As previously promised, here is some information about the incoming class of Husky freshmen to the team. I will preface this post by saying that SCSU definitely has one of the best incoming freshmen classes in the WCHA. Coach Bob Motzko said it best, "We are really excited about this group of freshmen". So without further ado, I introduce to you the freshmen class of 2010-2011:
Brandon Burrell most recently played in the NAHL with the Wenatchee Wild. In 2008-2009 his defensive capabilities helped him be named to the NAHL All-Rookie team. Last year he continued to be one of the top defensemen in the league scoring 4 goals and 24 assists for 28 points and ended the year a +9.
Nic Dowd was a seventh round draft pick for the Los Angeles Kings in the 2009 draft. He made history there by becoming the first NHL draft pick from Huntsville, AL. Dowd most recently played for the Indianapolis Ice in the USHL, but played the year before with the Wenatchee Wild alongside incoming recruit Brandon Burrell. While in Indianapolis, Dowd scored 48 points in 46 games and 6 points in 9 playoff games.
Kevin's father, Jim Gravel, played for the Huskies from 1977-1981. He was a fifth round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2010 NHL draft. Gravel is a "defensive first" style of defensemen. He most recently played for the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL. He still has some developing to do, but his size (6' 4"/ 190 lbs. ) should help play against other collegians. You can read an early blog post of mine about Kevin Gravel here.
Nick Jensen was a fifth round draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 NHL draft. Jensen led the USHL in +/- at +34 in the 2008-2009 season. During the 2009-2010 season he had another great season scoring 6 goals and 21 assists with a +36 rating while playing for the Green Bay Gamblers. Jensen went on to score 8 goals in 12 games during the post season with the Gamblers on their way to a Clark Cup Championship. Nick was also in the USHL All-Star game and was apart of the Gold medal winning USA team at the 2010 World Junior Challenge team. Nick Jensen will likely be one of the best first-year defensemen in the WCHA.
Bryce Johnson spent last season with the Topeka RoadRunners in the NAHL. While playing for the RoadRunners, Johnson became one of their offensive leaders scoring 19g. -35a. -54pts. He may also be a contender for special teams as he lead the team with 5 power play goals and 2 short handed goals. Interestingly, he was tied for 13th in points in the NAHL with fellow freshmen Cory Thorson.
Mitch MacMillian was originally slated to go to Northeastern University for the 2010-2011 season when some paperwork and scholarship issues prevented him from attending there. The Huskies were eager to pick him up as he is a very prolific scorer and as Coach Motzko said, "Numbers don't lie". MacMillian most recently played for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the BCHL. In the 2009-2010 season, Mitch led the BCHL in goals with 61 goals and also notched in 32 assists for a total of 93 points. Additionally, he had 33 power play goals and 13 game winning goals. As a result of his magnificent scoring abilities, he was named the 2009-2010 Coastal Conference MVP. Despite his scoring touch, Mitch is also able to get physical. He had over 200 PIM in the last two years, with 94 PIM last year alone. You can read an early blog post of mine about Mitch MacMillian here.
Cam Reid was a 4th round pick in the 2009 NHL draft for the Nashville Predators. Reid was originally headed to the University of New Hampshire when some transcript issues for some courses he had taken restricted him from attending there. However, he was more than happy to be recruited by the Huskies to come and play in St. Cloud. Cam Reid is a high scoring center who most recently played for the Westside Warriors in the BCHL where he scored 27 goals and 45 assists for 72 points as well as notching 8 more points in the playoffs. You can read an early blog post of mine about Cam Reid here.
Cory Thorson comes to St. Cloud as a proven scorer. He most recently played for the Owatonna Express in the NAHL. While there, he set the franchise record for all-time points and goals and was 13th in the NAHL in the 2009-2010 season in scoring.
Click here to see what head coach Bob Motzko said about the class and each individual player from the St. Cloud Times.
Click here to read the compilation of information that the Center-Ice-Club put together about the incoming freshmen class.