The Scouting News first reported on Wednesday that highly touted American forward, Colin Jacobs, has signed an Educational Agreement with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.
He signed on with the National Team Development Program over the summer for next season. Two of the top talents of the 93 class have gone the WHL route. Shane McColgan made it clear early on that he was going the WHL route. He's currently with the Los Angeles Junior Kings Under 18 AAA Team. He has 7 goals and 16 assists in 20 games. He can play in a few WHL games after his season is done with the Kelowna Rockets.
USA Hockey has signed Rocco Grimaldi, Vincent Trocheck, and Robbie Russo over the summer also.
Rocco Grimaldi and Vincent Trocheck are both with the Little Cesars U-18 program. Grimaldi has 23 points including 11 goals. Trocheck has 8 goals and 9 assists in 20 games.
Robbie Russo is the only one of the three to commit to a college. He's slated to join Notre Dame for the 2011 season. The defenseman has two goals and four assists in 16 games.
All three will be highly rated for the OHL Draft this upcoming spring. It wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Grimaldi and Trocheck head to the OHL. If that happens, the National Program will be pretty thin in terms of the high end talent available. It could be a backbreaker for USA Hockey if the have a second straight year with defects.
I have to give credit to McColgan and Jacobs for not making a college commitment and then bolting to the WHL. Hopefully we don't see that with the other three.
There's also a rumor that the Thunderbirds are still trying to add talent. They also selected Seth Ambroz who's currently with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL this past spring. He has made a commitment to the Unversity of Minnesota. He has two goals and four assists in 13 games. He wasn't offered a spot to the NTDP over the summer. Could he be using the USHL to get ready for the WHL? Some say McColgan should of went to the USHL this season to get ready for next year. This is just pure speculation on my part and something to think about.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)