NCAA (D-I): Michigan Adds Top Recruit, Lowell Commits a Goalie

In this week’s D-I commitment notebook, Michigan received a commitment from one of the top players in the country. UMass Lowell added a goalie along with Princeton. Other commitments included Northern Michigan, St. Thomas, Long Island, and Robert Morris.

’04 (F) Nicholas Moldenhauer (★★★★½) to Michigan for 2023

Moldenhauer was one of the top players in his age group available. He was drafted in the first round by the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL Prior Selection. In our Top 300 2004 National Rankings, we had Moldenhauer ranked No. 21.

Originally from Ontario, he has 18 points (10g, 8a) in 13 games for the Chicago Steel this season. Our NHL scouts have Moldenhauer rated as an A- prospect for next summer’s NHL Draft.

NZ Scouts (NHL Scouting Report): “A highly competitive player who processes the game very quickly and cleanly. Played at a point-per-game pace in the USHL this year. Can impact the game offensively from all three zones. Had 43 points in 41 games for the Chicago Steel while averaging under 17 minutes of ice time per game. 66% of his shots hit the net which was up from 57% last season.”

’03 (G) Karlis Mezsargs (★★★★) to UMass Lowell for 2023

A 6-foot-2 goalie originally from Latvia, Mezsargs is playing his first season in the U.S. this year for Tri City in the USHL. through 10 games he has a 3.81 GAA and .877 save percentage.

Last season Mezsargs played for HK Riga in the MHL (Russia’s top junior league). In 31 games he posted a 3.29 GAA and .903 save percentage.

NZ Scouts (USHL Two Game Report): “A little unorthodox at times. Making pad saves following his rebounds but leaving parts of his body behind. Besides this, he has a good structure to his game and doesn’t over-challenge or play too deep in his crease. Understands what makes him successful and finds himself in the right position often. Relies on his instincts as he isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to make the save.”

’03 (G) Conor Callaghan (★★★¾) to Princeton for 2023

Callaghan is a New Jersey native who played prep hockey for Avon Old Farms before starting his junior career. In eight games for Muskegon (USHL) this season he has a 3.13 GAA and .890 save percentage. Last season for Avon he appeared in 27 games and posted a 1.27 GAA and .948 save percentage.

In our Top 300 2003 National Rankings, Callaghan was ranked No. 10 in prep hockey and No. 169 overall in the age group.

NZ Scouts (Avon Christmas Classic): “He is a winner and played like that here. He had a quality team in front of him but still had to make several game-saving saves in the two last games. He was quick down low and caught pucks in front of his body. He made himself big in tight. He was better down low than up top and is one area he can improve. Overall, he was one of the most valuable players at the tourney. Without Conor, Avon does not play in the Championship.”

’02 (D) Garrett Valk (★★★¼) to Long Island for 2023

Valk is having a breakout year offensively for the Langley Rivermen in the BCHL. In 17 games he has 11 points (5g, 6a). Last season he split time between Trail and Langley and he finished with four points (1g, 3a) in 28 games.

Valk has good size (6-foot-3) and he was ranked No. 82 in the league in our 2002 League Rankings.

NZ Report (Two Game Report): “Has a shoot-first mentality in the offensive zone as he loves to rip pucks from the blue line. In addition to getting pucks to the net likes to float into the high slot area and one-time pucks toward the goal. Did a good job with the puck in the defensive zone as he was able to win 50/50 battles stick and pin and make good first passes.”

’05 (F) Connor Dick (★★★½) to Northern Michigan for 2024

Originally from Sherwood Park, Alb., Dick has 12 points (6g, 6a) in 17 games this season for the Blackfalds Bulldogs in the AJHL.

Dick made his AJHL debut last season, appearing in a pair of games. We had Dick ranked No. 169 in our 2020 WHL Draft Rankings.

’02 (F) Tanner Klimpke (★★★½) to Robert Morris for 2023

Klimpke has 12 goals in 22 games this season for the Olds Grizzlys in the AJHL. Klimpke came over to the AJHL last season after he spent two seasons in the SJHL.

In 51 total AJHL games he has 23 goals and 14 assists.

Originally from Calgary, Klimpke played for the Calgary Bisons and CBHA Blackhawks before juniors.

Mason Poolman (NR) to St. Thomas for 2023

Poolman is a forward from Minnesota who has six assists in 15 games for the Penticton Vees this season. Last season for the Vees Poolman had 11 points (1g, 10a) in 32 games. Poolman’s first season of junior hockey was in 2020, when he played 46 games for the Austin Bruins (NAHL) and had 10 points (4g, 6a).

Before juniors, Poolman played for East Grand Forks High in Minnesota. He had 22 points in 22 games his senior season.