Prospect Ramblings: College Hockey Recruitment

Josh Tessler



This past season, the University of Wisconsin Badgers built a dominant roster. Badgers Head Coach Tony Granato and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez did an outstanding job recruiting. The Badgers managed to bring Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings prospect), Owen Lindmark (Florida Panthers prospect), Dylan Holloway (2020 NHL Draft Eligible prospect) and Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens prospect) to Madison, Wisconsin. Alongside those four new recruits, the Badgers had K’Andre Miller (New York Rangers prospect), Ty Emberson (Arizona Coyotes prospect) and Linus Weissbach (Buffalo Sabres prospect). While the Badgers comprised an outstanding roster, they failed to post an impressive record. 


In the Hockey East conference, the Boston College Eagles also did an impeccable job when it came to recruiting. Eagles Head Coach Jerry York and Athletic Director Martin Jarmond went above and beyond. They managed to recruit Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers prospect), Drew Helleson (Colorado Avalanche prospect), Marshall Warren (Minnesota Wild prospect) and Alex Newhook (Colorado Avalanche prospect). With those additions and several drafted prospects on the squad, the Eagles were the best team in Hockey East this season. If the United States bypassed the coronavirus outbreak, the Boston College Eagles were seen as one of the teams that were capable of making a long run in the playoffs. 


With the 2020 NHL Draft coming up, we will be seeing quite a bunch of talent joining the college ranks. The NCAA head coaches and athletic directors have been quite active in poaching talent and creating all-star lineups. Let’s look at the two college hockey clubs, who loaded up with talent for the 2020-2021 season. 


The University of Michigan Wolverines are coming off a strong season and they are only getting stronger. The Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson joined the program in 2017 and has already found success as he brought the program to the Frozen Four in 2018. Yet, the Wolverines will not stop the fight to be the best program in the Big 10. Before last season, Pearson brought Cameron York (Philadelphia Flyers prospect) and John Beecher (Boston Bruins prospect) to Ann Arbor, Michigan. If you thought Pearson was not aiming high after securing two former USNTDP players, you were wrong. 


In preparation for next season, Pearson has recruited Erik Portillo (Buffalo Sabres prospect). Portillo had an outstanding season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The Swedish goaltender was named Goalie of the Week in the USHL multiple times and owned an impressive goals against average of 2.11 in 27 appearances.