Monday, August 30, 2010

No Leitner -- for now

Minnesota State's roster has been tweaked since first being released about a month ago, and highly touted recruit Matt Leitner's name has been removed from the original list of current players.

Leitner is academically ineligible to play for the Mavericks this season, something that was a concern for the coaching staff since the California native and United States Hockey League standout committed to MSU last year.

The good news for the Mavericks, though, is that Leitner is in Mankato and enrolled at the university. He also took summer courses at MSU in order to start getting his academics on track. He is unable to practice with the team, however.

"He is in school," coach Troy Jutting said. "He needs to work on his academics and he needs to look forward to competing and playing with us next season."

When Leitner does play, he's expected to be a good one. Last year, he finished 10th in the USHL in scoring while playing for the Fargo Force with 66 points, including 25 goals, in 54 games. He also ranked second in playoff scoring, as he led the Force to the USHL finals with 18 points (10 goals) in 12 games.

In the meantime, the Mavericks, who started informal workouts and captains practices last week (school began on Aug. 23), still have an intriguing group of freshmen forwards, a cast that includes Leitner's Fargo teammates Chase Grant, Corey Leivermann and J.P. Burkemper, as well as Zach Lehrke and John McInnis. Other freshmen include defensemen Danny Heath and Josh Nelson and goalie Evan Karambelas.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

D is for Davis

Inside College Hockey (INCH) is in the midst of its annual A to Z look at some of the top players around the country. Today, Minnesota State's Kurt Davis is profiled. Read it for yourself, but a couple of quick highlights: With some of the WCHA's early departures this offseason, could Davis be one of the best offensive defensemen in the conference? Also, look for the "Fletch" reference in the story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Seawolves hire McKelvie

It was only matter of time that Ryan McKelvie ended up on a college-hockey coaching staff. On Wednesday, it was announced that Alaska-Anchorage hired the former Minnesota State captain as an assistant on Dave Shyiak's staff.

"We ae getting an up and coming young coach who will be a big asset to our program," Shyiak said. "Ryan has all the attributes we were looking for in a coach and recruiter. We wanted someone who had ties to Minnesota, USHL, NAHL and the (WCHA)."

McKelvie has spent the last two seasons as the associate coach for the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL. Before that, he was a graduate assistant at Bemidji State.

McKelvie played for the Mavericks from 2002-2006 and had nine goals and 30 assists in 134 games. He was an assistant captain for three seasons.

In a statement, MSU coach Troy Jutting said: "Obviously, we're happy and excited for Ryan and proud he's getting this opportunity with the Seawolves. I'm convinced he'll do a tremendous job for UAA. He's a very hard-working and dedicated individual who understands the game. And with the success they've had at Wenatchee during his time there, he has the ability to recruit as well as coach at an advanced level."

Read the UAA press release here.
Read MSU's release here.

When Eric Means left Jutting's staff to take over the MSU women's program, I thought McKelvie might have a shot at that spot. But MSU went with more experience in Todd Knott. So far, Knott looks like a great choice. But it's good to see McKelvie climbing the coaching ladder. I think he's going to be a good one.