RPI’s offense averaged an anemic 1.88 goals per game last season, third worst in ECAC Hockey. The Engineers were shut out eight times, and no one scored in double digits.
Engineers coach Seth Appert hopes to change that this season. Five forwards make up the eight-player 2015-16 recruiting class that was announced Tuesday.
Here is a breakdown of the recruits.
The big scorers on this list are Brady Wiffen, Jesper Ohrvall and Evan Tironese.
Wiffen, a left winger, collected 53 goals and 39 assists in 52 regular-season games, and 13 goals and nine assists in 16 playoff contests for the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Trenton Golden Hawks.
“Brady’s season was outstanding,” Appert. “I don’t care where you’re playing, to score that amount of goals was pretty special. We were very excited when we committed him. Even as much as we liked him, I don’t think we anticipated him scoring darn near 70 goals.”
Ohrvall and Tironese were plagued by injuries. Ohrvall, a right winger, had 26 goals and 16 assists in 32 games for the North American Hockey League’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Tironese, a center, was on his way to a great season with the British Columbia’s Hockey League’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs with eight goals and 25 assists in 19 games when he suffered a season-ending upper-body injury in December.
“Those three guys are talented offensively,” Appert said. “Jesper and Brady were almost on a goal-a-game pace in two real good junior leagues that are hard to score in. Certainly, that shows their offensive ability and their goal-scoring ability, and goal-scoring is hard to come by. Evan has shown, and he’s played a lot of years in junior hockey, he’s been one of the highest point-producing players everywhere he goes.”
The other forwards are left winger Lonnie Clary of Fairbanks and right winger Alex Rodriguez of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. Clary, a teammate of Ohrvall’s at Fairbanks, had eight goals and 16 assists in 60 games. Rodriguez collected six goals and 11 assists in 56 games.
The Engineers return seven defensemen, so they are bringing in just two blueliners.
Meirs Moore brings offense. He had seven goals and 43 assists in 64 games for the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.
“You need puck-moving defensemen,” Appert said. “You need mobile puck-movers. You need your defensemen to create offense in today’s game.”
Tommy Grant (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) brings size to the blueline. He played for Baystate in the U.S. Premier Hockey League, and had seven goals and 18 assists in 40 games.
Alec Dillon, a 6-5, 180-pounder, potsed a 27–13–3 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage with Tri-City of he USHL. Dillon, who was selected in the fifth round of last year’s NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings, will compete with returnee Jason Kasdorf for playing time.
“Alec is considered one of the top goaltender recruits coming into college hockey,” Appert said. “He’s very talented, competitive, athletic and has shared a lot of the traits that Allen York and Jason Kasdorf came in with.”
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