Chambers Blog: 15 Year-Old Prospect Visits DU

(above) Eric Comrie has been described as the top 15 year-old goaltender in North America

Mike Chambers Blog has the details of 15 year-old goaltender recruit Eric Comrie's (6'0 170 lbs. - Newport Beach, CA.) visit to DU this week. Comrie is the half-brother of former University of Denver star Paul Comrie.

Despite his young age, Eric has already won two USA Hockey national championship in as many years with the Los Angeles Selects. He guided the Selects to the Under-15 National Championship in 2009 and the Under-12 Championship in 2007.

One would have to think that if he decides to attend the University of Denver, he'll prepare by playing with the U.S. National Development Program in Ann Arbor for two seasons.

was the first goaltender selected in the WHL Draft by the Tri-Cities Americans with the 13th overall selection. He has the talent to be considered to be a potential NHL first round draft pick which is extremely rare for a goaltender.

The decision on playing major juniors or college hockey is going to come down to which route will best develop his skills to have a shot at the NHL. Private tutoring under a full-time goaltending guru like Derek Lalonde and plenty of time in the weight room versus playing a plethora of games (perhaps as many as 100 per season) in the WHL.


dggoddard said...

The odds of DU landing Eric Comrie are probably under 50%. That being said, for a goaltending recruit of this caliber to considering DU is a huge compliment to Coach Lalonde and the work he did developing Chevy.

Anonymous said...

Why 50% ? He has ties to the school. Denver turns out some fantastic goalies. He would be about as close to home as he can get and still play for a top program. Any word on Seth Jones and Shore from the under 17s? Do we think they might join us? What is up with Justin Jones is he a red shirt? Is he leaving the team? whats the story? I like the way Doremus is playing 7 points in the last 5 games it looks like he is really improving and is now second on the team with 20pts. Anyone know anything about Mike Hammond from the BCHL? Looks like he has solid stats and has not commited. Why wouldn't we go after a guy like that among others? I feel like we need at least one high scoring forward for next year!!

Anonymous said...

Cripe. I hope he never hooks up with Wrenn and lets William brain wash him. On the flip side, I hope he happens across Stasny, Carle & Bozak sooner than later!!!

puck swami said...

Denver turns out fantastic college goalies, but DU hasn't developed a goalie who has been an regular NHL starter since Ron Grahame, and very few colleges have developed NHL regular goaltenders in recent years. It isn't just DU. North Dakota hasn't really developed an regular NHL goalie since Eddie Belfour. Minnesota probably hasn't had one since Robb Stauber.

For all the excellent goaltenders DU has developed in the last 10 years - Dubielewicz, Mannino, Berkhoel, Cheverie, etc. none of them are in the NHL on a regular basis.

Why? My theory while position players develop better from practice time(college), goalies develop better with more games (junior).

That's why this kid is likely to end up in Major Junior.

dggoddard said...

DU had ties to Paul Comrie's younger brother Mike and he went to Michigan. So lower the than 50% projection is based on that and scuttlebutt on the internet.

The fact that Chambers mentioned bringing the Juniors coach out to visit DU along with the family shows that the Comries' are being very clinical with this decision.

This is a recruiting situation that is heavily influenced by the best projected path for Eric to reach the NHL. Tri-Cities made a major trade on Draft Day to land Eric Comrie's rights. They are heavily vested in his decision.

If Comrie does become a 1st Round pick, DU better have a real good backup goaltender in place because Comrie will always potentially have one foot out the door.

No word on younger Jones or Shore.

Doremus is turning out to be a stud recruit. Props to Angelo's development program and the DU recruiting staff. Looks like another Home Run.

Whenever a prime BCHL prospect lasts this long into the recruiting process, usually NCAA eligibility issues are a factor.

As we talk about all the time, never knowing DU's scholarship breakdowns/needs makes projecting recruits virtually impossible.

Anonymous said...

Well, using the fact that Mike Comrie did not come to DU as an indicator whether this Eric will or not isn't a solid argument. The fact of the matter is that Mike may very well have ended up here, however Gwoz and Paul were not exactly in a mutual lovefest and the Coach didn't want another Comrie around at that point.

It took a bit of coaxing to get Gwoz to want to bring in Dan Comrie, who's injuries eneded his playing days, and Gwoz decided that there was enough time passed since Paul that he was ready for another Comrie.

Even Bill Comrie was offered by Murray back in the day and was set to play here at DU, however a family situation occurred and he gave up hockey to go into business.

Bill, Paul and Dan all either played or planned to play for DU. So, citing the anomaly of Mike as evidence that DU may or may not land Eric is off-base, IMO, and DU had every chance to get Mike, so DU would have to be considered (if he chooses NCAA) a front runner for Eric and definitely better than 50%. Again, just my opinion.

dggoddard said...

Not going to dispute the Comrie angle.

Chambers Blog said DU is the only NCAA school Eric is looking at.

The vast majority of NHL 1st round draft picks pick major juniors over college. Usually the ratio is around 3:1.

Anonymous said...

Wrenn should have stayed for the scholarship money but Comrie should forgo a $200,000 scholarship because he might have a chance to go pro in Major Junior? What are the chances this 15 year old will ever make it to the pros? After his pro career was cut short you'd think big brother Paul would be pushing him toward an education.

Perhaps young Mr. Comrie should pass on DU and take a look at the University of Maine instead. Maine seems to have developed a pretty fine NHL goalie in Jimmy Howard.

Anonymous said...

Swami seems to think that the chances for a DU goalie making it to the NHL is less than DG appearing at DU game in an Elvis cosume.

Perhaps Eric should look at Vermont, home to NHL goalie Tim Thomas.

So what is LaLonde doing wrong Swaimi? Or is DU just recruiting less talanted kids?

Anonymous said...

Being the top 15 year old goalie is no guarantee that you'll also be the top 20 year old goalie, or the top 34 year old goalie

pesimisticfan said...

I agree with the comment above. But, I also believe that if he is the top goaltending prospect in his draft class and projects to go in the 1st round there less than a 10% chance he comes to DU. It is very rare these days for NCAA goalies to really make it right away in the NHL, or be high picks, and most go the CHL route or come from Europe. The only college goalies on rosters in the NHL now as of today are: Marty Tuco (Michigan), Ty Conklin (New Hampshire), Tim Thomas (Vermont), Cory Schneider (BC), Curtis McElhinney (CC), Rick DiPietro (BU), Nathan Lawson (Alaska-Anchorage), Jon Quick (UMass), Dwayne Roloson (Umass-Lowell), Dan Ellis (UNO), Scott Clemmenson (BC), Jimmy Howard (Maine), Ryan Miller (Michigan State), Brian Elliott (Wisconsin), Peter Mannino (DU)

Only two of those were drafted in the 1st round, Schneider and DiPietro. Most of these guys are career #2's or AHL call up guys. Turco (now on a decline), Tim Thomas (took a long time), Quick, Howard, and Miller are really the only premiere goaltenders of that group.

So, we will likely see Comrie with Tri-City if he wants to play in the NHL. Remember Jack Campbell bailed on Michigan last year for the same reason...

dggoddard said...

If 15 out of 60 or 70 goaltenders in the NHL are American.

Around 140 out of 700 players in the NHL are American.

Ratio looks pretty similar.

pesimisticfan said...

Actually DG, only 9/15 college goalies are from the US, haha. I just don't see Comrie coming to us. I spend a lot of time working up in Canada too and believe me, they will do everything they can to make sure he doesn't play NCAA. I hope this doesn't happen though, and he comes in to be Brittain's replacement.

pesismisticfan said...

Also, quick NHL note for everybody. Tyler Bozak's name has come up in trade rumors for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke is looking to aquire a true first line centre prior or at the deadline, and it's going to cost him young talent. Bozak, and some other young names have been thrown out there as trade bait. Likely destinations have been mentioned as Philly, TB, Pittsburgh, NYR, Detroit, and San Jose.

puck swami said...

Anon 3:44:

I don't Lalonde is doing anything wrong. His job is to produce capable college goalies, and he does that well. As pessimistic fan pointed out, college goalies all over the country rarely become NHL regulars. The underlying reason for this isn't talent as much as it is philosophy -- that the NHL believes that Major Junior goalies develop better because they play more games. A good college goalie like Sam Brittain might get 30 games this year for DU, while a good major junior goalie might get 75 games. Since goalies usually play the whole game, the games become as valuable as practices for goalies.

Position players tend develop to develop well either through practices and games, so whether a top position player chooses major junior or college, he will likely get a chance to prove it.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that highly drafted college goalies (round 1 or 2) are still very rare. DU's never had one. Sam as a fourth rounder is the highest drafted goalie DU has ever had in program history. And fourth rounders tend to have about a 20% chance of playing an NHL game.

Pesimisticfan said...

Just for good measure, the last three American born goalies to go in the 1st round were Jack Campbell by Dallas in '10, Thomas McCollum by Detroit in '08 and Al Montoya by my Rangers in '04. Campbell and McCollum both verballed to NCAA schools, while Montoya went to Michigan and has shown he can't do anything. Clearly teams have turned away from NCAA goalies and American goaltenders as a whole. Personally, I think Jon Quick is the beat American born NCAA goalie in the NHL right now, but that's a very biast opinion because I grew up with him.

dggoddard said...

Anyone else notice the splashy video piece on Derek Lalonde and his work with DU goaltenders during Friday night's FCS-Rocky Mountain DU Broadcast?

Timing was rather propitious.

Having a full time goaltending instructor the caliber of Lalonde is extremely rare in junior hockey. DU may well have the best or one of the best goaltending programs at this level. That may be the carrot that sways Comrie and his family.

We shall see. We shall see.