Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking Ahead To Next Season

Is it too early to look ahead?  I say no.  Yes, we're all still in "mourning," so to speak.  But I'm sure most of you are interested in what the lineup could look like next season.  The list below is very fluid, and some of it is a guessing game.  A lot can happen between now and September/October.

Some players have aged out of the USHL (Freibergs, Lauwers, Tate), and will be playing collegiate hockey next season.  There also are a number of players who have committed to certain colleges, but their programs have yet to decide if they want them to report in 2012 or 2013.


Here's what I know right now.

Players departing:
G - Charles Williams:  Ferris State University
D - Ralfs Freibergs:  Bowling Green University
D - Dax Lauwers:  Uncommitted
D - Colton Saucerman:  Northeastern University
F - Brent Tate:  Bowling Green University
F - Teemu Tiitinen:  Cornell University
F - Matt Friese:  University of Alaska-Fairbanks
F - Kevin Roy:  Brown University
F - Jared Hanson:  Colorado College

Players (possibly) returning:
G - Jackson Teichroeb:  Uncommitted
D - Paul LaDue:  University of North Dakota (2012 or 2013)
D - Mike McKee:  Western Michigan University (2012 or 2013)
D - Brandon Carlson:  Uncommitted
D - Logan Smith:  Uncommitted
D - Zach Frye:  Uncommitted
F - Dominik Shine:  Northern Michigan University (2012 or 2013)
F - Luke Johnson:  University of North Dakota (2013)
F - Zach Aston-Reese:  Northeastern University (2013)
F - Brad Hawkinson:  Denver University (2013)
F - Bob Kinne:  Bemidji University (2013)
F - Vinni Lettieri:  University of Minnesota (2013)
F - Will Suter:  Uncommitted
F - Tommy Schutt:  Uncommitted
F - Markus McCrea - Ineligible for NCAA hockey (former major junior player)

The big question marks in regards to players returning are Paul LaDue, Mike McKee, and Dominik Shine.  Most of the UND followers I know say that LaDue will probably be back in Lincoln next season because the Fighting Sioux return six or seven defensemen from last season, along with incoming freshman Jordan Schwartz of the Green Bay Gamblers.  I've heard Western Michigan could take McKee this fall, or in 2013.  Shine apparently has told some Lincoln fans that he'll be back next season, so I would assume he'll start at Northern Michigan at 2013.

One of the big questions will be which four overagers will be retained for next season.  Each USHL team will be able to roster only four players next season with a birth year of 1992.  As of right now, here are the players that could return that were born in 1992:  Teichroeb, LaDue, Carlson, Smith, Kinne, Suter, and McCrea.  Seven possible players fighting for only four spots.

I also ran across some tweets and  message board posts that indicate former Stars forward Eric Scheid has left the University of Alaska-Anchorage and could possibly play for the Stars next season.  Each year it seems like the Stars get at least one player who comes back to Lincoln after spending a season at the collegiate level.  Two seasons ago it was Kevin Murdock.  Last season it was Dax Lauwers.  Nothing is official yet, but if Scheid shows up at the Stars' tryout camp in early June, I'd say there's a very good chance he could play Lincoln next season.  Scheid was born in 1992, so he would also be competing with seven (possibly) other players for four positions on the team.

Just like every season, the returning players I listed above will have to participate in the tryout camp and earn a spot on the roster for next season.  Nothing is guaranteed, as we've seen in previous seasons when returning players were let go at the conclusion of the tryout camp.

So that's as much as I know right now.  As I stated above, a LOT can happen between now and September/October.  There are a few players listed above as returning/uncommitted that could pick up a late scholarship and play college hockey this fall.  You never know.  If there's any info stated above that needs to be corrected, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email at lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com.

After the USHL Entry Draft, which will be held on Tuesday, May 22nd, I will highlight all of the draft picks made by the Stars.  How cutthroat will it be to make the team in 2012-13?  Veteran players returning from last season, protected players drafted by Lincoln last year, players drafted by Lincoln this year, free agents at tryout camp....all competing for a few spots on next year's roster at the tryout camp in Minneapolis in early June.

Go Stars.

1 comment:

Yeti said...

One other player from last season I forgot to mention is forward Jonathan Grebosky, who played 14 games with the Stars before being sent to the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL. If the Stars have protected Grebosky, he could have a very good shot at cracking the roster next season since he is a familiar face. Grebosky is a '93.