NCAA: Graziano flips commitment to Notre Dame

2000 (G) Josh Graziano commits to Notre Dame for 2021

Graziano was originally committed to Union and played four games for the Dutchmen last season before returning to junior hockey. In 20 games this season for the Johnstown Tomahawks and New Mexico Ice Wolves, he posted a 2.19 GAA and .930 save percentage.

Graziano is from Buffalo, N.Y.

2000 (G) Jakob Hellsten commits to North Dakota for 2021

Given he’s from Sweden, there isn’t much information out there on Hellsten. He appeared in 24 games this season for Halmstad Hammers in the HockeyEttan league where he posted a 2.62 GAA and .908 save percentage. Last year for Leksands IF in the J20 SuperElite league, Hellsten posted a 1.93 GAA and .919 save percentage in 31 games.

In 2019-20 Hellsten had the best goals-against average and save percentage in the J20 league. He helped Sweden win bronze at the 2019 Hlinka Memorial Cup.

2001 (F) Simon Tassy commits to Minnesota State for 2022

Although the games have been limited this season, Tassy has exploded offensively for Salmon Arm in the BCHL this season, potting 15 goals in 17 games and he has 24 overall points.

Tassy is a Montreal native who is currently playing his second season in the BCHL after he played one season at Newbridge Academy.

“I chose Mankato because I know how well they develop players and that was a really important part for me,” Tassy said. “I also had a great connection with the entire coaching staff. I talked to coach [Darren] Blue at the beginning of the year and coach [Todd] Knott and coach [Mike] Hastings. I had a really good connection with them. Also the winning culture there. They had a pretty incredible year this year and even the past years, they’ve been really good. That was important for me.”

NZ Scouts: “Bigger framed forward who can possess the puck at will. His size allows him time and space and his IQ allows him to make plays. He is very deceptive walking in and faking shots dropping them back for his defenseman.”

2002 (F) Jake Schneider commits to Colgate for 2022

Most Minnesota high-schoolers are looking to commit in-state, but Colgate was able ot make a bold move here in committing Wayzata High forward Jake Schneider.

In 21 games this season, Schneider had 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists).

According to EP, Schneider is committed for 2022 so he’ll likely play a year of junior hockey next season before heading to Colgate.

NZ Scouts: “Jake is a strong, powerful smooth-skating forward. He was a threat every shift and was the best overall player on the ice in the semi-final game. He is aggressive on the forecheck, finishes check to separate a player from the puck. He can make inside-outside cuts at full speed with a quick set of hands and drive to the net. Had several scoring chances off 7 shots on the net. He makes great passes and draws players to him to open his teammates. Makes hard crisp passes like a pro, tape to tape. Back checks just as hard as he forechecks, he bears down on loose pucks to win possession and was a force in all three zones.”

2000 (G) Easton Hesse commits to Lake Superior State for 2021

Hesse is an Alberta native who has been in the AJHL since 2018. Hesse has been with the Bonnyville Pontiacs since the 2018-19 season and this past season he posted a 2.11 GAA and .931 save percentage in 10 games (limited due to COVID).

Last season as the primary starter for Bonnyville, he appeared in 50 games and posted a 2.99 GAA and .913 save percentage as well as a 2.32 GAA and .932 save percentage in the 2020 playoffs.

Hesse was named the AMBHL Top Goaltender in 2014 and he was the AMHL Playoff MVP in 2017.

NZ Scouts: “Easton played both games in the weekend doubleheader, and he was stellar in both, picking up the shutout in the latter of the two games. While he only faced 15 shots through two periods of play, part of this was due to his ability to control his rebounds and manage his crease well. In the third period is where Easton put on a show, turning aside 13 saves, many of the point-blank variety to preserve the shutout.”