Frozen Four notebook: Dutchmen scoring star Welsh signs pro contract after game
TAMPA, Fla. Jeremy Welsh got an assist on Daniel Carr’s 20th goal of the season in the second period of Thursday’s NCAA hockey Frozen Four semifinal against Ferris State. It was the 100th point of the junior center’s career.
It was his last of his college career.
Late Thursday night, the Carolina Hurricanes singed the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Welsh to a contract. Terms of the contract, first reported by FOX23, were not revealed. An NHL source confirmed the report and said that Welsh could play in the Hurricanes’ season finale Saturday against the Florida Panthers.
Welsh could not be reached for comment. Union hockey spokesman Jeff Weinstein said the Dutchmen have nothing to confirm at this time and will defer until they received confirmation from Carolina. The Hurricanes posted the singing on their website early this morning.
Welsh was mum on his future with the Dutchmen after Union’s 3-1 loss to the Bulldogs at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Welsh was getting plenty of attention from NHL teams. He was in the Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect camp last summer, and the Boston Bruins were also interested in him.
Welsh finished the season as the Dutchmen’s leading scorer with 27 goals and 17 assists. He has 53 goals and 47 assists in his three-year career. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Hockey tournament and NCAA hockey East Regionals. Welsh was a first-team All-ECACH.
Union coach Rick Bennett had no idea on what Welsh was going to do. But he had a feeling of what was coming.
“It hasn’t really come up,” Bennett said. “I’m sure he’s going to field a lot of interest here because he is one of the best players in the country. I can say this — judging by some of the players that have signed, it doesn’t look good.”
It wasn’t the way Welsh wanted to end his season and college career.
“It’s pretty tough,” Welsh said. “We felt like we were the best team here. I thought we had full control of the game through the first and the second. We knew we could beat them, and we didn’t capitalize when we had momentum.”
One other Dutchman who may get a look is sophomore goalie Troy Grosenick. After playing just three games last season, Grosenick went 22-6-3 with 1.65 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and five shutouts.
“Thinking of the future is the exact opposite of the way we do things here,” Grosenick said. “We’re worried about the present. I’m just taking it a day at a time right now.”
Dutchmen at Vermont
Vermont coach and former Union coach Kevin Sneddon confirmed that the Dutchmen will play in the Catamount Cup over the Christmas break.
Union will face Vermont in one game, and St. Cloud State in the other. The dates of the tournament have yet to be announced.
The Dutchmen haven’t played the Catamounts since the team left ECAC Hockey for Hockey East after the 2004-05 season. Vermont won the season series that year by scores of 4-0 and 7-1 as it reached the ECACH tournament championship round.
Union played St. Cloud State in the 2006 Catamount Cup, and dropped a 4-2 decision. Bennett was the associate head coach then, but ran the team while head coach Nate Leaman was serving as an assistant coach for Team USA in the World Junior Championships.
• Dutchmen senior Nolan Julseth-White’s final game was the 100th career game. He played in just two games his freshman year.
• Carr’s goal makes him the first Union Division I player to score 20 goals in consecutive seasons. He had 20 goals last season.
• Kelly Zajac fell four points short of passing Adam Presizniuk as Union’s all-time leading scorer at the Diviison I level. Zajac finished with 128 points.
Seen in the crowd
Dave Allison, who coached ill-fated Albany Choppers during the 1990-91 IHL season, was at the game. He is scouting for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Choppers folded midway through the season.