Non-athletic Niagara discussion


Postby RCM » Wed May 02, 2012 10:19 am

The Niagara University ACHA Hockey team is pleased to release their list of incoming players for the 2012-2013 season.

This year’s recruiting class is eight players deep, six first year players and two players whom red shirted last year.

Without further adieu…

Kody Helbig- Forward- 5’ 11” 185lbs – Freedom Pa.

Hartford Wolfpack (AtJHL Jr. A)

Red Shirt 2012

Kody joined the team during the second semester of last season. The forward immediately impressed the coaching staff in practice with his tenacity, speed, and hard shot. He is a two way player who can not only contribute offensively but be a very tough play to play against.

Coaches Thoughts

“Kody has a great combination of many different attributes. He is a two way player who you can tell is competitor. He is an incredibly creative player and even in practices started to show a lot of great leadership qualities. We really think he can a 25-30 point guy for us during his career. He is the type of kid that other teams will absolutely hate to play against because he plays so hard. He can easily be a game changer at both ends of the rink.”

Jarred Mitrano – Forward- 6’ 0” , 190lbs- Boston Ma.

Mass Maple Leafs CHA Jr. B

Red Shirt 2012

Jarred, like Hellbig, joined the team in the second semester of last season. The physical, power forward put up over 100 points in his last year of juniors and will be poised to continue that output for Niagara. The forward has a strong desire to win and leaves it all on the ice during his play. In practices last semester Mitrano showed the coaching staff that he has the ability to not only produce points but can be a good penalty killer. Jarred will likely figure heavily in all three zones for the Purps during his career

Coaches Thoughts

“Jarred, is another player that is a complete hockey player. We expected him to be a guy to get some points for us but during his game time last season he proved to be a great penalty killer as well. Jared has a great shot and can play a strong role in puck possession. Last season we lost some battles along the walls. Jarred is not only a player who we think can be in the top tier of scoring output for us but also give us more of a physical presence in front of the net and in the corners. We are going to look for Jared to use his great shot as much as possible and be one of the players we lean on a bit for production”

Brad Beran-D- 5’ 10” 180lbs- Cleveland Junior Jacks (NA3HL Jr. A)

Columbia Station, OH

Brad will join the Eagles after a very successful career in junior hockey. Beran was the assistant captain for his junior A team last season. The stay at home defensemen figured for 11 points in 48 games in Cleveland. Beran played an impressive 88 games for Cleveland over the past two season. Brad will be looked upon to continue his role from juniors at his new home. Attention to detail, pride in his defensive zone, and valuable penalty killing time are all hallmarks of Brads on the ice make up

Coaches Thoughts

“We drove to Cleveland a few times to see Brad play and watched a lot of games on DVD. Each time we were impressed with his play. He is a good skater and extremely strong. He is not the biggest kid on the ice but he works extremely hard off the ice and it shows. Brad was considered a leader on his team last year and will have a great chance to be a leader here at Niagara. Brad will be a great asset to our terrific defensive core. His transition will be very easy. The role for Brad and our team is exactly the role he had last year. Brad is very focused off the ice and takes his physical training very seriously. This should pay dividends next year for him and throughout his career”

Joseph DiBiase 6’ 0” 170lbs Palm Beach Hawks (EMJHL)/ LaSalle Academy

North Kingston, RI

The newest Purp netminder is the first player in program history to be from the state of Rhode Island. That interesting tidbit aside, DiBiase first gained attention of the coaching staff during his play with the Walpole Express and later with the Palm Beach Hawks of the MJHL. Prior to his junior hockey experience DiBiase played for LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island. As a sophomore Joe led his team to the state finals. That same year he was named to 2nd Team All State (Rhode Island).

Coaches Thoughts

“We felt it important to start looking towards the future of our goaltending this year. Dane and Jon [Anderson] played very well for us last year and matured on and off the ice. Joe is going to come into a good position where he will be able to get acclimated to the college game, learn from our two upper classmen goalies, and be eased into some action. Joe reminds us a lot of what we saw in Dane Wakefield coming into his freshman year. He has a desire to win and a desire to get better. We should be deep at netminder next year and it will make for some great competition. We expect all of our goalies to push each other and fight their tails off for starts”

Jacob Ledyard- F- 6’ 2” 203lbs-Buffalo Junior Sabres (OPJHL Jr. A)

Clarence, NY

Ledyard, one of two local players who will join the Purps, played his junior hockey locally for the Buffalo Junior Sabres. He was named to the OPJHL All Star Game during the past season. Over the past two years with the Junior Sabres Jacob amassed 18g, 20a (38pts), and 247PIMS in 88 games on defense. Jacob will play forward for the Eagles to start this upcoming season. Should injuries or other players play warrant him to move back to the blue line the newest Eagle will be able to accommodate.

Coaches Thoughts

“Jacob is a complete player and another guy who just plays the game right. He is a tough young man who I think will bring a bit more edge to our lineup. We are going to have Jacob play forward for us to add some size and physicality up front. You are going to see a bit of a theme in this year’s players, but Jacob is not a player other teams are going to want to play against. He can beat you on the score sheet and physically. When he is on his game there are not many guys who get the puck from him. Since Jacob is local we have watched him play for several years. He is great young man and will be a very valuable asset to our team. We have talked with Jacob and are going to start him this season at forward to add size up there, if we need him on the blue line he will be able to play there as well”

Joseph Sheena –F- 5’10” 170lbs-Flint Junior Generals (NA3HL Jr. A)
Waterford, MI

Joseph Sheena, hailing from the great state of Michigan, is another player who played on a top team in the NA3HL. Sheena, who accounted for 8points in 24 games with the Generals, will add depth to the forward ranks. While not known for his scoring the newest Eagle will step right in and be a valuable addition. The Michigan native was nominated for the NA3HL Player of the Week three times during the 2011-2012 season.

Coaches Thoughts

“Joey is another piece of the puzzle here. We set out this year to make sure we have a complete team. Joey is a player who makes us more of a complete team. He is not afraid to go into some tough places in the rink. He can kill penalties and I think will be able to really grow into a good role on the team. Flint is a very well run team with great coaching their recomendations really opened us up to what Joe can offer our team. The transition should be an easy one for Joe. He plays a type of game that coaches love. Most of all Joe is very thoughtful young man off the ice and takes that same approach to the way he plays the game. We want Joe to develop into a guy who can be counted on in key defensive situations and on special teams.”

Mike Skopinski- D- 6’0” 200lbs- Quad City Flames (NA3HL Jr. A)
Lakeview, NY

Mike, the second incoming local player, is a defenseman with a flair for offense. Starting the season as teammates with Brad Beran in Cleveland, Mike was traded to Iowa City in hopes of bolstering their defense for a playoff run. Mike accounted for 22 points in 44 games. Skopinski attended St. Francis High School where he played hockey before leaving for his junior career. Mike will likely figure prominently in a system which has often had blue liners figure contribute good numbers in the offense.

Coaches Thoughts

“Mike is a defenseman who can really hurt you at both ends of the ice. He has a great vision out there. Many of his assists in juniors started from a great break out passes. He is an ability to see the whole ice. Mike is a big body and is a really solid young man. We are looking for him to play strong and both ends of the ice. He can play in both type of systems. He has no problem playing shut down defense when that is required and doesn’t mind looking for a bit more offense if that is what is being asked of him. He got a great start here in Buffalo at St. Francis and playing for the Buffalo Stars. Last year Mike took his game to next level. Mike makes very good decisions with the puck. I think the forwards will enjoy having Mike passing them the puck”

Austin Wharry –F- 6’1” 190lbs- Vermont Academy Prep School (NEPSHL)

Canandaigua, NY

Sometimes the good players find you. Shortly after the season began Austin contacted the coaching staff expressing in interest in joining the team. After scouting Austin, the forward visited NU and practiced with the team. During his time on the ice Wharry impressed not only the coaching staff but other curret players. Being a true freshman is rare these days. However, Wharry is a big body with a good set of hands. The coaching staff is excited to watch him grow.

Coaches Thoughts

“Austin comes to us from just down the thruway. We have not had a true 18 year old freshman in a few seasons. Austin is going to be given a chance to contribute right away. He is very mature for his age and another big imposing forward. He is 6’ 1” now and we don’t think he is done growing. Austin has the size and skill to have a very bright career for us. These days it is rare for a player to pick college right out of high school when there are a lot of Junior A opportunities for that young man. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good. We are lucky Austin found us and thrilled to have him a part of our family.”

Overall thoughts by Associate Coach & Director of Recruiting Clay Miller

“After the season I think we all took a long hard look at what we had to do to be a championship type team. If you look at some of our losses we just weren’t tough enough in critical points. It was pretty important to make sure that we complimented the guys on campus well. At the end of the day we are bigger team, a more physical team, and I think have a group of guys that will be committed to all aspects of the rink. ”

Miller concluded “I think what helped us a lot was that we knew we had Kody [Helbig] and Jarred [Mitrano] already for next year early in the season. With those two guys you have a lot of fire power. Knowing we had that firepower allowed us to focus on other aspects, types of players to make us more of a complete team. Having two players redshirt allowed us to take some different paths in recruiting this year and allowed us to be more selective. Last year we added a lot of great athletes and the building blocks for the future. This year we added great athletes and the structural support to that foundation... This year we knew what we needed We have a lot of points to replace with graduation this year. I think with guys coming back and our incoming players those points will be accounted for. We really believe in this group of guys from last year. We knew we weren’t going to replace some of the pure goal scoring from last year but I think what we have is a deeper more balanced team. We really paid attention to how these guys play in crunch time, when the game is on the line, and how they handle pressure. I think that we were able to fill most of our needs.”

This concludes the first set of commitments for next season. Stay tuned for any additions!
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Postby 5-hole » Tue May 08, 2012 10:09 am

Clay, nice job once again. Based on past performance of our ACHA players, we have every reason to expect these players will be positive contributors to NU both on and off the ice.
New Yorker by birth, Southern by the Grace of God
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