Monday, November 21, 2016

Quinnipiac Hockey recruiting notes 11/21/2016

It was another successful weekend for the Quinnipiac men's hockey team as they took four points with a weekend swept on the road against Cornell and Colgate. The team is now headed overseas to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Friendship Four tournament on Friday. With that said let's take a look at the future Bobcats as they continue their development in junior hockey towards reaching Hamden in the near future.

Matt Cassidy (photo by Joni Coons)
It was a great weekend for a trio of Quinnipiac commits playing in the North American Hockey League. 1999 forward Matt Cassidy had a five point weekend (3 goals and 2 assists) for the Springfield Junior Blues in a pair of wins over the Kenai River Brown Bears. It has been an adjustment for Cassidy as he is one of the youngest players on the team made up of a lot of 1996, 1997 and 1998 born players. He had only three assists in his first twelve games of the season before scoring his first goal on October 28th. Since scoring his first goal he has seven points in his last eight games for Springfield. Cassidy has the ability to be a big time scorer dating back to his time with Team Comcast U16 when he put up 121 points in 56 games in the 2014-15 season. That season got him noticed with USA scouts and he was invited to the US National Program Development camp. He did not make the national program and continued with Team Comcast. He did get called up for four games a season ago with the National Program but did not record a point. He also played two games last year for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and scored a goal for them. In 20 games for Springfield this year, he has four goals and six assists but his confidence is growing and this should lead to better things to come for him.

John DeRoche (photo by Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
1998 forward John DeRoche played in his first three games for the Topeka Road Runners (NAHL) this weekend after getting traded to them from the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (USHL) in a massive house cleaning after the Rough Riders got off to a brutal start. DeRoche was held scoreless in his debut but busted out the next two nights with a hat trick in an 8-7 win for Topeka on Friday and had a goal and an assist in a 6-5 overtime loss on Saturday. DeRoche struggled early in the season with Cedar Rapids only having one assist in ten games played. A year ago for Cedar Rapids he had 14 points (5 goals and 9 assists) in 39 games for the Rough Riders and was expected to increase that production this season but it never came to fruition. The smaller forward has good scoring ability as he put up 70 points (31 goals and 39 assists) in 30 games three years ago for the Boston Jr. Bruins 16U team. DeRoche has a good opportunity to rebuild his confidence with Topeka and be a featured player for them the rest of the season.

1998 forward Khristian Acosta had a three point weekend for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights chipping in with three assists in two wins over the Johnstown Tomahawks. In 13 games for the Knights he has six goals and ten assists for the team. He is one of three future Bobcats to already sign a letter of intent (Odeen Tufto and Ryan Finnegan the others).

1996 forward Matt Forchuk had a good week. In three games played, he had a goal and three assists. He is second in the AJHL in scoring with 12 goals and 24 assists. It was the first goal he scored since October 30th. He had been a bit quiet lately and had been held scoreless in three of the past six games.


Keith Petruzzelli (photo by Muskegon Lumberjacks)
1999 goaltender Keith Petruzzelli had a good weekend in the crease stopping 66 of 69 shots in two losses against the Sioux City Musketeers. The big goaltender has seen the majority of the game minutes for Muskegon while splitting time with Adam Brizgala. In 12 games, Petruzzelli has a 7-3 record with a 2.06 goals against average and a .929 save percentage with one shutout. It's very possible he will be the Bobcats highest ever draft pick as he is rated a B level prospect according to NHL Central Scouting meaning he could go within the second or third rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Staying on the Petruzzelli topic, a source confirms to me that Keith's brother D.J. (1997 forward), also a Quinnipiac commit who is playing for the Springfield Jr. Blues along with Cassidy has been out of the lineup with a lower body injury that could be a lengthy injury. He was off to a good start for Springfield with a goal and three assists in five games.

2001 defenseman Dom Fensore has six points in his last four games (3 goals and 3 assists). In nine games this season he has seven points (3 goals and 4 assists). He is a skilled defenseman who SBN's Jeff Cox projected could be a player in the US National Developmental Camp in 2017.

Last weekend both Ethan Phillips and P.J. Fletcher competed for the South Kent 15U at the New England regional championships. While the team finished 2-2 losing in overtime to the Yale 15U team in the championship game both players had four point weekends. Phillips finished the weekend with a goal and three assists while Fletcher had two goals and two assists.

Quinnipiac is in a recruiting battle for a top 2002 Finnish defenseman in Ruben Rafkin who is playing two years above his age group with the 16U Selects teams at the South Kent School in Connecticut. Rafkin visited the Quinnipiac campus on October 3rd and just recently took a visit to Boston University on November 15th. It's not not known if he plans to visit any other schools at this time. This would be an important recruiting win for Quinnipiac should they be able to beat out a program like Boston University who continue to go after highly thought of players to stock their roster.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @jonathan_singer.

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