Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making the Jump

Today, Penn State hockey introduced 11 members of the 2011-2012 Icers ACHA team that will play for the school's inaugural NCAA Division I team beginning this fall. They are (links are to Facebook videos of the players introducing themselves):
The excluded non-senior players listed on last season's Icers roster are forwards Tim Acker, Josh Daley, Dan Meiselman, Dominic Morrone and Forrest Dell as well as defensemen Ryan Seibolt, Steve Edgeworth and Brandon Russo. While it's obviously of little consolation to them at this point, and in my opinion, the coaching staff is to be commended for for making the transition as painless as possible on the ACHA players. I, along with several others, predicted a much more dire fate for the "true Icers" than what actually transpired last season and this season.

Recall, of course, that defenseman Nate Jensen and forwards Justin Kirchhevel, Bryce Johnson and Taylor Holstrom were previously introduced as "the first members" of Penn State's NCAA team back in September. Furthermore, in November, ten incoming players signed National Letters of Intent for the coming season, including forwards Casey Bailey, Kenny Brooks, David Glen, Reed Linaker, Curtis Loik and Jonathan Milley, defensemen Luke Juha, Connor Varley and Mark Yanis and goaltender Matt Skoff. With all three announcements in mind (and an extra boost from the known unsigned but committed players), here's a very, very early first draft of Penn State's 2012-2013 roster.

Defensemen (8)    Yr Ht   Wgt Hometown         Previous Team
Brian Dolan       Sr 6-1  175 Havertown, PA    Monsignor Bnnr. HS
Nate Jensen       Jr 6-0  185 Shorewood, MN    Mercyhurst (NCAA)
Luke Juha         Fr 5-11 180 Mississauga, ON  Vernon (BCHL)
Joseph Lordo      Fr 5-11 185 St. Louis, MO    Sioux Falls (USHL)
Rich O'Brien      Sr 5-10 180 Furlong, PA      Team Comcast AAA
Peter Sweetland   So 6-2  205 Newtown, PA      Green Mtn. (EJHL)
Connor Varley     Fr 6-0  190 Lansdale, PA     Des Moines (USHL)
Mark Yanis        Fr 6-2  195 Gr. Pt. Wds., MI Muskegon (USHL)

Forwards (16)     Yr Ht   Wgt Hometown         Previous Team
Casey Bailey      Fr 6-3  195 Anchorage, AK    Omaha (USHL)
Kenny Brooks      Fr 6-2  195 Las Vegas, NV    Tri-City (USHL)
Jake Friedman     So 5-10 170 W Bloomfield, MI South Shore (EJHL)
Max Gardiner      So 6-2  175 Minnetonka, MN   Dubuque (USHL)
David Glen        Fr 6-0  175 Ft. Sask., AB    Spr. Grove (AJHL)
Taylor Holstrom   Jr 5-9  185 Yorba Linda, CA  Mercyhurst (NCAA)
Bryce Johnson     Jr 5-10 165 Grimes, IA       Omaha (USHL)
Justin Kirchhevel Jr 5-10 187 Brookings, SD    AK-Anch. (NCAA)
Reed Linaker      Fr 5-9  165 Edmonton, AB     Brooks (AJHL)
Curtis Loik       Fr 6-1  205 N. Vancouver, BC Penticton (BCHL)
Michael Longo     Sr 6-1  180 Allison Park, PA Youngstown AAA
Michael McDonagh  Jr 6-1  180 Wilmington, MA   Winchenden (Prep)
Jonathan Milley   Fr 6-4  220 Ottawa, ON       Pembroke (CCHL)
Tommy Olczyk      So 5-8  184 Long Grove, IL   Sioux City (USHL)
George Saad       Sr 6-2  200 Wexford, PA      Youngstown (NAHL)
Eric Steinour     Sr 6-3  195 Carlisle, PA     Boston (AtJHL)

Goaltenders (3)   Yr Ht   Wgt Hometown         Previous Team
Matt Madrazo      Jr 5-10 165 Sea Cliff, NY    Kent (Prep)
P.J. Musico       So 6-2  185 Orange, CA       Flin Flon (SJHL)
Matt Skoff        Fr 6-0  186 McKees Rocks, PA Sioux City (USHL)


  1. Interesting. I figured everyone would just try out in the fall as usual. Why make this announcement now? I'm not complaining, just wondering.

  2. No clue... I, too, figured that they'd have the scholarship guys in, then have a death match for whatever spots remained. This still ranks behind the "first four" announcement on the bizarre scale though. I still think that one was horribly conceived.

  3. My opinion -- they all had a full season to "try out", so why wait and have another try out in the fall? This way guys can find another D1 ACHA team if they want.

    Not many surprises to me. I'm glad some of the "seasoned" Icer names will get a shot next year against teams like Wisconsin.

    I noticed some players you have listed by class standing (Olczyk, Musico, etc.) and others you show by eligibility standing (the 4 transfers). Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't guys like Olczyk going to have 4 years of eligibility as NCAA players?

  4. Good me, it wouldn't really be very meaningful to go strictly by NCAA eligibility - that's a team of freshmen with four sophomores. The transfers are difficult to handle in all cases. Bryce Johnson, for example, left St. Cloud over the winter break. Is he really an academic junior? I kept them as sophomores based on things like that, and also based on the fact that they're on scholarship and will actually (probably) be using their eligibility (as opposed to a guy like Longo, who isn't likely to be around for another four years.

    Long story short, I struggled with how to handle it, but there's my explanation. Also, I just noticed that GoPSUSports has them as juniors, so I guess I'll switch it anyway, even after all that!

  5. Eligibility is that you can play 4 years out of 5. The 5 years starts when you enroll. Guys like Longo are at least juniors for eligibility.

    One guy is did notice missing is Josh Daley. Didn't Gadowsky recruit him?

  6. So did Brandon Russo (who I believe was a recruit)play himself off the team

  7. Thanks for the knowledge Mike - never had a reason to care before!

    Anon - I wouldn't say Russo "played" himself off of the team. There were some off-ice issues with him. Those are the whispers, anyway, I don't have specifics. When he missed most of the early parts of the season, it wasn't due to injury.

  8. I don't see Max Gardiner on the PSU website. Perhaps since he is not eligible -as a B1G transfer to receive a scholly he is not coming?

  9. Max is not a B1G transfer since there isn't (currently) a B1G. He transferred under the rules of Minnesota's conference and PSU as an independent. He needs to enroll before he'll be added to the roster since as a transfer, that is the benchmark that makes him a Nittany Lion (no LOI for transfers).

    1. And of course, just to finish the thought, he, as well as unsigned Lordo and Goodwin, are off limits to sports info for the time being.

    2. Max is a B1G transfer... the fact that there is not a Big Ten lg has nothing to do with it

  10. Here is a bunch of fun facts:
    - Title 9 rule only allows 27 total bodies to be involved with the program in its first season, which would put another guy out.
    -morrone is in at all spring workouts and is on the team
    -3 guys are fighting it out for the final forward spot
    -brandon russo is an idiot (for lack of a better word) and blew one of the best hockey opportunities ever for extracurricular weekend activities