July Commitments: 4 Star Team USA Goaltender and Lebanon Valley College battle for headlines

One might have thought July would be a slow month for Commits but this July was not the case. While many D3 programs are adding to their roster at this time, a few D1 programs are adding in for the future and committing players for the ‘24 and ‘25 seasons. Four star Layla Hemp headlines the future commits with University of Minnesota and Lebanon Valley College lights up the board with four signings. An active July for the now and for the future. 

Layla HempG (★★★★) – Commits to University of Minnesota ‘25

Hemp has a few more seasons with her Minnetonka High School team before she heads down the road to the University of Minnesota for the 2025 season. But before the tall and athletic netminder pulls on that Golden Gophers jersey, she will once again don the Red, White, and Blue of Team USA on the U18 squad. While she is undoubtedly a 4 star now, her ceiling is high and has the potential to be a 5 star before she begins her college career.  

NZ Scouts say: “Hemp is a very mobile and quick goalie. She stays at the top of her crease, sees through traffic, and reacts very smoothly to shots from everywhere. She beats passes with a strong, sharp, push. She was stellar as soon as put in vs Shattuck in the semi-finals.”

Ella LuciaF (★★★1/2) – Commits to Harvard University ‘23

The tall Little Caesars forward will bring a lot of fire power to the Harvard squad next season. She put up 124 points in 66 games last season in Detroit. The right handed ‘06 will no doubt bring some offensive flair to the ECAC when she pulls on the Crimson Red jersey. 

NZ Scouts say: “She has size and strength. Pair that with some good wheels, she was a force for her opponents to attempt to contain. She did an excellent job of creating offense, played at a high pace, and shoots with power while on the move.”

Belle MeleF (★★★1/2) – Commits to Bowdoin College ‘23

Mele comes from the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers program that always produces strong and hard working players. The 3.5 star is taking her talents north, way north up to Maine where she will join the Polar Bears squad in the NESCAC. She will no doubt bring that Philadelphia heart and soul work ethic to the Bowdoin team where she can easily start contributing on the ice in her first year. 

NZ Scouts say: “Mele plays with speed driving the net and putting passes on the mark. Aggressive pursuit on the forecheck to flush out the puck carrier and force errors. She does a good job in open ice battles to bump the opponent off the puck. Defensively, she rushes to the point to block shots.”

Beatrice Perron-RoyF (★★★1/4) – Commits to Cornell University ‘24

Perron-Roy has had four solid years for Stanstead College and put up career high numbers last season with 56 points in 48 games. The Quebec native will look to continue that scoring touch next season with the Big Red. Her battle level and high faceoff winning percentage will translate well to the NCAA game and no doubt has the potential to contribute at Cornell in year one. 

NZ Scouts say: “Perron-Roy is an asset in the faceoff circle, winning battles and drawing the puck back with ease. She uses her speed effectively in all three zones. Perron-Roy is a feisty player who isn’t afraid to battle in the corners, earn net-front presence, and disrupt the D on the forecheck. She also shows great vision and control when handling the puck, making crisp passes to lead her linemates on the rush.”

Vanessa Schaefer – F (★★★) – Commits to the University of British Columbia ‘24

The 5’4’’ left handed forward tallied 25 points in 30 games for the Delta Hockey Academy last season. Schaefer, a dual citizen of Canada and Switzerland has another season to hone her skills before joining the Thunderbirds in Vancouver. So, she will take full advantage of her dual citizenship for the 23/24 season as she will skate for the ZSC Lions Frauen in the Switzerland Women’s Hockey League (SWHL). 

NZ Scouts say: “Shaefer uses her speed effectively to battle hard in all three zones, engaging in challenges along the neutral zone boards, forcing errors on the forecheck, and attacking at the defensive blueline to cause turnovers that lead to zone entries. On net drives, she gets pucks on net to set up scoring opportunities.”

Ava Waugaman (D)Commits to Lebanon Valley College ‘23

Waugaman had much success in her time with Team Colorado. But next season she will look to continue that success in Pennsylvania with the Flying Dutchmen. Her new team will certainly need her on the back end as Lebanon Valley had their best record in team history last season, finishing just under .500. Waugaman could certainly help solidify the defensive core and help the Dutchmen improve their record again. 

NZ Scouts say: “She is a reliable defender and able to drop in as needed on offense.”

Kismet Dogan – (F)Commits to Saint Anselm College ‘24

Ava Cruikshank (G)Commits to Brock University ‘23

Norah McCauliffe (D)Commits to Lebanon Valley College ‘23

Rayna Franklin (F)Commits to Brock University ‘23

Trinity Kehoe (D) – Lebanon Valley College ‘23

Jorja Fisher (D) – Lebanon Valley College ‘23

Lydia Walsh (D) – Elmira College ‘23