Welcome back to the THN futures mailbag, where I answer all things prospect and draft related. I’m really getting a good crop of questions coming in, so keep that momentum going, folks (hit me up at @THNRyanKennedy with the hashtag #thnfutures). With the major junior season around the corner and the Traverse City prospects tournament also coming up, I may save some questions until the action begins, for accuracy’s sake. So hold tight if you don’t see your submission right away. Let’s get to it:
The NCAA has taken some bad p.r. beatings in recent years due to the fact the “student-athletes” under the organization’s care do not get paid, even with lucrative events such as football’s bowl season and the March Madness basketball tournament on the schedule.
Now, a “cost of attendance” stipend is (slightly) changing the game. And the hockey world is easing in to the issue.
There aren’t many 15-year-olds who are spending their summer picking out their future university, but, then again, there aren’t many 15-year-olds with the absurd amount of talent Oliver Wahlstrom possesses.
Wahlstrom announced Thursday via his Twitter account that he has committed to playing with the Harvard Crimson to begin his NCAA career. He won’t be able to join the club until the 2018-19 season so it’s still some time before we’ll know if the commitment sticks, which is always a concern when young prospects make an early commitment to an NCAA program.
Wahlstrom made headlines in January 2014 when, as a 13-year-old, he became the youngest player to ever commit to an NCAA program when he committed to Maine. That commitment lasted less than 18 months, however, as Wahlstrom, a Maine native, de-committed from the school in July. Read more
After a week off for vacation, the mailbag returns in full force. The volume of questions is beginning to get fatter and that’s awesome, so keep them coming by hitting me up on Twitter with the hashtag #thnfutures. If your question isn’t answered this week, check back next time. Let’s get to it!
The University of North Dakota has dropped the Fighting Sioux nickname, but fans of the school’s team haven’t been as quick to adopt the practice which could result in sanctions against the school.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, the NCAA has told the school that were a competing team to issue a complaint about fans continuing the use of ‘Fighting Sioux’ or ‘Sioux’ in chants — such as the anthem ending, “and the home of the Sioux!” — the NCAA could potentially sanction the athletic teams.
“Schools can be held accountable for their fans’ actions/behavior at school events,” said Gail Dent, the NCAA’s associate director of public and media relations, in an email to the Herald. “Schools have also found ways to proactively deliver public address announcements and other forms of written and verbal messaging to their fan/alumni/student base to deter various types of behavior.” Read more
It’s not all that rare to hear of an NHLer who has followed in his father’s footsteps, but 16-year-old goaltender Dylan St-Cyr is trying to follow in the footsteps of someone else: his mother, Manon Rheaume, who was the first woman to play in an NHL pre-season game.
To get there, St-Cyr is going to be going the college route.
It was announced Thursday that St-Cyr, who spent this past season with the Detroit Honeybaked program, has committed to play with the Michigan Wolverines for the 2018-19 campaign. Born in Las Vegas but having spent his past three seasons tending goal with Honeybaked, it’s not all that far from home for the 16-year-old netminder. Read more
The Columbus Blue Jackets made Zach Werenski the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, but the 18-year-old defenseman won’t be suiting up in Ohio quite yet.
Instead of playing for the Blue Jackets in 2015-16, Werenski will instead return to the NCAA, where he plays for the University of Michigan. This past season, on a Michigan team that finished third in the Big Ten, Werenski was a standout, scoring nine goals and 25 points in 35 games.
There were rumors that Werenski could be heading to the OHL, where the London Knights owned his rights after selecting him in the second round of the 2013 draft. But Werenski confirmed to NHL.com that he would be returning for his sophomore season with the Wolverines. Read more
I have no doubt that when the person or group that came up with the Shawinigan Cataractes’ new marketing campaign saw their finished product, they were proud. The images involve three players, including new captain and New York Islanders first-rounder Anthony Beauvillier, in eye-grabbing, passion-stirring dress. But there’s a pretty big issue with how those passions have been stirred: