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I Blame Bush

Three international players who were reported to have given verbal commitments to NCAA schools now seem likely to never play college hockey.

Wahs Stacey, a small but talented forward from the Notre Dame Prep School in Saskatchewan is no longer listed as a commit for Minnesota-Duluth. Stacey had a very good rookie campaign with the Hounds, and while I have no clue what happened, my guess is that he wanted to play major juniors rather than waiting another year to play college hockey. It's difficult to miss someone you never met, but I think I'll miss Wahs Stacey quite a bit. Firstly, because "Stacey is a girl's name!" is a cheer that never, ever gets old, and because the name Wahs is short for Wahsontio. No I'm not kidding. That seriously would have been the coolest name ever.

Aleksi Holmberg, a solid defenseman from Finland is no longer listed as a commit for the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. Holmberg committed to the Mavs after making the trip to the US for the Buc Bowl this fall. Holmberg has apparently decided to stay in Finlad to pursue his hockey career. He would be the second player to decommit from the 2007 class after the Mavericks lost forward Anthony Peluso to the OHL this past summer.

Finally, Johan Ryno, a forward from Sweden that committed to Minnesota State looks like he will in fact with a Swedish Elite League team rather than coming to Mankato next fall. Ryno went from a virtual unknown in his own country to one of the country's top prospects after being discovered by the Detroit Red Wings last summer. Ryno became too valued a commodity in his own country to let him get away to North America.