In This Post…
- Recruiting Rule of The Day
- 20-21 NCAA Season Notes
- Recruiting: Spring Information Thaw
- D-III Wrap-Up
Recruiting Rule of The Day…13.02.14.1 Recruited Prospective Student-Athlete is defined by the NCAA as…
Actions by staff members or athletics representatives that cause a prospective student-athlete to become a recruited prospective student-athlete at that institution are: (Revised: 1/10/90, 1/11/94 effective 8/1/94, 1/10/05 effective 8/1/05, 12/13/05, 4/26/17 effective 8/1/17, 4/25/18)
(a) Providing the prospective student-athlete with an official visit;
(b) Having an arranged, in-person, off-campus encounter with the prospective student-athlete or the prospective student- athlete’s family members; or
(c) Issuing a National Letter of Intent or the institution’s written offer of athletically related financial aid to the prospective student-athlete. Issuing a written offer of athletically related financial aid to a prospective student-athlete to attend a summer session prior to full-time enrollment does not cause the prospective student-athlete to become recruited.
20-21 NCAA Season Notes
With the NCAA season now complete, we imagine just about anyone who had anything to do with the 20-21 season is getting some much needed time off. COVID presented challenges unimaginable. There was no what-to-do-in-the-case-of-a-pandemic playbook to draw from. But now there is, and there are so many people to thank who made this season possible. So, a few thank you’s and some notes as we head into the Spring and await what the 21-22 season will bring.
- To the Conference Commissioners… Jennifer Flowers-WCHA, Rob DeGregorio-College Hockey America and the New England Hockey Alliance (NEWHA), Steve Hagwell-ECAC, and Steve Metcalf-Hockey East. There aren’t enough THANK YOUs to go around. Without their collective determination, leadership, guidance, patience, and cooperation, we doubt a hockey season would have been in the cards.
- To the Players… You are the ones who had to play the games and a feel level of safety doing so, otherwise you wouldn’t have played the games. You had to change how you lived your lives in order to keep your seasons safe as well as your teammates, coaches, and staff safe. The pressure you were all under to accomplish that, no one will ever fully know.
- To the Coaches, school administrators & support staff… One can only imagine the stress level you all were under in this type of season. Hockey is a game that changes at a moments notice, and so was the case this year with how you had to manage everything about how this hockey season had to go in order for it to happen at all. To say this year was a grind, would be an understatement. To every coaches credit, you made it to the end and allowed for the ultimate to happen – the crowning of a national champion.
- 11 of 41 D-I teams did not have a season in 20-21.
- Of those teams who played a conference schedule, Robert Morris and Northeastern played the most games this year with 25. The least was played by Vermont with 11.
- No two teams played more games vs. one another than Clarkson and Colgate. They played 10 games against one another.
- 31 Hockey East games were broadcast on television this year on NESN the New England Sports Network.
- ESPN and its family of networks broadcast the Frozen Four on ESPNU for the first time and will continue to for years to come after signing and multi-year contract with the NCAA.
- Northeastern Junior forward Alina Mueller, (yes, junior), led the nation in scoring with 12 goals, 26 assists for 38 points in 25 games played.
- Northeastern goaltender Aerin Frankel led the nation in goaltending statistics with a 0.81 GAA and a .965 SV %.
- As of March 25 there were total of 79 women’s ice hockey players in the NCAA Transfer Portal, 35 joined since March 1.
Recruiting: Spring Information Thaw?
One vitally important aspect of the recruiting process largely missing since the pandemic hit as compared to most years, has been a lack of communication and information from college coaches back to recruits, their families, and club/high school coaches. This lapse in communication has been a major source of angst and confusion for players of the 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes who are trying to figure out what their academic and hockey future holds. But, as the saying goes ‘times heals all wounds’… and there could be some healing soon.
With the D-I season now over, college coaches will soon become better equipped to have these all important recruiting conversations with the ’21 and ’22 classes. But why the lapse in the first place? College coaches didn’t have all the info they needed to give recruits the direction they wanted. The NCAA muddied the recruiting process by granting everyone an extra year of eligibility in the Fall. That meant college coaches were put in the not so envious position of dealing with their graduating seniors and figuring out if their were going to return for a 5th year next fall. This added the opportunity for more transfer situations to occur than normal.
So, 2021 and 2022 recruits got stuck in the middle having had conversations with coaches last summer and then getting put on hold as COVID delayed everything, etc. In the coming weeks, college coaches will have a much b etter idea of what their rosters will look like. Why? It’s transfer season and things are really starting to heat up.
Transfer decisions usually happen at the end of the hockey season around now. College coaches generally don’t plan for transfers when forecasting future recruiting classes but that is something they’ve had to take into account this year with COVID. Transfering is not a quick or easy process. A player has to find a program, be academically eligible, and go through the admissions process at the institution as well as figure out finances. All that takes time… and now is when all of these decisions are happening.
To players and parents – hang tight. The information you are seeking is coming soon. As stated above, there are 79 women’s ice hockey players in the transfer portal, 35 joined since March 1. There are surely more to come. You can bet college coaches are scouring the portal to see who is making themselves available. All of this action will help coaches get a handle on how they’re going to manage their rosters and help shape the type of conversations they need to have with recruits.
While the D-I season is over, some D-III teams are still playing. It’s been an odd season at D-III with the NCAA cancelling the NCAA National Championship due to lack of participation. Some conferences decided to allow their member teams to play games but not have a structured conference schedule. 21 of 65 D-III teams have not played a game this year. The CCC, MAC, NEHC, NESCAC, and NEWHL did not have conference schedules or playoffs. The MIAC, NCHA, UCHC, and WIAC, played conference schedules to the best of their abilities. The NCHA held it’s conference tournament with Adrian beating St. Scholastica 3-0 and 3-2 to take the best two-out-of-three. The UCHC’s top 8 teams will meet in their conference tournament which will run April 1-6, 2021. UW-River Falls beat UW Eau Claire 2-1 in game 3 for the WIAC conference championship held March 17-19. River Falls took game one 3-2, Eau Claire came back to win game two 3-0 to force a third and deciding game.
COVID Update out of Ontario…
- Teams registered with the OWHA will not be allowed to travel to the USA for tournaments in 21-22
- Tournaments held in Ontario have not been sanctioned or given the green light just yet
- No player movement from one team to another will be allowed until Sept. 1, 2021
- Team tryouts are slated to begin Sept. 1
- Northeastern head coach Dave Flint was named CCM/AHCA National D-I Coach of the Year. You can read the release HERE.
- Penn State’s Kiara Zanon has won the AHCA Rookie of the Year Award chosen by D-I assistant coaching staffs. Each staff gets one vote. Runner up was Colgate goaltender Kayle Osborne.
- Speaking of Penn State, the Nittany Lions will host the 2022 women’s Frozen Four next year.
- The CCM/AHCA All-American Awards have been announced with two teams of six:
G – Aerin Frankel, SR, Northeastern
D – Grace Bowlby, SR, Wisconsin
D – Skylar Fontaine, SR, Northeastern
F – Alina Mueller, JR, Northeastern
F – Danielle Serdachny, SO, Colgate
F – Daryl Watts, SR, Wisconsin
G – Emma Soderberg, JR, Minnesota Duluth
D – Cayla Barnes, JR, Boston College
D – Ashton Bell, SR, Minnesota Duluth
F – Chloe Aurard, JR, Northeastern
F – Kiara Zanon, FR, Penn State
F – Grace Zumwinkle, SR, Minnesota
- The Patty Kaz Award… will be unveiled at 2pm this afternoon on the NHL network during an hour-long special. Check your local cable and satellite provider for channel listings. The finalists are Northeastern goaltender Aerin Frankel, Wisconsin forward Daryl Watts, and Minnesota forward Grace Zumwinkle. You can get more info HERE.
The MN Girls State High School Tournament… is currently underway. The quarter-finals in class AA begin today at the Xcel Energy Center home of the MN Wild. The Class A quarter-finals wrapped up yesterday. You can get the Class A & AA tournament bracket HERE with scores and schedules.
COVID Bounces Men’s Teams from NCAA Tourney… Luckily this did not happen in the women’s NCAA tourney, but on the men’s side both Michigan and Notre Dame had to leave the tournament before playing a game due to positive tier I COVID cases. Tier I cases are those that involve people with the closest contact to players such as the players themselves, coaches, support and medcial staffs. Obviously a huge blow to both teams. Under tournament rules, BC and MN-Duluth automatically advance to the regional finals.
Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!