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02-14-2013, 10:50 AM
  #403
MHNet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skatesharpener View Post
Well, Michigan gets blown out both games by ND to wind down the season. Scouting needs to improve without question. If these are the best players that Red can recruit he has a very big problem on his hands. Something is wrong with this organization-what with the resources it has-that it could be another tough year next year. Too many pampered recruits. Need to do a better job on their homework before signing players. Especially goalies.
Michigan did just fine doing their homework on goalies. The problem is Jack Campbell and John Gibson both opted for the OHL, the Gibson one hurting more as his came during the summer before he was to arrive in Ann Arbor. As we've seen over the years, recruiting in hockey starts earlier and earlier. By the time Gibson left, there was no chance to sign a suitable replacement before the season started, and by today's standards you're already behind the eight ball for the following year, too, with many top prospects having already committed elsewhere. Hence, Michigan ended up signing Jared Rutledge, who by all means didn't do bad at the NTDP (his stats were right there with Collin Olson), but for whatever reason he didn't make a smooth transition to college hockey. Steve Racine, an older goalie, was signed to play the backup role, so he's kind of what we expected out of him.

As for the rest of the team, especially the forwards, yeah, the high end talent has been lacking for several years. Michael Spath over at TheWolverine.com, who does a great job covering the team, mentioned on their forum a month or so ago that the recruiting mentality changed a few years ago and they started targeting kids who I guess you could say were good players, but not elite players, thinking they could still win and keep kids for 3-4 years instead of having to deal with elite talent bolting after a year or two. Obviously, that strategy looks like it caught up to them this year and isn't working, so Spath said they're going back after the top end talent. If you look at Michigan's recruiting class for next season, you can see they're getting some of those high end recruits again like J.T. Compher from the NTDP (along with Tyler Motte and Evan Allen from the NTDP).

Of course, a goalie recruit is lacking (because they brought in two and didn't think at the start of the season they've have to find another one), but Red did admit a few days ago they are trying to add a goalie to this recruiting class. But as I previously laid out, that might be difficult. Late in the recruiting cycle and most, if not all, the top prospects have probably signed their Letter of Intent and are off limits. So it'll be interesting to see who they dig up to fill the void, if anyone.

That all said, I think Michigan is at least a couple recruiting cycles from returning to their old self, especially if they can't find a new goalie to help in net next season.

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