Recruiting is a year-round effort for players and coaches alike. Players stay in shape throughout the summer and participate in various festivals and camps during the summer in hopes of impressing college coaches. At the same time college programs are continuously evaluating potential players and searching North America and beyond for talent that can help their program down the line.
That being said, September is a big month for recruiting with various showcases. The USHL has three of them in an 8-day span while the BCHL showcase finished up last weekend. The Woodchuck Classic in Vermont took place last weekend and the Jr. Bruins Shootout is next weekend in Marlborough, Mass.
Why is all that important? Many players made good impressions on college coaches who were in attendance, and some players just wanted to be sure to make a commitment before their season starts so the sole focus can be on playing the game they love.
Three Hockey East schools have received verbal commitments in the past few days, including Boston College. Cranbrook (Mich.) School forward Chris Brown has announced his intention to play college hockey for the Eagles. His prep school team is loaded with talent including Michigan recruit Sam Miletic. Both Brown and Miletic are on the affiliates list of the Green Bay Gamblers. Brown, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich. native, is scheduled to arrive in Chestnut Hill for the 2015-16 season.
Loomis-Chaffee defenseman Matt O'Donnell has committed to Vermont. The senior at the Connecticut prep school also plays split-season midget for the CT Wolf Pack. O'Donnell could be a boost to the Catamounts power play as he moves the puck very well, but his defensive game needs to improve to be an effective player in Hockey East.
John Furgele of the New Jersey Hitmen has verbally committed to New Hampshire. He was part of Toby Harris' EJHL Championship team last year, but the team will move to the newly founded USPHL Premier Division this season. Prior to his stint in NJ, the Glen Mills, Pa. native played two seasons in the NAHL with the Bismarck Bobcats after only playing two games for the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Furgele is the third blue line recruit for the Wildcats for 2014, possibly hinting at the possibility of an early departure. Trevor van Riemsdyk is a highly sought after undrafted free agent, and Brett Pesce is a Carolina Hurricanes draft pick.
More from Western College Hockey Blog:
- The NCHC's Top 5 Hobey Baker Candidates
- Seamus Donohue Commits to Air Force
- Hockey East Preseason: Top 5 Hobey Baker Award Candidates
- Top 5 Candidates for Hobey Baker from the ECAC Hockey League
- Bentley's Brett Gensler Tops List of Atlantic Hockey Candidates for the Hobey Baker Award
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey; recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.