Five players have signed national letters of intent in the spring signing period to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha and play hockey for the Mavericks.
Three of the new recruits will enroll at UNO and compete in 2008-09, while two others are committed for the 2009-10 season and will continue to play junior hockey next winter. Those five join a list of seven others who have previously signed with the Mavericks.
The three 2008-09 recruits include a goaltender, left wing, and a center.
Goalie John Faulkner was third in the Western Ontario Hockey League with a 3.03 goals against average and a .921 save percentage for the Sarnia Blast. The six-foot, 205-pound native of Sarnia had a 19-19 record, recorded one shutout and led the league in saves and save percentage and was the league’s most valuable player.
Left wing Brent Gwidt (pronounced like “Quit”), 6-3, 190, from Minocqua, Wis., had 8 goals and 14 assists and was a plus-15 for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals of the NHL in 2006.
Ryan Kretzer, a 5-8, 175-pound center from St. Louis, Mo., was the Lincoln Stars’ second-leading scorer with 22 goals and 36 assists. He also added 5 goals in 8 playoff games.
The two recruits signed for the 2009-10 season include a pair of forwards, including a native Omahan.
Nick Oddo (pronounced Oh-doe), a 6-0, 180-pound center/wing from Omaha, scored 14 goals and had 9 assists and was a plus-9 in his first season of junior hockey at Cedar Rapids in the USHL. He was named the team’s unsung hero and won the RoughRiders Fan Choice Award. Oddo attended Millard North High School in Omaha.
David Morley, a 5-8-, 170-pound wing from Richmond Hill, Ont., scored 12 goals and handed out 23 assists in 41 games and was named the rookie of the year for the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League. The Tigers won the North Division under head coach Jerome Dupont, who is the father of Maverick goalie Jeremie Dupont.
Five previously-signed players, who all played prominent roles will join the Mavericks next fall.
John Kemp, a 5-8, 180-pound wing for the Indiana Ice, earned second-team USHL All-Star honors as the league’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 59 assists for 72 points. The Arcadia, Calif., native produced 8 goals and 27 assists on the power play.
Teammate Jake Skjodt (pronounced “Scott”), a 5-10, 195-pound center from Carmel, Ind., was the fourth-leading scorer for the Ice with 22 goals, 24 assists, and second on the team with 12 power play goals.
Alex Hudson was the second-leading scorer for Tri-City, scoring 23 goals and added 21 assists. The 6-0, 195-pounder from Corona, Calif., led the team in goals and power play goals with 8, as well as game-winning goals with 5.
Defenseman Kyle Ensign, 6-0, 180, from New Richmond, Wis., split time between Tri-City and Green Bay, finishing with 2 goals and 9 assists in 54 games, with the final 34 with the Gamblers.
Jordan Willert, a 6-3, 210-pound center from Minot, N.D., had 19 goals and added 9 assists for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL before his season ended after 45 games because of an injury.
Two other previously signed players will not enroll at UNO until 2009-10.
Joe Frazier, a 5-8, 180-pound forward, played last year for his Brainerd, Minn., High School team. He earned first-team all-conference honors in both 2007 and 2008. Frazier will play for the Omaha Lancers in 2008-09.
Nick Hopper, a six-foot, 170-pound goaltender from Culver City, Calif., posted a 3.54 goals against average and an .881 save percentage for the Tri-City Storm and had a 9-11 record in 22 games.