— The London Knights (@GoLondonKnights) April 6, 2013
Being a high profile program, the University of North Dakota Hockey team has had some of their highly sought recruits decommit and go a different route.
It’s been highly documented as of late.
In August, right before the 2011-12 season, J.T. Miller decommitted from UND, and signed a signed with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Miller’s decommit put UND in a precarious situation. Without Miller, UND immediately became a different type of team.
In 61 games with the Plymouth Whalers, Miller scored (25g-37a—62). After his season with the Whalers was over, Miller played in eight games during the Calder Cup playoffs for the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
This season, Miller was called up to the New York Rangers and scored two goals, leading the Rangers to a 4-1 victory.
Last January, USDT U18 recruit Stefan Matteau, who had originally committed to play at the University of North Dakota, decommitted from UND, and decided to play for the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Matteau had a strong start to the season with the Armada (18g-10a—28pts) in 35 games and was invited to the New Jersey Devils camp once the NHL lockout was settled.
Matteau ended up playing in the Devils first five games of the season before being a healthy scratch for the next four games in a row.
The New Jersey Devils could have sent Matteau back to Blainville-Boisbraind, but instead he remained with the New Jersey Devils and last night he was skating on a line with former Fighting Sioux forward Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk to start the game.
Matteau has played 17 games with the New Jersey Devils this season, scoring (1g-2a—3pts). On the March 17, 2013, Matteau was returned to his junior team Blainville-Boisbraind Armada and has scored (1g-4a—5pts) in 6 QMJHL playoff games.
In April of 2012, Miles Koules announced that he had decommitted from the University of North Dakota and was going to be a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. In his first season with Medicine Hat, Koules recorded (19g-21a—40pts) in 69 games for the Tigers.
This past November, Brendan Lemieux, son of former NHL pest Claude Lemieux, left the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, decomitted from the University of North Dakota, and decided to play with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. In 42 games with the Colts, Lemieux scored an unimpressive (6g-8a—14pts).
We’re not done yet!
UND has two other recruits that have been drafted by the OHL clubs. Nick Schmaltz brother of current defenseman Jordan Schmaltz was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires last spring. Nick has not ruled out going to the Spitfires.
Also, today, UND recruit Christian Evers was drafted in the 5th round by the London Knights in the OHL Draft. Lets just say, UND fans are a little worried, based on past experience, if Evers will ever make it to UND. Evers is an impressive kid who is 6’4” and 200 pounds who will turn 16 on May 25, 2013. So you have to think, that the London Knights, will be hard after Christian Evers, to sign with them.
Evers had an impressive year with the Omaha AAA Hockey Club 16U team, scoring (17g-42—59pts) in 67 games. Evers tweeted this on his twitter account today. So, only time will tell.
Can’t wait to be apart of UND in a few years. That’s what I mean when I said “Can’t wait for things to play out.” #SorryForTheConfusion
— Christian Evers (@CEvers97) April 6, 2013
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.