Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mavs sign five recruits

Five recruits for next season signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Minnesota State men’s hockey team on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. The class includes three forwards and two defensemen, including one defenseman who has college hockey experience.

Clint Lewis began his career at Cornell last season, playing in 32 games. However, he left the Big Red and currently plays junior hockey at for the United States Hockey League’s Sioux Falls Stampede. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Burnsville native, 19, played for the U.S. National Team Development Program and participated in the U.S. World Junior Championship team’s evaluation camp this summer.

The group also has three other USHL players, Sioux Falls forward Ryan Schwalbe, Waterloo Blackhawks forward Max Coatta and Madison Capitols defenseman Alec Vanko, as well as Steen Cooper of the BCHL's Penticton Vees.

Schwalbe, 20, is a 5-11, 185-pound center, who had 38 goals and 85 points in two seasons (110 games) for Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault. From there, the Anchorage, Alaska, native went to the British Columbia Hockey League for one year before going to the USHL last season.

Coatta, 20, is a 5-10, 174-pound forward from Minnetonka, who had 17 goals and 35 points in 57 games for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL last season. In four seasons at Minnetonka High School he scored 89 goals and 190 points in 113 games.

Vanko, 20, is a 6-1, 174-pound blueliner from Oregon, Wis. He has four assists in 13 games and had 29 points in 50 games for the USHL’s Chicago Steel last season.

Cooper, 19, is a 5-9, 170-pound center from Duncan, British Columbia, who has seven points in 17 games this season. He also played 2 ½ seasons for Cowichan Valley of the BCHL before being traded to Penticton last season. Finished last year with 49 points in 65 games.

With six seniors on the current roster, it makes sense that there will be more signings for next year's team during the spring signing period. The Mavericks have other committed players, some of whom likely will play another year of junior hockey after this one.

The group of other committed players, includes (via junior league reports): Casey Jerry (F, Cedar Rapids Roughriders), Jake Jaremko (F, Chicago Steel), Jason Pawloski (G, Green Bay Gamblers), Charlie Gerard (F, Madison Capitols), Michael Bigelbach (D, Omaha Lancers), Josh French (F, Omaha Lancers), Parker Tuomie (F, Sioux Falls Stampede), Jason Krysch (D, Tri-City Storm), Marc Michaelis (F, Minnesota Magicians).

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