NCAA: UNH Lands Top BCHL Rookie, Skidmore Picks Up Goalie

The UNH Wildcats added a forward with promising offensive numbers for 2021 in John Evans, a British Columbia native.

The ’02 has been one of the best rookies in the BCHL this season, scoring 22 goals and adding 28 assists in 57 games for West Kelowna. He’s the fourth-leading rookie scorer in the league and the top-scoring 2002-born rookie in the league. A native of Surrey, Evans came up through the Delta Hockey Academy before joining the Warriors.

“I feel like when I head into UNH I will have an opportunity to play right away and contribute,” Evans said. “I also feel the conference UNH plays in best suits my style of play.”

Over his last two seasons with Delta, Evans scored 43 goals and 102 assists for 145 points in just 71 games.

Evans will join his West Kelowna teammate, Nicolas Ardanaz, at UNH in 2021.

’00 G Tate Brandon to Skidmore for 2020

Brandon is a significant addition for Skidmore. This season, Brandon has been one of the top goalies in the NCDC with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, where he has posted a .942 save percentage in 30 games.

Brandon, an Irvington, N.Y. native, came up from the North Jersey Avalanche and has been in the NCDC for the last two seasons.

“He has quick feet and is tough to beat down low,” said our scouts. “He’s aggressive but doesn’t get out of position and he can get out of his net and play the puck. He was quick and calm under duress and tough to beat down low.

’99 F Everett Wardle to Skidmore for 2020

Brandon wasn’t the only Jr. Ranger who committed to Skidmore, as Wardle also announced that he would be heading to the New York campus.

The Hewlett, N.Y. native had 17 goals and 33 assists in 50 games for the Jr. Rangers this season.

“He stood out by using his speed and changed direction really effectively,” scouts said. “He was able to wheel around the neutral zone and created havoc for defenders by moving his feet to get the puck.”

’99 F Nicolas Garneau to Castleton for 2020

Garneau is a Quebec native who has had a breakout season for the Northern Cyclones in the USPHL Premiere this season. In 41 games, he has 17 goals and 22 assists.

Prior to his junior career he spent time at the Kents Hill School and also played a bit for the Twin City Thunder, Maine Moose and Brockville Braves (CCHL).

’99 F Liam Murphy to Chatham for 2020

Murphy is a native of New York who our scouts really liked at the NA3HL Top Prospects game this season. In 46 games for the Elmira Jr. Soaring Eagles, Murphy has 21 goals and 25 assists and he had 30 points in 45 games for the same team last season.

“His size will cause matchup issues for opponents at the D-III level,” our scouts said of the 6-foot-3 Murphy. “His fitness is good as he scored a nice goal after a long shift. He is a high compete player who has decent speed, makes quick passes in the neutral zone, has great reach and can snap hard shot on goal. Takes the right man on the backcheck and defensemen can hear him and sense him coming on the forcheck as he is like a freight train. His skating is not perfect but he generates speed and is a force off the edge on the rush.”

’00 D J.J. Berdal to Albertus Magnus for 2020

The 5-foot-9 Wisconsin native has a lot of junior hockey experience and spent last season with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in the NCDC, where he scored eight goals and added 12 assists.

Prior to joining the Monarchs, Berdal spent time with the Heart Lumberjacks (NOJHL) and had a few games with the Kenai River Brown Bears in the NAHL. Berdal was also a four-year varsity player for D.C. Everest High in Wisconsin, where he also played for Team Wisconsin and was a member of the Wisconsin Senior team at the CCM NIT.

’99 F Nick Spolec to St. Olaf for 2020

Spolec is a 5-foot-11 forward from Kansas City, Missouri. He put up big numbers in high school and has spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Blue Ox in the USPHL Premiere. This season he has 19 goals and 32 assists in just 32 games and added seven points in five playoff games.

’99 D Demitris Christou to Franklin Pierce for 2020

Christous has good size (6-feet) and played for the Boston Jr. Rangers in the EHL this season. Before this season he spent two years with the Oswego Stampede in the NA3HL and the New York native played his high school hockey for Skaneateles High.

’00 F Max Pineo to Stonehill for 2020

Pineo played four years of high-school hockey at Austin Prep and this season is at the Tilton School, where he scored nine goals and added 11 assists in 26 games.

At Austin Prep, Pineo scored 17 goals and 12 assists in 23 games as a senior.

“The 5’8 forward gives a solid effort on every shift,” scouts said. “He is a very consistent player in all three zones when you watch him over long stretches. He has very quick feet and gains a lot of speed. He buzzes all around the ice; but mainly he likes to take away the opposition’s breath on the forecheck. He is a pain to play against and is not afraid to finish his checks.”

’99 F Josh Bifolchi to SUNY-Potsdam for 2020

Bifolchi has monster size at 6-foot-5. The Nepean, Ont. native has 12 goals and 17 assists for the Mississauga Chargers in the OJHL this season and he has extensive experience in the NOJHL and the CCHL2.

“This player has a great read on where the play is developing and where to go,” our scouts said. “He can finish and has an upside to be a playmaker also. He has a big presence on the ice.”

’99 D Michael Keating to SUNY-Morrisville for 2020

Keating joined his Mississauga teammate in committing to a SUNY school. The 5-foot-11 defenseman had one goal and 12 assists this season for the Chargers in 40 games.

“Keating is a reliable, athletic, mobile defenseman who is tough to get around both against the rush or down low below the dots,” said NZ scouts. “He’s just strong enough to knock opponents off pucks and he moves well enough to maintain tight gaps and edge opponents away from scoring areas.”

’99 D Noah Holm to SUNY-Morrisville for 2020

Morrisville also added Holm to the blue line for next season. Like Keating, he’s out of the OJHL where he played for the North York Rangers this season and scored six goals and tacked on eight assists in 52 games.

Prior to the OJHL, Holm played in the MJAHL, and the GTHL.

’99 G Garrett Boyonoski to SUNY-Morrisville for 2020

Morrisville also added a goalie in Boyonski, a Sault St. Marie, Ont. native who has good size at 6-foot-3.

Boyonoski has an .899 save percentage and a 3.34 GAA for the Milton Menace in the OJHL this season. Prior to the OJHL he spent two seasons in the NOJHL with the Blind River Beavers and played AAA hockey for the Soo Greyhounds.

’99 D Thomas Hernandez to Wentworth for 2020

Hernandez is in his third OJHL season with a season in the NOJHL year sandwiched in there as well. The Markham, Ont. native has eight goals and 18 assists for the Georgetown Raiders this season.

“In his end he moves with quickness and agility to defend corners and net,” our scouts noted. “Uses his body to separate offensive players every time he can. He is quick to jump loose pucks, and can carry up ice if needed.  Defending attacks he is very diligent at protecting the blueline and plays a tight aggressive gap against the attack.”