DU Recruits Wade Bennett For 2011

(above) Californian defenseman Wade Bennett will join his younger brother Beau at the University of Denver next season

From: The Examiner

Just a month after joining the NAHL Wichita Falls Wildcats, defenseman Wade Bennett has committed to the University of Denver for next season according to an announcement by the team.

Bennett has scored two goals in eight games with Wichita Falls, including being credited with the game winning goal in his Wildcats debut against Corpus Christi on December 10.

The Gardena, California native will join his younger brother Beau who is currently a freshman at Denver and was selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's pretty cool to get to play with my brother," Bennett said after the announcement. "It's not often you get to do that, so it'll be great for my family to get to watch us together."

Bennett played 26 games in the British Columbia Hockey League before coming to the Wildcats. The future Pioneer was also a teammate of the Wildcats Ryan Frost with the Tier I AAA L.A. Kings program.

The University of Denver is tied with North Dakota for the second most NCAA Division I hockey championships with seven, the most recent being back-to-back championships in 2004 and 2005. Only Michigan has more with nine.

Senior Chris Nutini and junior Luke Salazar, two former Wildcats, currently play for the Pioneers. Nutini played for Wichita Falls from 2005-07, while Salazar played from 2006-08.
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-18)
F Garrett Allen (Fargo, USHL)
D Joey LaLeggia (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
F Larkin Jacobson (Janesville Jets, NAHL)
D Wade Bennett (Wichita Falls, NAHL)

2012 Recruiting Class
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-18)
F Tyler Pham (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)
D Dakota Mermis (U.S. Under-17)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Sioux Falls, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class
F Brad Hawkinson (Colorado Thunderbirds-U18)


dggoddard said...

Hard to know the details of these "brother" recruiting packages, but you have to think that Wrenn's departure & Van Voorhis' deferral cleared up some space and scholie money for Wade Bennett.

And of course the big question remains about Matt Donovans plans next season.

Aluuum said...

what's the scoop on this guy D.G.? Is he a top prospect or just average?

puck swami said...

He's already 20 and hasn't put up big numbers in the BCHL or the NAHL and he's not a big guy. My guess is that he's a depth player who may make brother Beau stick around longer.

dggoddard said...

A few interesting tidbits: Despite what the article says, Wade is actually the[B] older[/B] brother of Beau. He switched from forward to defense recently which explains why his hockey development was behind Beau's. He also played games in the BCHL before switching to the NAHL.

I'm a little less pessimistic than Swami on this one[imagine that]. I think he's a late bloomer like J.P. Testwuide and may just turn out to be a nice player.

DU has had a lot of success with forwards converting to Dmen including Testwuide & Mullin. And we all know how Gwozdecky likes to stack the power play units with forwards.

Finally not too many people expected much from Salazar, Nutini and Jackson and DU mined gold with those guys.

Aluuum said...

It looks like an overload of defensmen next year.

Anonymous said...

wow 6 dmen in the next two years. I thought Van Voorhis was coming next year originally, what changed?

dggoddard said...

Van Voorhis has no goals and only three assists in 33 games with the USNDP Under-18 Team. At 5'7 162 lbs, he probably just needed another year of Junior Hockey.

Its pretty standard in college hockey recruiting to give recruits a two window to come to school. Usually the school will say, "If you play really well or if Player X goes pro early you can come in 2011, otherwise you'll join us in 2012."

Anonymous said...

I know both of these guys, they come from a great family even the younger sister is incredibly talented for her age. Beau is the more naturally talented of the two but Wade is a very hard worker, and he is stepping into the role of the offensive defenseman which should be chill. Both of these guys are still young-ish, and have plenty of development left in them, and pairing the two together should create some exciting hockey, think it was probably a good move for DU.