NHL Draft Redux: Oleksiak to Dallas; Recruits on the fence
Jamie Oleksiak was selected by the Dallas Stars 14th overall in Friday’s first round of Friday’s NHL Entry Draft and recruits John Gaudreau and Garrett Haar were selected respectively in the fourth round by Calgary and the seventh round by Washington – that much we do know. What is up in the air is whether all three will be in Boston this fall.
Oleksiak has made it clear in comments that he is contemplating his next move, much of it dependent on where Dallas is thinking of placing him – on the NHL roster, or in the minor leagues. “Right now, I haven’t committed to anything and there are some decisions coming up,” Oleksiak said in an interview.
Elsewhere, questions remain over whether John Gaudreau will honor his commitment and join the Huskies as a freshman in the fall. The Fargo Moorhead-Forum, which has covered Gaudreau’s junior team (Dubuque), reported that Gaudreau will de-commit and look at other schools.
College Hockey News is reporting that Gaudreau will meet with Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby to discuss the recruit’s national letter of intent.
Haar, meanwhile, said he will de-commit from Northeastern. His decision, like the one pending for Gaudreau, is motivated by the departure of Huskies head coach Greg Cronin, who left the program to become an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
This all comes as Northeastern has yet to hire a permanent head coach. Sebastien Laplante was named interim head coach after Cronin announced his resignation, but there has been no indication as of yet that a new hire is imminent. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dumont says that people in the college hockey world hope that Boston College’s Mike Cavanaugh gets a shot at the gig.
All of this comes at an urgent time for Northeastern. Uncertainty is the word of the moment, referring to not only the vacancy on the bench, but with whether recruits will return, and the longer that uncertainty continues, the easier it becomes for recruits and current players (such as Oleksiak) to look elsewhere to play this fall.
Word on the street is that a bevy of candidates are interested in the Huskies’ job, but the debate must not only be about who to hire in that applicant pool. The question to ask is whether or not to hire a coach with more experience (who may clean house with assistant coaches), or give a chance to a familiar face and an NU alum (Laplante), who already handles the majority of Northeastern’s recruiting.
We’ll find some answers over the course of the next week or two. The sooner, the better.