NCAA Commits: Penn State Lands 4.5-star Colby Saganiuk

Colby Saganiuk is from Illinois, but he played midget and bantam hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. He’ll play closer to his new home in college after committing to Penn State earlier this week.

Saganiuk is a 4.5-star forward, a 2003 birth-year, who made his debut for the U.S. National Under-17 team this season. Through 10 games with the NTDP, Saganiuk has three points (1 goal, 2 assists).

Last season Saganiuk appeared in 37 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U16 team, scoring 10 goals and adding 29 assists; he’s projected to join the Nittany Lions in 2021.

“He’s explosive, creative and can operate offensively at full speed using all of his tools from his quick hands to powerful release to vision to precision passing ability,” our scouts said.

Saganiuk is also a second-round pick of the Erie Otters in the OHL.

Saganiuk isn’t the only NTDP player to commit this week. Harvard landed 4.5-star forward Matthew Beniers who is currently playing for the NTDP’s U18 team. According to NZ sources, Beniers was down to Boston College and Harvard before ultimately picking the Crimson.

A Boston native, Beniers played at Milton Academy before moving to the NTDP U17 team last season.

“Beniers is a special prospect who had a very strong start to the camp,” our scouts said at NTDP camp. “He’s a gifted skater who is both fluid, fast, balanced and agile. He can make opponents miss with his feet alone and is typically the first forechecker to the puck and the first guy back on the backcheck. His puck carrying ability is impressive, especially his ability to make quick puck moves at full speed in open ice.”

Merrimack received a commitment from 3.5 star forward Chris Carroll, who has had an impressive start of the year; his stock started to explode after the ECC Labor Day Cup last month.

“The left-shot forward was one of the best skaters we saw in the tournament,” our scouts said following the tournament. “He does everything in top gear. He can generate a lot of speed with his powerful strides, thanks to his solid frame  Carroll is strong on his skates and causes defenders trouble when they try to gap him up. He is agile on his feet and can pull off shifty moves. Carroll also does a good job in 50/50 puck battles: usually coming out on top.”

RPI landed 3.75-star forward Finn Brown. Brown is a 6-foot-4 player who was born in 2002. A Toronto native, he has started this season with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games for the St. Michael’s Buzzers. Last season Brown had 19 goals and 24 assists in 54 games for the Buzzers. Brown came up through the East Coast Selects and Toronto Marlboros organizations and he’s slated to join RPI in 2021.

RPI’s ECAC foe, St. Lawrence, was able to add 3.5-star forward Lucas Erickson out of Fairbanks in the NAHL. Erickson had 12 points in 40 games last season for Fairbanks and he’s off to a strong start this season, scoring four points in eight games; he’s slated for St. Lawrence next season.

In the WCHA, Northern Michigan added forward Reilly Funk for 2020. Funk moved to the USHL this season from the MJHL and he’s started hot with eight points in five games for the Youngstown Phantoms. Funk played for the Portage Terriers last season where he had 18 goals and 35 assists in 51 games and he was invited to join Canada West at the World Jr. A Challenge.

“He plays with a physical edge and distributes the puck well amongst his teammates,” our scouts said after a game last season. “The ’00 displayed a quick release and was very strong in the faceoff dot. … People around the league are taking note of Reilly.”

The Wildcats also added forward Joe Larson, who is currently in his first season with the Chilliwack Chiefs in the BCHL. Thus far in his rookie season, Larson has 13 points in 11 games.

St. Cloud State added 3.75-star forward Grant Ahcan, who currently plays for Burnsville High School in Minnesota. Ahcan had 37 points in 25 games for Burnsville last season.