Connor Honey To Forego DU & Join WHL Team

(above) Connor Honey signed with the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds on Thursday
From: Tukwila Reporter

University of Denver recruit Connor Honey has decided to pass on his scholarship offer to the University of Denver and play major junior hockey for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. The forward was added to the Thunderbirds roster on Thursday after spending the first half of the season with the Green Bay Gamblers [USHL].

“Connor simply couldn’t balance school and hockey,” said Green Bay head coach Derek Lalonde, “Connor was a good teammate and we wish him the best of luck in his future hockey endeavors.”

In 17 games this season with the Gamblers, Honey recorded 1 goal, 6 assists and a minus 2 rating.  Currently the Gamblers own the best record in the 16-team United States Hockey League, with a mark of 17-3-1. 

“Connor is a positive addition to our roster and he will help us this season,” said Russ Farwell, T-Birds general manager, in a team media release. “We look forward to watching him develop and grow his game with us.”

Honey was expected to join Denver in 2012, but his lack of scoring in the USHL this season may have resulted in deferring his admission to DU by at least a year.

Last year, Honey played for the Edmonton South Side Athletic team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League. He led the league in scoring with 56 points on 24 goals and 32 assists in 34 games. Unfortunately Honey was unable to duplicate those numbers in the USHL and that probably led to his decision to play in the WHL.

Honey, a 17-year-old center/right wing from Edmonton, attended the T-Birds training camp prior to this season.  His twin brother Curtis is a highly regarded goaltender for the AJHL Bonnyville Pontiacs.
2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Indiana Ice, USHL)
D Dakota Mermis (Green Bay, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (Sioux Falls, USHL)
F Garrett Allen (Des Moines, USHL)
D Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Quentin Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Grant Arnold (Green Bay, USHL)

2013 Recruiting Class

F Brad Hawkinson (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
F Landon Smith (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Connor Chatham (U.S. Under-17)
F Ray Pigozzi (Des Moines, USHL)
D Will Butcher (U.S. Under-17)

2014 Recruiting Class

F Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage, U-16)
D Gage Ausmus (U.S. Under-17)
F Trevor Moore (Tri-Cities, USHL)


dggoddard said...

Based on Honey's stats this season this move is probably best for all concerned.

Needless to say, DU must be terrified at the thought of losing Bennett, Zucker & Drew Shore at the end of this season. Denver needs to find some impact forwards ASAP to bring in next season.

DU's 2012 Forward Recruits
Pham [14 games-0g,2a]
Allen [12 games-1g,4a]
Arnold [13 games-1g,6a]
Q Shore [5 USHL games-1g,0a]

IMO Tyler Pham will be pushed back to 2013. Look for DU to try and mine gold in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Are any of the 2013 recruits doing well enough to consider bringing in early?

Looks like a down recruiting class next year - DU can always afford 1 bust, maybe 2. But these junior numbers are disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Lalonde would not send us a kid that can't cut it in school or the WCHA.

Better to cut losses now than later.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, great to Lalonde's team in first place.

Twister said...

Losing Bennett, Zucker, and Shore would indeed be scary. I have no idea or inside knowledge, but it seems feasible Bennett might stay. One more year of practice and weight training will only help. I can't imagine Zucker staying, but who knows. I would say the same about Drew, but I wonder if the appeal of playing with 2 of his brothers is strong enough to keep him around for a final year?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:56

There is a reason that all these players were recruited and each for a different reason. Don't read too much into stats as only having people who think they are superstars won't lead us to where we want the Pios to be. Just look at the Gophers from the past few years to see where a team made up of only "superstars" can lead you.

If you want a prime example of junior stats not meaning squat at the NCAA level search Travis Banga on had back to back seasons of over 100 points, went to UNH, couldn't crack the lineup and transferred to a D3 school.

All recruits are looked into for "coachability", leadership and other intangibles beyond raw numbers which interest Gwoz and the coaches.

Just let the coaches do what they do since they do it well.

Anonymous said...

The second half performance of Bennett, Shore, and Zucker will likely determine if they stay or not.

None of the three are NHL-ready right now, IMHO. Shore needs to get faster, and Zucker and Bennett need to be stronger to be effective at the NHL level. All three could play right now in the AHL - but they need to decide if they want to do that or stay in school.

Anonymous said...

11:54 - I understand different roles and potential for players - and I know there are plenty of top scoring juniors who don't pan out in college.

That said, there a very, very few players who become impact players at the college level who did not produce as juniors.

I trust the coaches to fill the holes, but DU's having to recruit younger and younger players to keep them away from other schools can also hurt you if young players don't improve in juniors once they verbal.

What I am saying is if Allen, Pham and Arnold all turn out to be Nate Dewhursts (hot 15 year old prospect that became scoring busts at the college level, we're in trouble.

Aluuum said...

The 800 pound gorillain all of this is that age 27 limit when N.H.L. players can declare free agent. That pushes the N.H.L. team that holds draft right to a promising college player to want him at a young age so they can further develop him and still get a few years of production before age 27. Everything is compressed downwards for promising players to the detriment of College hockey teams.

Anonymous said...

12:04 is wise. At least if they are scoring a lot in lower levels, there is some hope of it translating to college. But if a guy isn't scoring in juniors, it is highly unlikely he'll do much scoring in college.

I think Zucker will go pro after the season. I'm less sure about the others but I tend to think Bennett and Shore will leave too.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. 12:04 is a douche.

Anonymous said...

What is douchey about 12:04? What fact of his is wrong?

Is there DU forward in the last 30 years who was an impact player in college who did not produce in juniors? Name one.

Anonymous said...

It depends what you mean by "impact". If you mean Gauthier, Statsny, James, Trotter, Bozak, Shore(s), Zucker, Bennett, Rock, Ruegs, Colborne etc....then no. I don't think we have. There could be an exception or two though.

But if you mean "impact" like Dustin Jackson or Ted O'Leary or somebody like that. Contributions that have a hugely positively impact on the team but just don't show up on the stats sheet. Then yes, there have been several.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I didn't even look at Jackson's stats, but he played in the NAHL (i'm pretty sure), so he wasn't even "good" enough for the USHL. And the stats wouldn't even be close to comparable even if he did score a lot of goals.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of positive pluggers (Jackson, O'Leary, Glasser, etc.) that every good team needs. Those guys are not that hard to find, and every team has some of them already.

But you can't win in the WCHA with a whole team of pluggers. You need SOME talented point-producers or you go nowhere.

Right now, looking at production numbers in junior, it looks as though DU will have plenty of pluggers in the pipeline who will play hard, wear the DU jersey and will contribute.

But they don't seem to have ANY incoming 2012 forwards with a track record of scoring at the junior level. This is scary.

At this level, you need both the character guys and talented guys...You can't win much if you don't have both types.

dggoddard said...

Gwozdecky & Miller have had an unbelievable run recruiting forwards.

The weakest year for forwards was 2003, but they picked up Matt Carle who put up forward type numbers.

The best in each class:

2011: Dan Doremus
2010: Jason Zucker
2009: Drew Shore
2008: Joe Colborne
2007: Tyler Bozak
2006: Rhett Rakhshani
2005: Brock Trotter
2004: Paul Stastny
2003: Adrian Viedeman
2002: Gabe Gauthier
2001: Luke Fulgham
2000: Connor James
1999: Kevin Doell
1998: Matt Pettinger
1997: Mark Rycroft

Anonymous said...

Honey must have gotten a hold of Wrenn's cell #

Anonymous said...

Honey did score one more goal in his USHL career than Wrenn notched in two seasons at DU.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 3:15 must be a high-level coach, because he obviously knows more than Gwoz. What a fucking joke you are, 3:15

So, 3:15, how much do you get paid to coach hockey?

Oh, that's right, nothing...because you are an idiot who only thinks you know hockey but you are really just a douche.

PioneerMan said...

1:38 - What is with all the vitriol? There are tons of armchair coaches here, and that's what makes this board fun.

3:15 makes some logical statements that are fairly standard hockey truisms, and all you can come back with is name-calling?

We'd be far more impressed if you could mount a compelling point of view yourself. Why don't you refute 3:15 with something factual or at least something pertinent to his points?

Your anger looks really misplaced.