North Dakota recruit Jordan Schmaltz had been receiving some serious attention from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL to sign with them heading into his draft year, but Schmaltz declared that he will play in the USHL next year, and North Dakota after that.
Michigan and Ohio State will play an outdoor game at Progressive Field in Cleveland next January. Meanwhile, Minnesota had yet to announce a venue for their non-conference game against Notre Dame next January, and it was speculated that that could possibly be an outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium, but alas, it will be played with a roof.
Minnesota held their Select 15(1996 birthdates) camp this past week, which is always a good look into the future of hockey in the state of Minnesota. In some cases, it can be a good predictor of which high school teams are going to be strong in the coming years. Two years ago, it was Maple Grove. Last year, Duluth East. This year seems to be a very promising one for Edina, Elk River, and perhaps most surprisingly Holy Family Catholic.
Holy Family will be an interesting team to follow. They don't have much of a hockey history, but the small private school opted to move up to Class AA this year, partly in anticipation of this great class of players, which is a stark contrast to that clown school in Mendota Heights that is most definitely Not A Hockey School. They'll be young next year, but should be very talented. The one potential hitch is that the best of the group, forward Shane Gersich, was by far the most impressive player at the camp, and at this point, seems almost a lock to earn an invite to the NTDP next year, among other potential options.
Speaking of Duluth East looking like a powerhouse next year, the one concern people had in the aftermath of their state championship runner-up performance last year was that the Greyhounds were losing starting goalie JoJo Jeannetta to graduation. The expected starter was junior Dylan Parker, an extremely talented young goalie, who made the national Select 16 Festival this year. Now, rumors on the Minnesota high school hockey message board(I know, but it's summer) say that Forest Lake goalie Paige Skoog and family are moving to Duluth, and he will be able to play for Duluth East right away. That means the Greyhounds will be loaded with two quality goalies that are likely capable of playing hockey beyond the high school level. It's a nice problem to have.
I guess I have to start covering Penn State now too.They picked up three pretty solid commitments. It's really crazy to think that in a week, we could be hearing a Penn State player get drafted in the NHL Draft.