Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NTDP U-18 takes on UM, SCSU this weekend

The U.S. National Under-18 Team comes to Minnesota this weekend to take on the University of Minnesota on Saturday night and St. Cloud State on Sunday night. This is another good chance for WCHA fans to see several high-end kids play against top-notch competition before they play in the NCAA.

This year, there are fewer kids on the U-18 team that are committed to play in the WCHA than in year's past. Defenseman Sam Lofquist (Minnesota - 2008), forward Grant Scott (Minnesota - 2008), and Nick Pryor (Wisconsin - 2009), forward Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota - 2008), and forward Danny Kristo (North Dakota - 2008) are the WCHA-bound players on the team.

Two weekends ago in Colorado, Minnesota recruit Aaron Ness, who is currently a junior at Roseau High School, joined the team for the weekend. No word yet on if Ness will play in more games with the U-18 team, but it obviously wouldn't be too tough to make the drive down from northern Minnesota to partake in this weekend's games.

Some players to keep an eye on aside from the aforementioned kids are Vinny Saponari, a forward who recently committed to Boston University and was rumored to be interested in Wisconsin; forward Robbie Czarnik, who is a Michigan recruit and was probably the best player I saw on the ice when the team played in Blaine, Minn. at the NAHL Showcase back in September; and Jimmy Hayes, a 6'4", 205 lb. forward who is committed to Boston College.

Patrick Gaul (Notre Dame) recruit stood out to me at the Select 17 festival this past summer in St. Cloud. Defenseman David Warsofsky, who is a BU recruit, is also a fun player to watch.