North Dakota senior-to-be goalie Aaron Dell left the Sioux to sign a contract with the Colorado Eagles in the ECHL. It was assumed that Dell was ready to move on from Grand Forks, though a little surprising to see where he signed, given that last summer, his private goalie coach David Marcoux tweeted that the Montreal Canadiens had offered him a contract. The Sioux remain in good shape at goal, however, with incoming freshman Zane Gothberg, and Alabama-Huntsville transfer Clarke Saunders joining the team this year.
Alaska hired alum Corbin Schmidt to fill the assistant coaching vacancy left by outgoing assistant Brian Meisner. Like St. Cloud reaching into the alumni pool to snag Garrett Raboin, Schmidt has no official coaching experience, and like Raboin, seeing him behind the bench makes me feel kind of old(Though for the record, Schmidt's last collegiate game came about a month before the creation of this site). Schmidt does bring some interesting prior work experience though, having served as director of training and recruitment for the Minnesota Advanced Program, the top private hockey training center in Minnesota. You can scroll through their alumni list to see the type of program it is. With Alaska joining a conference with Minnesota in their footprint next year, hiring an assistant coach that has worked with almost literally every top player in the Twin Cities metro area may be a genius move.
The US Select-18 team is essentially done at the Ivan Hlinka Tourney. With an 8-6 loss to Finland yesterday, the US will have to play for 7th place in the tournament. The event started out promising, with the US taking a very strong Russian team to overtime, but ultimately falling a shootout, after Adam Erne failed to convert a penalty shot in overtime. The wheels came off in the next two games, and by all accounts, the US team looked really bad. It's not a huge deal because the United States usually sends their 'B' team to this tournament. What's frustrating is that this was essentially a 'C' team thanks to USA Hockey choosing to play politics over hockey with the roster. There were a couple players yesterday chuckling that their 'punishment' for turning down the NTDP was not being a part of that train wreck.
Meanwhile, the USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks are off defending America's honor in Russia at the Junior Club World Cup. The Blackhawks won their first exhibition game against CSKA Moscow, and then lost their second to the junior affiliate of Dynamo Moscow. You can follow their trip via this nice blog they've put together. The Blackhawks are in a group with teams from Norway, Belarus, Russia, and the Czech Republic, but it seems like the whole hockey world is hoping for a potential match-up later in the tournament with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, who are in the other bracket.
Sometimes people get a little carried away with player comparisons. This, from local Duluth punching bag Howie Hanson, may be one of the most outstanding ever. Duluth East junior defenseman Phil Beaulieu is going to be moving from defense to forward. Why is that so noteworthy? Because in looking for a player comparison, Hanson jumps past state champion Dave Spehar, Stanley Cup champion Jamie Langenbrunner, NCAA champion and Hobey Baker winner Jack Connolly, and goes straight for Hall of Famer Brett Hull. Though it should be noted that he also predicts that Beaulieu won't lead Duluth East in points, because, come on, let's not get carried away here. As a rule, if someone asks me who will score more goals in the NHL and spots me 700 goals with one player, I'm picking that player. This might be the exception to that rule.
The NCHC website still has their teams alphabetized incorrectly.