en route to being selected as a  finalist for the Dick White Trophy, which is given to the AJHL’s top newcomer.

The complete list of the 2013-14 UMD signees is as follows:

Player               Pos     Hgt    Wgt   Birthdate   Hometown                 Current Team (League)
Alex Iafallo           F        5-11   165    12/21/93    Eden, N.Y.                   Fargo (USHL)
Dan Molenaar      D       5-11   185      7/5/93       Eden Prairie, Minn.     Sioux City (USHL)
Kyle Osterberg     F       5-8     170     9/5/94        Lakeville, Minn.           Omaha (USHL)
Willie Raskob       D       5-9     190     3/14/95      Hastings, Minn.           Shattuck-St. Mary's
Carson Soucy      D       6-4     195     7/74/94      Irma, Alberta               Spruce Grove (AJHL)  
Sammy Spurrell    F      5-11    180     10/5/92      Sheerwood, Alberta    Spruce Grove (AJHL)
Dominic Toninato  F       6-1     170     3/9/94        Duluth, Minn.              Fargo (USHL)

It seems Raskob is a late add to this year's group. He was scheduled as a 2014 arrival, but the early departure of Chris Casto to the pro ranks might have necessitated his signing for this fall.

Casto has played in four games for the AHL's Providence Bruins, registering no points. Defenseman Drew Olson, on an amateur tryout with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, has one assist in five games.

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