Before Thanksgiving, THG featured the commitments of TJ Polglaze, Trevor Kukkonen and Kyle Kukkonen. In that story, we discussed some comments from Joe Shawhan about what it takes to be a top flight scoring threat in college hockey. We also went through the three leagues he called out and created a list of potential targets that met the criteria laid out by Shawhan. Less than a week later, one of those potential targets committed to Michigan Tech. His name is Alec Broetzman and he currently plays forward for Madison in the USHL. Broetzman did make our list but was not specifically called out. Despite that, his comitment makes a ton of sense after information emerged that he played with TJ Polglaze on Team Wisconsin, he went to high school with current freshman Seamus Donohue and new arrival Keegan Ford played with Broetzman in Madison last year after taking the year off from Michigan Tech.
As we stated last time, connections matter and Broetzman has plenty, including on the coaching side. Blake Heitala joined the staff of the Madison Capitols this September and played for the Huskies from 2010 to 2015, including Shawhan’s first year as an assistant for MTU. We caught up with Blake and he nothing but good things to say when asked about Broetzman:
The 6’1″ forward has another quality Shawhan seems to look for in a recruit: he’s the captain for Madison. Broetzman is the eighth recruit that served as a captain or alternate this season or last. If our research is correct, that list includes every player that has committed to MTU since Shawhan took over (excluding Packy Munson).
The Hudson, Wis. native is top 20 in scoring in the USHL including 7 goals and 9 assists through 15 games and was one of the best uncommitted forwards in the league from a scoring point of view, but as he’s more than that. He’s also a leader and one of the biggest assets is his ability to play in all situations. The Huskies should be able to insert him in to various facets of special teams as needed and he’ll work his tail off to earn those minutes from everything we heard including from Neutral Zone:
Before we get to that table, we’ll add one more note about THG scouting. Tim Braun took a short trek to Plymouth, Minnesota to attend the Turkey Trot and watch Maple Grove face Wayzata. Trevor Kukkonen is a Junior and Alternate Captain for Maple Grove. He scored a the second goal of the game to give Maple Grove a 2-0 lead about half way through the first period. Maple Grove would go on to tie Wayzata 3-3 despite getting outshot 37-8. Because it was a tournament, a winner needed to be determined, so they played overtime and eventually went to a shootout. Maple Grove won 2-1 with Kukkonen being the first shooter up and putting the Crimson on top with this beauty:
As a final note, we’ve updated the recruiting grid to reflect Broetzman’s addition and he’s projected to join the Huskies in Fall 2018. We aren’t sure but it appears that MTU is not done with 2018-19 just yet. Below is a table of all current recruits and how they’re doing so far this season for their current teams. Not included are Kyle Kukkonen (because his team doesn’t report statistics) and Blake Pietila (G, Cedar Rapids-USHL, 6 games, 3.95 GAA, .871 SV%).
|Carver Watson||D||Green Bay||USHL||16||3||1||4|
|Colin Swoyer||D||Sioux Falls||USHL||18||1||12||13|
|Marcus Mitchell||F||Salmon Arm||BCHL||19||8||4||12|
|Tommy Parrottino||F||Des Moines||USHL||17||4||5||9|
|Brian Halonen||F||Des Moines||USHL||16||4||5||9|
|Levi Stauber||F||Duluth Marshall||MN HS||2||2||5||7|
|Gabe Temple||F||Wilkes-Barre Scranton||NAHL||25||1||4||5|
|Evan Orr||D||Little Caesars||T1EHL||7||1||4||5|
|Trevor Kukkonen||F||Maple Grove||MN HS||2||1||2||3|
Featured image courtesy of Nuoffermedia.com