Notre Dame recruit Stephen Johns said no to the Windsor Spitfires, making it pretty much official that he'll be in South Bend to start next season. As a sidenote, this article, without a trace of irony, credits the Spitfires for taking Cam Fowler from the consensus third overall pick in the draft before he signed with them--at least, since that was really before Tyler Seguin blew up--all the way up to being maybe the third overall pick. I'm sure Windsor will get their revenge on Notre Dame though when they finally file that libel lawsuit against Jeff Jackson. It's been over 15 months, so I'm sure that's coming any day now.
Regina Pats president Brent Parker was quoted as saying: ""Our product and our education programs and the things we do for the kids, we'll put that up against anybody." Very well. The NCAA keeps a database of academic progress every year for every team, and every single college hockey team has over 90% of their players on pace to graduate. The CHL doesn't seem to publish stats on players going to college, other than the occasional "There's a lot!" quote which never indicates what percentage of the total "a lot" makes up. The one number that is out there is the 32% of player using the CHL scholarship program. Of course, if that number has tripled in the past year, Parker's assertion would be correct. I'm betting that's not the case though.
There was all sorts of writing done about the NHL Combine this year. The event definitely seems to be growing. The Globe and Mail got a look into the medical tests performed at the Combine, which helped detect a rare heart defect in Denver recruit David Carle. Scott Cullen of TSN has mixed feelings on how important this thing actually is. Meanwhile, Neate Sager had perhaps the most interesting take, saying the event is more about marketing young hockey players than finding any real information. He also wrote a fantastic piece on the implications of no player listing The Simpsons as their favorite TV show. Maybe that's just in my generational wheelhouse, but that seems pretty significant.
USA Hockey will announce the head coach of next year's World Junior team tomorrow. Speaking of coaching at USA Hockey, U17 coach Kurt Kleinendorst's contract ran out with the NTDP and he's headed back to professional hockey. You can apply for that job.
Tyler Pitlick has some quotes about his decision to go to the WHL.