Michigan Hockey: Some Additional Information / Projections

Posted at 7:00am — 4/4/2013

Michigan Hockey: Some Additional Information / Projections

-John Merrill has decided to take his talents to the New Jersey Devils and will fore-go his senior season. We hope that John has a long and successful pro career and we wish him well. Thank you, Jon for your contribution to the Michigan hockey program. Coach Berenson was rather reserved in his endorsement of the decision, basically stating that he is not sure that Jon is ready for the NHL, yet it is his decision to pursue. Personally, I think Berenson is skeptical that Merrill is physically ready to take on the type of forwards he will battle in the NHL. Notre Dame exposed a weakness in his game when encountering big, strong forwards along the boards and in the corners. He was frequently out-muscled, although his other skill sets, vision and skating is certainly NHL ready. Part of this skepticism is due to the extensive time Merrill missed with injury and suspension parts of the last two seasons.

- Jacob Trouba is planning on leaving to join the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League. His departure along with Merrill’s, would create a huge hole on Michigan’s blue line. Coach Berenson is resolute in his opinion that Trouba is NHL ready and will not try to dissuade him if he chooses that route.

-Michigan is speculated to still be in play for bringing in an additional goal-tending candidate.

-Speculation around the blogosphere is that senior Mac Bennett will be the top candidate to wear the ‘C’ next season with senior Derek DeBlois also donning an ‘A’. A third Alternate Captain candidate could be sophomore Andrew Copp, who displayed extreme leadership during the playoffs. My other candidate would be junior Zach Hyman who displays quiet leadership and work ethic on and off the ice.

– Further speculation that other “flight risks” this off season could be junior Alex Guptill (Dallas) and Phil Di Giuseppe (Carolina). There is no verification whether sophomore goaltender Jared Rutledge or senior Kevin Clare will return to the program. Sources are suggesting that either one or both may not return.

2013-14 Schedule Bits & Pieces
Michigan will move into the B1G TEN conference next season and will take on Wisconsin, Minnesota, MSU, OSU and Penn State four times each, locking in a 20 game conference schedule. The Wolverines are busy filling the remaining weekends with non-conference dates and have agreed to meet RIT, BU, UNH, Michigan Tech, UNO and possibly BC next season. The schedule will be formally released this summer.

Thank You…
To our dedicated fans, readers and posters who make GBMWolverine a great place to exchange opinions and thoughts. I will periodically update the site with any breaking news on the hockey program- departures, additions, scheduling etc. I truly appreciate the kind words in the forum, on twitter and at Yost arena. I will be attending the annual Dekers Awards Banquet which is Saturday, April 6th. If there are any interesting bits and pieces from the event to share, I’ll let our readers know. What I do know is, senior forward Lindsay Sparks, senior forward Kevin Lynch and Merrill will not attend since they are playing with professional minor league teams now.

As for the NCAA Tournament, four fresh teams are now competing for a national championship. U-Mass Lowell, who is the Hockey East Champ, emerged after defeating Wisconsin and UNH. They are (and have been) my favorite to win it all. They will join the other #1 seed to advance, Quinnipiac, who is the #1 team in the country out of the ECAC. A second ECAC team emerged after 4th seed and #15 overall seed Yale shocked WCHA “uber powers” Minnesota and North Dakota in the West regional in Grand Rapids. Yale was the last at large team in and would not have made the national tournament if Michigan would have won the CCHA tournament. The only team to represent the west came out of the Midwest Regional. SCSU, from the WCHA, dominated the two CCHA entries from Notre Dame and Miami. SCSU will play Quinnipiac, while Yale will take on U-Mass Lowell in the Frozen Four held in Pittsburgh in two weeks (April 11th and April 13th.) None of these programs have a national title yet. SCSU is moving on to the newly formed NCHC, while the other three programs will remain in their respective conferences. It was a sad way to say goodbye to the CCHA, but appropriate considering how strange this season was. On to the B1G Ten Hockey Conference.

Have a great summer and Go Blue!

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — YostMeister

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