Friday, August 16, 2019

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Sam Lipkin

Sam Lipkin with La Salle

Quinnipiac recently picked up its fourth 2003 born commit in Sam Lipkin this past Tuesday. A native of Lafayette Hill, PA, Lipkin is a 6'1, 186 pound left shot forward who recently played for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U-16 program. Set to move to the North Jersey Avalanche program this coming season, the BobcatsHockeyBlog caught up with Lipkin to discuss his recruitment, hockey life and off ice interests. Thanks to Sam for taking the time out of his schedule for this Q&A.


BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac?

Sam Lipkin: I was really excited and filled with joy, it’s a great opportunity for me and my family.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting process with Quinnipiac. When did they first reach out to you to show their interest in you as a future player for the program?

Sam Lipkin: They started showing interest about three weeks weeks ago. Then from that point, I visited the campus on August 3rd. After that they gave me all the time I needed to make my decision.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Were there any other Division I programs showing interest in you as a player and if so which ones ?

Sam Lipkin: There was definitely some other Division I interest from schools such as Providence, Penn State, UMass Amherst, Merrimack and Cornell.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What separated Quinnipiac from some of those schools, which made you want to commit to the Bobcats over those others?

Sam Lipkin: Quinnipiac just felt right to me. It’s a great place for hockey along with getting a great education. The atmosphere at all the games is great and I felt really comfortable with the coaching staff.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game as a player? What are some of the things you do well as a player?

Sam Lipkin: I think that I do a little bit of everything as a player. I’m a full 200 foot player that can score and make plays. I also make everyone around me better, and I like to lead by example.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are some of the areas that you want to improve upon before you reach the collegiate level?

Sam Lipkin: I would like to work on extending my stride and working on my first three steps. Another area I would like to work on is my shot. But obviously, to get to the collegiate level, I will need to get bigger, stronger and faster overall.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You played last season for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and your high school program La Salle College High. This year you are heading to the North Jersey Avalanche program. What went into that decision to move to a new program?

Sam Lipkin: The North Jersey Avalanche are a top program every year. Every coach wants to help you get to the next level. It was a no brainer decision when the opportunity was presented to me.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: So with the move to the Avalanche program are your days over with the La Salle program as will you be putting a full commitment with North Jersey?

Sam Lipkin: Yes my days with La Salle are over. The past two years with them were the best years of my life and I learned so many lessons. To maximize my development I am going to fully commit to the North Jersey Avalanche program by billeting up in North Jersey. This will allow me to really develop as a player and a person.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You were drafted in the second round of the USHL Futures Draft by the Chicago Steel. Do you have plans on attending their camp before going back to North Jersey?

Sam Lipkin: I actually got to go to their camp this year earlier in the summer.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What was that experience like and what did you take away from it?

Sam Lipkin: The experience was awesome, Chicago is a first class organization that I’m very happy to be apart of. I took away what I need to work on to go to the next level. The speed and strength is at another level there. But it was good to see what I have to do to get myself ready for the USHL.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is your plan to have a strong development year with North Jersey this year in preparation for making the jump to Chicago in the 2020-2021 season?

Sam Lipkin: Yes that is the plan. Obviously a lot of hard work has to be done and a lot of things have to go right but if I keep developing I hope I can make the team.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is there a player in today’s game that you model your game after?

Sam Lipkin: Jonathan Toews. I think that we are both winners and both help our teams in all areas of the game. He comes up big when his team needs him the most and I try and do the same.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who to this point in your life, would say is your biggest influence to get you to this point of an NCAA Division I commitment?

Sam Lipkin: I think my parents for sure. They have taught me everything that I know and they are always there supporting me and cheering me on. Without them, I don’t think I would be the same player.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person that the Quinnipiac community will get in Sam Lipkin on and off the ice?

Sam Lipkin: I think on the ice the community is getting a winner and someone who loves to win big hockey games and someone who leads by example. Off the ice the community is getting a leader in the classroom and someone who likes to get everyone involved. I am also an outgoing kid who will treat everyone with respect.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What does Sam Lipkin like to do when he is not playing hockey?

Sam Lipkin: I love hanging out with my friends and having a good time. I also enjoy playing video games and hanging out with my family.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2003 born forward Sam Lipkin commits to Quinnipiac

Sam Lipkin with La Salle College High

Its been a slow summer in terms of Quinnipiac hockey news but with the summer winding down that means the hockey season is right around the corner. Quinnipiac for the first time in three and half months picked up a new commit in 2003 born left wing, Sam Lipkin who played last season with the U-16 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers program and the La Salle College High hockey team.

Lipkin is a 6'1 185 pound left shot wing player who can also play center as well. In 41 games played for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 16U team he had 36 goals and 33 assists. In 25 games for the La Salle College High team he had 24 goals and 36 assists. Just recently, Lipkin took part in the USA Hockey Selects 16's where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in five games played. A 2019 second round draft pick by the Chicago Steel in the USHL Futures Draft, Lipkin is set to play for the North Jersey Avalanche program in the 2019-2020 season as he furthers his development.


Links

Sam Lipkin Elite Prospects Player Page
Sam Lipkin Neutral Zone Player Profile


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith with Surrey prior to be named the captain

Quinnipiac made a late addition to its 2019-2020 recruiting class with commitment of 1998 born defencemen, Jeremy Smith, a Toronto native who played the past season for the Surrey Eagles and Trail Smoke Eaters in the BCHL. Smith joins a Quinnipiac defensive core that has to replace four departed defencemen which accounted for 96 points on the season. Smith was gracious enough to give to time to talk to the BobcatsHockeyBlog to discuss his commitment, his overall game and what he enjoys off the ice as well. Thanks to Jeremy and enjoy the Q&A.


BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac for this upcoming fall?

Jeremy Smith: Thank you very much. First and foremost, I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to attend Quinnipiac. When I received the call from head coach Rand Pecknold with the offer, I couldn’t wait to inform my parents. Knowing how much they have supported me throughout my hockey career, none of this could have been possible without them. While I have worked extremely hard up to this point, the opportunity to play for one of the top schools in the nation has given me more motivation than ever. With that motivation, I am really looking forward to training this summer and getting prepared for the upcoming season.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting process with Quinnipiac. When did they first reach out to you to show their interest in you?

Jeremy Smith: My first contact with Quinnipiac was fairly recently. A few weeks ago I was in contact with associate coach Joe Dumais. We spoke a few times and I ended up coming down on an official visit in the beginning of April. After seeing the university and touring the school and facilities, I quickly knew that Quinnipiac was the place where I wanted to be.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Were there any other Division I programs showing interest in you as a player and if so which ones ?

Jeremy Smith: Throughout the season I had been in contact with a couple. During the BCHL showcase at the beginning of the season I spoke with a small handful of schools and continued contact with them throughout the season, but as I said earlier, once I visited the Quinnipiac campus and went through the facilities I knew instantly that I wanted to be a Bobcat.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game as a player? From some highlights I’ve seen, you play a physical game with offensive ability as well.

Jeremy Smith: I think as a player I do pride myself on my offensive abilities. I think by watching a lot of what is happening in the National Hockey League today, it is important for defencemen to have the ability to get up in the play and support the forwards offensively. While I would say I am offensive minded, I believe it’s more important to identify the proper times to be offensive and have the ability to know when it is not the right time. I think it is also important for me to bring a certain type of physicality to my game. I know I’ve never been the tallest person on the ice, but I’ll never shy away from throwing my body around a little.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about some of the areas of your game you want to improve upon prior to the season starting next fall?

Jeremy Smith: I know going from juniors to college hockey is a big step. The game is much harder and faster, so I think it will be important to get in the gym and on the ice as much as possible to make sure I’m in the best condition to make the transition. I also think it’s important to be strong mentally and bring the same level of trust and confidence in myself. It will also be important for me to come in with an open mind. Coach Pecknold and the rest of the coaching staff are some of the brightest minds in hockey, so I want to come in, ask a lot of question and learn as much as possible, to make me the best player I can be will be very important as well.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What type of role does the coaching staff envision for you as a player this season?

Jeremy Smith: Coming in as a 21 year old, I believe I have a certain level of maturity that will be useful on the back end to help some of the younger guys out. Coach explained that he gives opportunities to those who are deserving, so my goal is to come in and show everyone that I can be one of the pieces of the puzzle to help give the team the best chance each game.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You started with some good midget programs in the Toronto Marlboros and Don Mills Flyers. What was that experience like with two of the better programs in the Ontario province?

Jeremy Smith: I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to play with both organizations. Playing with the Marlboros and having Paul Coffey, a hall of fame defencemen, as a coach was amazing. In my minor midget year I left the Marlboros to play for the Don Mills Flyers and take on more of a leadership role.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: From there you went to the OJHL with a quick stint in the NAHL before heading to the BCHL. Tell us how that experience was moving between multiple leagues the last few years?

Jeremy Smith: Being from Toronto and starting in the OJHL, I was able to live at home and travel to and from games and practices, which was quite easy. After attending a USHL camp, I was drafted in the first round of the NAHL draft to Philadelphia. I thought it would be worth a try to live away from home and really get the junior hockey experience. After battling with a nagging injury and realizing Philadelphia wasn’t the right fit for me, I decided to finish my year back in the OJHL where I could live back at home and get the proper treatment to get back to being healthy. After the season ended, I was contacted by the head coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters and made my way out west to the BCHL for my last year of juniors. I finished my year with Surrey as the captain, and was able to experience life on the other side of the country. Throughout my junior career I met tons of amazing people and was able to truly get the full junior experience.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: It’s pretty rare to see a player traded mid season to become a team captain but that must speak to your leadership ability. What went into you being named the captain of Surrey late in the year?

Jeremy Smith: When I arrived in Surrey, we had a fairly young team, so I knew coming in I could really help out with the younger guys. Despite the teams record before I arrived, the team was full of extremely talented players. I got the feeling that some of them needed a little guidance. I just tried to stay positive everyday at practice, give advice on the bench, and just always be open and talk with the coaching staff on a daily basis. Despite the season not ending the way we wanted, I enjoyed every second of my time as a Surrey Eagle.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is there a player in today’s game that you model your game after?

Jeremy Smith: Being from Toronto, I am a die hard Maple Leafs fan. I’ve always enjoyed watching Morgan Reilly play. His offensive ability, power play skill, and vision on the ice is something I really try to mirror on the ice.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who to this point in your life, would say is your biggest influence to get you to this point of an NCAA Division I commitment?

Jeremy Smith: Without hesitation my dad. If there was ever a time I needed advice or guidance, he was always the first person I’d ask. He is one of the hardest working people in my life, and I try to learn from him as much as I can.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Do you plan to come to Quinnipiac early to work with the strength and conditioning coach and get around the team to acclimate yourself to the environment?

Jeremy Smith: It is something that coach Pecknold brought up during my official visit. Currently, I’m scheduled to attend the Bio Steel summer training program in Toronto, but after speaking with my trainer, we both agreed that coming to Quinnipiac early would be very beneficial and something that I would really like to do. I’m just figuring out which dates would work best.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person that the Quinnipiac community will get in Jeremy Smith on and off the ice?

Jeremy Smith: On the ice you will get someone who is looking to work hard day in and day out to become the best player I can. I’m very eager to meet everyone on the team and work together to continue the tradition of being one of the top hockey programs in the country. Off the ice you will get someone who is looking to branch out and meet new people on and off the team and someone who will be a positive influence in the classroom and the community.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What does Jeremy Smith like to do when he is not playing hockey?

Jeremy Smith: I really enjoy being outdoors. About two hours north of Toronto my family has a cottage where I’m always wake-boarding and water-skiing. I also enjoy getting involved in the community and meeting new people.


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Six Quinnipiac commits selected in two day USHL Draft


Six Quinnipiac men's ice hockey commits were selected over two days in the USHL Phase I and II draft. Day one featured the 2003 born players which saw three Quinnipiac commits selected.

Off the board first was Connecticut native Matthew McGroarty of the Brunswick School who was selected in the third round, 32nd overall by the Madison Capitols. McGroarty is expected to return to the Brunswick School for his junior season before possibly making the trek to the junior ranks the following season. 

Jack Silich was another Bobcat commit selected in the third round, 41st overall by the Youngstown Phantoms. Silich played this past season for the Chicago Mission program putting up over 100 points on the season. He was also a 6th round OHL Draft pick of the Flint Firebirds but from sources he plans to stick with the college route. Its unknown what his plans are for next season but its possible he will go to the Youngstown camp to try to make the team. 

In the fourth round saw Jonah Copre a teammate of Silich with Chicago taken by the Waterloo Black Hawks with the 59th pick overall. A recent convert to defense, Copre is expected to spend another season with the Chicago Mission. 

Day two saw Christophe Fillion selected by the Lincoln Stars in the third round with the 40th overall pick. He currently is with the Wenatchee Wild with fellow Bobcat commits Cristophe Tellier and PJ Fletcher but Fillion has been tied with Tellier back to their days in Quebec and to the Iowa Wild AAA program. I think Fillion will remain with a quality Wenatchee program to finish his last year of development.

One surprise saw 2003 born defencemen Oscar Plandowski taken in the Phase II portion of draft in the 10th round, 141st overall by the Green Bay Gamblers. He is someone I expected to be drafted on the first day of the draft not halfway through the second day. Plandowski should be returning to the South Kent Selects U-16 program. However I do expect him to be taken in the upcoming QMJHL draft and the hope is he is not a flight risk due to his second day draft status in the USHL.

Artyom Borshyov was selected in the 15th round with the 224 overall pick by the Youngstown Phantoms. Borshyov played ten games this past season for Tri-City before returning to the Northern Cyclones of the NCDC. He is someone I would expect to try to make the Phantoms roster out of training camp much like he did with Tri-City a year ago.

Current Quinnipiac Bobcat Matthew Cassidy was taken in the 17th round, pick 254 by the Youngstown Phantoms which signals he will not be returning to the program in the fall. The Medford, New Jersey native saw action in 15 games with no points and 10 penalty minutes. Best of luck in the future to Matt. 

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Jonah Copre

Jonah Copre

Recently Quinnipiac dipped back into the midget level pool for a commit when it landed 2003 born defensemen Jonah Copre of the Chicago Mission. A fellow teammate of current Quinnipiac commit Jack Silich, Copre is fairly new to playing the position of defense. The BobcatsHockeyBlog recently caught up with Jonah to discuss his recruitment with Quinnipiac, his development as a player and life off the ice as well. Thanks to Jonah for taking the time out of his schedule for this Q&A.


BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after knowing that you have committed to playing NCAA Hockey at Quinnipiac University?

Jonah Copre: Thank you! It’s obviously very exciting and good to know that my hard work for the past eight years or so has paid off. I’m extremely happy for myself and I am thankful to coach Riga for giving me the offer. I’m also thankful to my parents knowing their sacrifices have led to this point! The verbal commitment also gives me even more motivation to keep working hard in order to uphold my commitment and hopefully sign a National Letter of Intent. It's definitely humbling that I have received a commitment to one of the best hockey schools in the entire country and also an unbelievable school in terms of academics.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting process with Quinnipiac?

Jonah Copre: It happened all so quickly during nationals this year. A side note was that I hadn’t spoken to Quinnipiac during the season, until nationals. I was introduced to coach Riga by another Quinnipiac commit, Jack Silich, after the first game of nationals, and then I spoke to him and he had mentioned he’d been interested in my game. After our third game, coach talked to me and my parents for a while, and then I got the offer from Quinnipiac. The whole process occurred very quickly but it was very exciting nonetheless.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Was there any other Division I interest in you from other schools and if so which ones ?

Jonah Copre: The only other school that I had been in official contact with was the University of New Hampshire, and I had visited that campus in early February.  My coaches had mentioned that there were three other Division I schools that had shown interest in me, but didn’t mention the names of them.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What separated Quinnipiac from the University of New Hampshire and what was the ultimate reason you committed to Quinnipiac over them?

Jonah Copre: Just the opportunity to play for one of the top hockey schools in the nation that has some of the best facilities, coaches, and trainers in Division I hockey is what made me want to commit to Quinnipiac.  The academics was another big reason.  While UNH is a great school nonetheless, the chance to play for a Top 10 school at Quinnipiac was undeniable.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: How much did having Jack Silich committed to Quinnipiac make it easier for you to also commit to the program as well knowing that someone that you are playing with currently is also committed there?

Jonah Copre: Having Jack committed there did play a part in my commitment to Quinnipiac, and knowing that he and I have a possibility to play together in the future is great.  But mainly the school itself and the hockey program is what drove me to verbally commit to Quinnipiac.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: I’ve read that you recently converted to defense in the last year or so. Tell us about how that transition took place and what was one of the main reasons for moving back on the blue line?

Jonah Copre: My transition to defense happened later in the season of last year. My coach put me back on defense after I returned from an injury. We had an uneven amount of forwards and only had 5 defensemen, so my coach chose me to play on defense.  He said he moved me to defense because of my skating ability and vision, and at first I was reluctant and didn’t know what to think of it, but now I know it was the best thing for me.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game as a player. What are some of your strengths?

Jonah Copre: I think of myself as a modern, smooth skating, puck moving defenseman.  I’m able to quarterback a power play and I think my vision is a big strength of mine. Two other areas that are a large part of my game are edge-work and speed. Also having an active stick and quick footwork on defense helps me defend.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us some of the areas of your game that you consider a weakness and that you want to improve upon?

Jonah Copre: Well being a smaller defenseman, I want to work on getting stronger and being more physical. I also need to learn the position even better which is something I want to do along with having better gap control and working on getting in lanes to block shots and passes.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are your plans for the 2019-2020 in terms of development? Are you planning on continuing at the midget level with Chicago Mission or are their plans for you to go the junior route?

Jonah Copre: I think staying at the Mission is what I plan to do for the upcoming season especially since we’re going to have a team that will be able to contend for a national championship.  I believe that I can contribute a lot and help lead the team to success.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: The NCAA on April 19th approved legislation to halt the commitments of younger players that will take effect May 1st. Obviously this doesn’t affect you as you will be grandfathered in but do you see this as a positive development as now young players can avoid all the recruiting distractions at a young age and just focus on hockey development. Personally I believe the young recruiting was getting out of hand.

Jonah Copre: I think I see the new rule as something that will have positive effect on the game. Kids won’t be so worried about rushing to commitments and then that benefits the teams they play for, since the players can now focus on the team even more.  Yes it’s great that so many players care about achieving commitments, but they’re also kids and shouldn’t be stressed about being the first to commit.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who would you say had been your biggest influence in your life that has helped you achieve a Division I commitment?

Jonah Copre: I would have to say my parents have had the biggest influence in my life, because they’ve helped me through everything in life.  They’ve kept me humble but also have helped me believe in myself, and without them I don’t think I’d be where I am now.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is their a player in the game today that you model your game after?

Jonah Copre: I don’t think there’s a single individual player that I model my game after, but I like to say that I skate similar to Matt Barzal and have the vision of Erik Karlsson.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What type of person is the Quinnipiac community getting with you on and off the ice?

Jonah Copre: On the ice, I think I’m a leader by example and sometimes vocally, and I push myself and my teammates in practice to be intense. Off the ice I like to think of myself as an articulate and intelligent student of both hockey and academics. My work ethic is something I take pride in as well.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What does Jonah Copre like to do when you are not playing hockey?

Jonah Copre: I like watching hockey along with playing a lot of tennis and some golf as well. I like  hanging with both school friends and hockey teammates.  I work out and run often during the week.


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Jeremy Smith commits to Quinnipiac for 2019-2020 season

Jeremy Smith (photo by Surrey Eagles)

Quinnipiac picked up what is expected to be the final piece of the 2019-2020 recruiting class on Saturday night when Surrey Eagles captain Jeremy Smith committed to Quinnipiac. A native of Toronto, Smith is a 1998 born right shot defensemen who played the past season in the British Columbia Hockey League between both the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Surrey Eagles. Listed at 5'9, 187 pounds, Smith will turn 21 in July and give the Bobcats a mature blue liner in terms of age.

In 48 games played between Trail and Surrey he had 30 points on 13 goals and 17 assists. His 13 goals was fourth in the BCHL among defensemen and good for second on Surrey. He brings offensive ability and physical play to the table along with leadership as he was named the Surrey captain later in the season.

He played the prior two seasons with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the OJHL in which had 50 points in 75 regular season games. He added 12 points in another 17 playoff games over two seasons with Toronto. Congratulations to Jeremy and welcome to Quinnipiac.


Links

EliteProspects Player Page
Surrey Highlights


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

StickTalk Podcast: Previewing the Frozen Four


With the Frozen Four set to kick off tomorrow in Buffalo, the college hockey season is coming to a pinnacle this weekend. UMass, Denver, Minnesota Duluth and Providence will battle it out for the National Championship. This week, I joined Mike Flanagan once again on the StickTalk podcast to discuss the end of the Quinnipiac season, along with recapping the regionals and previewing the Frozen Four with our picks for the semifinals and the winner of the National Championship. Have a listen prior to the games kicking off tomorrow.


StickTalk Podcast Episode 8


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.