Tag Archives: Drew Ellement

Luke Eibler to Leave Northeastern

April 24, 2012

2 Comments

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The hits just keep on coming for Northeastern with the news that rising Junior Luke Eibler will not be returning to the team next season.  The news, which was first reported by Kristin Kim on Twitter, was confirmed to Husky Hockey Blog by a team source earlier today.   Eibler is 8th Husky to leave the program this summer.

Eibler, a Michigan native, came to Northeastern after a year in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms.  In his first year at NU, Eibler found himself paired with another freshman, Anthony Bitetto.   The two of them combined to put together a pretty impressive campaign.  Bitetto was the one who got the Hockey East accolades, but Eibler was a solid defenseman in his own right.  He managed 3 goals and 10 assists, but more importantly, he finished 2nd on the team with a +12 rating.

Eibler returned to NU for his sophomore season despite interest from the NHL, namely Washington.    During this past season, circumstances forced the coaching staff to break up the Bitetto/Eibler pairing.   The change did not slow down Eibler.    He had just 1 goal and 7 assists, but his +10 rating was again second best on the team. Down the stretch, it became clear that Eibler was the best defensive option on the team.  Losing Bitetto earlier this summer was unfortunate.  Losing Eibler is a catastrophe.   Northeastern has been hit with many losses this summer, but with the exception of Steve Quailer, none of those losses were extremely detrimental to the team.   This one is.   Eibler has been underrated in his time here and over the past 2 years has really developed into a solid defenseman.  The defense is now a gigantic question mark at best.

The Huskies have just 5 defenseman on their roster now, plus 4 recruits coming in.   Senior Drew Ellement is really the only sure thing.   Sophomore Josh Manson really came on in the second half of last season.  He should also be in the lineup every night.  After that the Huskies have  Junior Jake Hoeffler (4 career GPs), Sophomore Ben Oskroba (9 career GPs) and Sophomore Dan Cornell, who walked on to the team and played very well in the first half, but struggled towards the end of the season.  As far as recruits go, Mike Gunn should step right into the lineup.  After that, its anyone’s guess.   Former Lowell commit Colton Saucerman has missed most of this season with a torn ACL.  Then there are two kids coming from Canadian leagues that don’t typical put many kids in Hockey East.  Jarrett Fennell comes from the OJHL and Dustin Darou, who was once committed to Michigan, comes from the CCHL.   One thing all 4 of these recruits have in common is age. Darou and Fennell are both ’91s.  Gunn and Saucerman are ’92s.  All 4 will come with every chance of working their way into what has become a wide-open lineup.  Freshman defenseman generally struggle in Hockey East, but Madigan is hoping that he can buck that trend by bringing in some older guys.

One thing is for sure.  Its been a rough summer for Northeastern and we are only in April.  Next season can’t come soon enough.

Advertisements
Continue reading...

The New Era of Northeastern Hockey

April 2, 2012

0 Comments

When Greg Cronin left last summer, he left behind a program that was trending upwards.  The team was coming off a strong second half that included a huge playoff victory at BU.  The overtime loss in the Beanpot and the 1 goal loss in the Hockey East Semifinals, both to BC, were tough to swallow, but it was hard not to be proud of the team for really turning it around after a rough start.

Fueling the optimism was the fact that the recruiting class coming in was considered to be Cronin’s best yet.  Despite losing the top scorers to graduation and early departures, people were definitely excited about this team and the future of Northeastern hockey.

When Cronin left, that optimism took a hit.  No matter who they brought in, the new coach was going to have to steady the ship and keep all of the recruits on board before anything else. Unless they hired from within (Sebastien LaPlante), that was always going to be a tough task.  Even with LaPlante, they likely would have lost one or two.  But overall, it seemed like the next coach that came in would have a solid base and they would pick up where Cronin had left off.

When Jim Madigan was hired, he decided not to take that course. He chose to blow up the foundation Cronin built and start down his own path.   Most of the time when a new coach comes in, they do clear out memories of the old regime and craft the team into their own model.  Madigan’s supporters this year have been quick to point out that Cronin did the same thing when he came in.  To be fair though, the situation Cronin walked into was a far cry from the one Madigan did.  Unlike when Cronin came in, Madigan had plenty of talent to work with.  Still, he decided that he was better off doing things his way and getting his guys in.

Was this the right move by Madigan? We can’t say.  Not now at least.  If Madigan brings in his guys and can get a Beanpot or an NCAA tournament win, I don’t think anybody is going to still be upset about missing the playoffs this year.  But if Madigan’s plan can’t take the program to new heights, then it will probably feel like he did waste what Cronin left here.

Either way, its too early to tell if this the right course of action or not.  But its the course Northeastern is on.  For the second year in a row, its been a difficult summer for Northeastern and when the team takes the ice next season, it will be one major step closer to a Madigan-designed team.  “Cronin’s guys” have been heading for the exits: some by their own will (Bitetto), some because they had no reason to stay (Dongara).  There will be more departures before this summer is over.  Besides Chris Rawlings, Luke Eibler will probably be the biggest reminder of Cronin next year.  Look at the likely Top 6 forwards

1. Ludwig Karlsson (never played for Cronin)

2. Vinny Saponari (never played for Cronin)

3. Braden Pimm (3rd/4th liner under Cronin)

4. Garrett Vermeersch (Member of Cronin’s Doghouse.  4th liner in Cronin’s last season)

5. Cody Ferriero (President of Cronin’s Doghouse.  Suspended once, benched multiple times in just 1 year under Cronin)

6. Adam Reid or Joe Manno (never played for Cronin, Manno committed to Madigan)

Defense isn’t much better.  Just Drew Ellement and Luke Eibler will have played under Cronin.  And of course, Madigan has gotten commitments from his own recruits and let some of Cronin’s go (McKee, Renz).

Its a bit shocking when you look at it.  Obviously Madigan was going to mold the program in a way that suited him, but it is surprising just how quickly he has cleared out Cronin’s guys.  And for fans who watched Cronin turn this program around, that can be a little hard to swallow.  All will be forgiven if Madigan can win, but right now it feels like Northeastern hockey is back to square 1 and it might take a few years for this plan to get going.

Continue reading...

Madigan Throwing Darts at Canada, Adds Another Defenseman for 2012

March 8, 2012

0 Comments

Jim Madigan and his staff are at it again.  For the 3rd time in 4 weeks, Northeastern has picked up a commitment from Canada.  First it was forward Mike McMurtry, a ’92, from the CCHL.  Last week, it was defenseman Dustin Darou, a ’91, also from the CCHL.  The latest pick up is another defenseman, Jarrett Fennell, a ’91, from the OJHL.

The big news from this is that the Huskies now have 4 defenseman slated to come in next season, joining the 6 defenseman that are returning (as of now).   While it hasn’t been officially announced, it is all but certain that Anthony Bitetto is leaving.  His not so cryptic tweet basically confirmed that.   Luke Eibler could leave, but there has been absolutely no talk of that so far.  The others should be back, unless they decided to transfer.

So it looks like NU will have 10 defenseman heading into next season:

  1. Luke Eibler, Jr.
  2. Drew Ellement, Sr.
  3. Drew Daniels, Sr.
  4. Josh Manson, So.
  5. Dan Cornell, So.
  6. Ben Oskroba, So.
  7. Mike Gunn, Fr.
  8. Colton Saucerman, Fr.
  9. Dustin Darou, Fr.
  10. Jarrett Fennell, Fr.

So what is Madigan doing?  It seems to me like he is just throwing darts and hoping one or two guys work out, kind of like Dan Cornell this year.  Or there is the scary possibility that Luke Eibler is leaving with Bitetto and NU is in need of bodies.   That would be very bad.  But there may be more to this.

Saucerman suffered an ACL injury around Christmas.  The fact that Madigan has picked up two defenseman since then makes it seem like Saucerman will not be ready for this season.

There is also the possibility that one of these guys moves to forward to even out the numbers.  The two candidates for that are Josh Manson and Drew Daniels.  Daniels, like his brother, originally came to Northeastern as a forward.   He played one game there this year when injuries left the Huskies with a shorthanded lineup.

Here’s the deal with Daniels: there is a reason he was moved to defense.  He put up 8 points as a forward freshman year.  He put up 9 in his sophomore season splitting time between forward and defense.  He had 7 this season playing only defense.  Basically, he is useless as a forward.  And he isn’t really the guy you are looking for as a 4th liner.   And the biggest thing with Daniels is that he has done really well since moving to defense.  Moving him back would weaken the D and not really improve the forwards.

Manson played forward a bit in Juniors, but like Daniels, he really took off when he moved to defense.  He got off to a rocky start in his freshman season, but besides the Beanpot game, he played much better in the second half of the season.  I think if he stays on defense, he will be much better next season.   But, he did show flashes of offensive talent once he got more confident towards the end of the year.

So this situation is definitely one to watch.  There is still the possibility that somebody else leaves.  But as it stands, there is going to be a logjam to get into the lineup.   As a whole, this defense doesn’t look that great.  Eibler is great.   Him and Bitetto formed a great partnership in there freshman season.   When they split up this season, things went in different directions for the two.  Bitetto was a mess and Eibler was the best defenseman on the team.   The Huskies need him next season.  Ellement and Daniels are solid defenseman.   Then its a huge question mark.   You have 3 sophomores, none very proven.   Oskroba got almost no time this season.  Cornell did, but seemed to fall off towards the end.  Manson is probably the only one you can pencil in the lineup for next season.   Then you have 4 freshman.   Freshman defenseman usually have a rough go of it in Hockey East.  If 1 or 2 can step up, that’d be great, but thats not something you want to be relying on.   Its a long way off, but defense may be a problem area for Northeastern next season.   But ideally, this would be the defensive pairings:

Eibler-Gunn

Ellement-Manson

Daniels-Cornell

Oskroba, Darou, Fennell

 

If Eibler leaves, disregard all of this and begin panicking.

Continue reading...

Final: Huskies 2, Providence 2

February 19, 2012

0 Comments

Yet again, Northeastern skated to a tie last night against Providence.  This one finished 2-2.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Alex Tuckerman and Adam Reid had goals for Northeastern.
  • Mike McLaughlin, Drew Daniels, Garrett Vermeersch, and Drew Ellement all had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings made 47 saves, a career high.  But the two goals he let in will be what this game is remembered for.
  • The Huskies were outshoot 49 to 35.
  • NU 1-6 on the PP.  PC was 1-7, both teams had 5 minute majors.
  • Robbie Vrolyk was injured late in the first and did not return.
What You Need to Know
  • Northeastern took an early lead, but couldn’t hold on for long.
  • With the game tied at 1, Ben Oskroba was sent off for a 5 minute major.   NU did a great job killing the penalty, but they allowed a goal when Kevin Hart shot a puck in from the neutral zone and Rawlings deflected it top shelf.   I know I have said this a few times this season, but this was without a doubt the softest goal Rawlings has given up.  Especially when you consider it was probably going wide of the net before he touched it.
  • Adam Reid tied it up on a great move when Vermeersch sprung him on a partial breakaway.
  • Speaking of breakaways, Joe Manno had 3.  The first two he shot way over the net and the third Beaudry was not fooled on.   Manno was really flying last night, but his missed chances proved costly
  • More missed chances: NU had a PP late in the third and early in OT.  They managed just 1 shot between the 2.
  • 1 Shoe OT is still undefeated.
Lines:
Karlsson-Daniels-Saponari
Reid-Vermeersch-Pimm
Manno-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Stone-Morra
D:
Bitetto-Manson
Eibler-Oskroba
Ellement-Daniels
Cornell
Thoughts
Robbie Vrolyk did not return to the lineup on Saturday after leaving Friday, but even that couldn’t get former fan favorite Rob Dongara back in the lineup.   Madigan went with 11 forwards and 7 D and it actually paid off.  Dan Cornell left the game in the first to get stitches, then Ben Oskroba was tossed for contact to the head.   Cornell eventually returned and the Huskies finished with 6 defenseman.
Once again, offense was an issue for the Huskies.   Since Ferriero and Qualier got hurt, the Huskies have scored just 11 goals in 6 games. Pathetic.  If Robbie Vrolyk is out for an extended period of time, the Huskies may not score another goal all season.   Pimm has been working hard since losing his linemates, but it just hasn’t been working for him.  Karlsson has been skating well, but just can’t find the net.   And where is the Vinny Saponari that scored goals for BU as a freshman?  Its not like he isn’t playing with quality guys.   Manno and Reid looked good though.  Unfortunately Manno couldn’t finish the way Reid did or else it might have been a different result.
Going into this weekend, everyone knew they needed 4.   They got 2 and UMass matched them.  So they have made it very difficult on themselves.   They do have 3 out of their last 4 games at home, but picking up points against Maine and BU is going to a very big ask.
Continue reading...

Huskies By the Numbers

February 16, 2012

1 Comment

With the season heading towards the finish, lets take a look at which players have improved (or regressed) statistically.

 

Braden Pimm, F, (So.), 26 GP, 9-10-19, +11 (2010: 6-3-9)

Pimm has already doubled his point total from freshman year and he has gone from a -3 to a +11.  With the entire first line graduating last year, there was a need for someone to step up and Pimm has answered that call.   Despite coming in with good junior numbers, Pimm was more of a grinder last year.  This year he has been getting top 6 minutes and has been one of the best players on the team.   He hasn’t been on the scoresheet much since his two linemates got hurt, but you can;t blame that on lack of effort.  He has been one of the few that has looked interest of late.

Steve Quailer, F (Jr.): 22 GP, 8-14-22, +11 (2010: 3-10-13, 2008: 10-15-25)

Quailer was on his way to surpassing the lofty highs he sat in his freshman season before an injury sidelined him in recent weeks.   But he is rumored to be returning this weekend and with 6 games left, he has a good chance of setting career highs in goals, assists, and points.   Husky fans were expecting big things from Quailer after the amazing freshman year he had.  But a knee injury ended his ’09 season before it started and it clearly slowed him down in ’10.   But this season has been a return to form for the Montreal prospect.  The question now is how effective can he be when he returns?  Especially without his linemate Cody Ferriero.  Either way, Quailer has already made a huge improvement on last season.

Garrett Vermeersch, F (Jr.): 28 GP 6-12-18, -7 (2010: 5-6-11, 2009: 5-18-23)

Vermeersch has been a revelation this year.  After a great freshman year, he was non-existent in his sophomore campaign.  As a freshman, he had the benefit of playing with Steve Silva and Wade MacLeod, but he suffered without them and found himself on the 4th line by the end of last year.   This year he has benefitted from playing with Ludwig Karlsson and Vinny Saponari, but you could also say those guys have beneffited from playing with him.   Vermeersch has been a playmaker this season and his stats show that.  The only downside is that “Mr. Minus” has lived up to his name, but his -7 would still be a career best.

Cody Ferriero, F (S0.): 17 GP, 9-6-15, +11 (2010: 4-3-7)

After a tumultuous beginning to his NU career, Ferriero had become an offensive force for the Huskies despite being in and out of the lineup due to two separate suspensions.    He doubled last year’s points total in just half the games, but now an ACL injury has ended his season early.  Unfortunately, he will probably miss part of next season as well.  As we saw with Quailer, it might take some time to get back to full speed, which is unfortunate because Ferriero was really beginning to fulfill his potential.

Drew Ellement, D (Jr.) : 28 GP, 2-6-8, +6   (2010: 0-4-4, 2009: 0-7-7)

Ellement has been good this year.  He scored his first career goal and he has already achieved a career high in points.  He also has a positive +/- for the first time in his career.  He is one of just 5 Huskies to appear in every game.

Anthony Bitetto, D (So.): 28 GP, 4-7-11, +5 (2010: 3-17-20)

Like Ellement, Bitetto’s offensive numbers are nothing to write home about.  He probably won’t match his point total from last season.  But Bitetto has limited his penalties minutes (66 last year, 24 this year) and he sits at +5 after being a -2 last season.  And he has done this while playing with a freshman defenseman as a partner.   He has played in every game since arriving on campus.

Luke Eibler, D, (So.):  27 GP, 1-5-6, +10 (2010: 3-10-13)

With the Huskies scoring less, their D-man have seen a drop in their assist totals.  One thing that hasn’t dropped is Eibler’s +10 rating.  After managing an impressive +12 last year, Eibler has continued to perform despite having his partnership with Bitetto split up.  And like Bitetto, Eibler has been charged with bringing along a freshman defenseman.  Now if he could just get those penalty minutes down a bit (52 last year, 46 this year)…

Robbie Vrolyk, F (Jr.): 24 GP, 5-3-8, -2 (2010: 1-1-2, 2009: 6-5-11)

In his previous 1.5 seasons, Vrolyk has been a lower line guy who gets some time on the PK.  He still is that guy, but he has begun to turn his speed into points this season.  He is on a nice hot streak now, but he has yet to do it over an extended stretch.  But if he can keep the streak going, he can set a career high in everything this season.

Mike McLaughlin, F (Sr.): 23 GP, 5-9-14, -1 (2010: 11-4-15, 2009: 1-4-5, 2008: 6-5-11)

McLaughlin, the lone senior on the team, has an interesting career.  He followed up a promising freshman season with a disappointing sophomore one.  Last year, he came out of nowhere to grab 11 goals.   This year he has fallen back to what his true fit probably is: a 3rd line guy who works hard and makes other people look good.   He has been an asset on the PK and on faceoffs, and his line has been playing really strong since Winter Break.  His stats may be down, but his contribution to the team is certainly not.

Justin Daniels, F (Jr.): 27 GP, 6-8-14, 0 (2010: 0-6-6, 2009: 8-7-15)

After not scoring a single goal last season, Daniels looked like a new man early on with 2 goals in the first game.   Its been all downhill from there.  Yes, he has improved statistically, but he has made a steady decline down the line chart and even found himself in the stands one game.   For some reason, he is still on the PP unit which has accounted for 5 of his points.  That will probably enable him to surpass his freshman year totals, but he has not produced like he was expected to.

Drew Daniels, D (Jr.): 28 GP, 0-5-5, -3 (2010: 3-6-9, 2009: 4-4-8)

After putting up scoring lines like a defenseman, the coaches decided to just make him one.  And that hasn’t really affected his scoring in anyway.  Like his twin brother, he has just not produced in any of his 3 seasons here.

Alex Tuckerman, F (Jr.): 27 GP, 3-6-9, +5 (2009: 5-7-12, 2008: 8-14-22)

Tuckerman had a great freshman season playing along side another talented freshman named Steve Quailer.   Tuck looked lost without him in 2009 as he underwent to the classic Sophomore Slump that was all but a given on Greg Cronin’s teams.  After missing all of last season with an injury, Tuckerman hasn’t recovered the form he had freshman year.   He has had his moments this year, but overall it hasn’t been a good season from him.

Rob Dongara, F (So.): 12 GP, 1-1-2, -2 (2010: 6-8-14)

The “DongHouse” remains and  now Dongara has a great view of it from the rafters.  After bringing some excitement last season, Dongara became a fan favorite and even earned himself a spot on Sportscenter’s Top 10 with his Beanpot goal.   This year has been terrible for him.  After a slow start, he found himself out of the lineup.  He has been given a few chances to get himself back in, but he has not taken advantage.  His shenanigans at the Beanpot will probably keep him out of the lineup for the rest of the season, barring like 4 forwards getting hurt.


Continue reading...

3 Stars of the Week: 1/30

January 30, 2012

0 Comments

1st Star

Cody Ferriero, F, 2 GP, 4-1-5, +3

Hard to argue with this one.  Hat trick on Friday night and an empty netter to seal it on Saturday.   The hat trick is the first for a Husky since Ryan Ginand pull on off against PC in 2009.  The goals were his first since December 2nd at Notre Dame and he now has 9 goals on the season which is tied for the team lead.  The Massachusetts native has much huge strides on the ice in his second collegiate season.  In 34 games last season, Ferriero had 7 points.  This season, he has 15 points in 17 games.   But he has now missed 7 games (30% of the season) because he cannot get his act together off the ice.    He is a very talented player and weekends like this show how much he means to this team.   Hopefully he can stay on the ice and keep this performance up.   It will be interesting to see how he fares without his linemate if Quailer does miss any time.

2nd Star

Mike McLaughlin, F, 2 GP, 1-3-4, +2

The Captain had a huge weekend.   On Friday night, he scored a rare Power Play goal for the Huskies.  On Saturday, he chipped in with assists on 3 out of the 4 goals.   Some people have questioned his leadership as he doesn’t appear to be a very vocal and in-your-face kind of guy.   But that’s ok, because he leads by example on the ice.   No one can question his commitment.   He is a great penalty killer, reliable on faceoffs (58% on the weekend) and he doesn’t take shifts off.   He is not a guy who lights up the stat sheet, but he is someone you want on your team because he does the dirty work.  This was probably his best weekend of the season.

3rd Star

Ludwig Karlsson, F, 2 GP, 1-2-3, +3

Karlsson continues to state his case for Best Freshman in the conference.  He just continues to put up points week in and week out.   Going into the season, I don’t think there was anybody who expected that a freshman would be tied for the team lead in goals and in points this late in the season.    The decommits hurt this recruiting class, that is obvious.  But Karlsson is turning out to be a real gem and he has made everyone forget about John Gaudreau.   Karlsson is just a great hockey player.   Karlsson already has 22 points and he may be able to match Jason Guerriero’s mark of 35 in his freshman year of 2001 if he keeps up his pace.   Playing on a line with Vinny Saponari has certainly helped him, but he also has shown the capability of making things happen all by himself.

Standings
1. L. Karlsson 9

2. C. Rawlings 8

2. B. Pimm 8

4. G. Vermeersch 7

4. C. Ferriero 7

6. S. Quailer 6

7. M. McLaughlin 5

8. V. Saponari 4

9. J. Manno 3

9. A. Bitetto 3

9. J. Daniels 3

12. D. Cornell 2

13. D. Ellement 1

13. A. Reid 1

Continue reading...

Final: Huskies 8, Vermont 3

January 28, 2012

0 Comments

Northeastern snapped their 4 game losing streak with a huge 8-3 win at Vermont last night.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Cody Ferriero picked up a natural hat trick for the Huskies.   The other goals came from Garrett Vermeersch, Mike McLaughlin, Adam Reid, Ludwig Karlsson and Steve Quailer all had goals for Northeastern.
  • Drew Ellement, Josh Manson, Anthony Bitetto, Steve Quailer (2), Justin Daniels, Braden Pimm (3), Ludwig Karlsson (2), Vinny Saponari (2), and Cody Ferriero all picked up assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 31 out of 34 shots.
  • Vermont outshot NU 34-30.
  • NU was 3-6 on the PP, but gave up a shorthanded goal.   Vermont was 1-6
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies traveled on Thursday morning and they reaped the benefits.
  • In a must win game, he team came out fresh and jumped out to an early 2 goal lead and controlled the game from there.
  • 3 power play goals for the this time is huge.   Giving up shorthanded goals  is becoming an issue for this team.  Luckily it didn’t hurt them last night.  Also, the shorthanded goal was scored by Kyle Mountain, who is the younger brother of NU’s backup goalie Bryan Mountain.
  • 12 out of 18 Huskies had points.  5 had multipoint games (Quailer 3, Pimm 3, Karlsson 3, Saponari 2, Ferriero 4)
  • It was a good night for NU as they got they win they needed and they were able to break out their offensive slump.     But if they can’t compete like this for the rest of the season, then it won’t matter much.
Lines:
Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari
Ferriero-Pimm-Quailer
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Reid-Daniels-Manno
D:
Bitetto-Cornell
Eibler-Manson
Ellement-Daniels

Continue reading...