TORONTO, ONT. -- If you're a fan of Ohio State hockey, last night was a good night for you. In a matter of minutes, the Buckeyes secured verbal commitments from a pair of Belle Tire 16U teammates; LD Marcus Gretz, and LW Alex Trombley.
The B1G - which continues to be the most hilarious/awesome conference acronym in college sports - also was active on Tuesday, as Penn State continued their recruiting foray by picking up a verbal commitment from Mercer Chiefs 16U forward Tyler Paquette.
With 19 '01-born players off the board from the OHL Draft area alone, it's clear that the conference's six hockey participating schools are wasting little time in putting together their 2019 or 2020 incoming classes ahead of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. While a lot can - and probably will - happen before any of these players set foot on an NCAA campus, if at all, the recruiting picture continues to get more clarity as more and more names fall off the board, at this stage, anyways.
So what is the conference getting with this trio?
With Paquette, we can't tell you a whole lot as he was unfortunately injured during our viewings of Mercer at the Toronto Marlboros tournament a year ago. In our brief glimpse at the US Select 15 camp, which we don't put a whole lot of stock into, Paquette showed off some above average tools to match an enticing 6-foot-2 frame that will project well moving forward. Mercer is on our map for at least two separate tournaments this season, and Paquette will be a player we'll clearly be taking a close look at.
When it comes to Marcus Gretz and Alex Trombley, Brutus Buckeye will likely be happy with the new additions to campus down the road. Gretz is a bonafide top-40 calibre player at this point, and while we'd like to see the hockey IQ and raw tools develop a bit more, there's some definite pro upside in his game. Trombley, who spent last season playing for the Compuware '01 team, is a rough and tumble power forward who plays a very effective north/south game. There's some untapped offensive potential there which will really be the x-factor in his game as he continues to develop.
As the USHL would say, #WhosNext? Well, there's a school in Ann Arbor that's been pretty quiet on the '01 recruiting front at this point, which probably won't stay that way for long. If the past few weeks have been any indication, it could only be a matter of days (or hours) before another name falls off the board.