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Home Sports NHL THE UNH MEN'S HOCKEY BLOG: Carfagna, Muszelik Excel At NHL Prospects Game:...

THE UNH MEN’S HOCKEY BLOG: Carfagna, Muszelik Excel At NHL Prospects Game: UNH Commits Update 1-21-2022


Damien Carfagna2022 UNH Commit

Tyler Muszelik2022 UNH Commit

2022 BioSteel All-American Prospects Game

Since 2012, USA Hockey has co-sponsored an annual game featuring the top American-born players eligible for the subsequent NHL Draft. The All-American Prospects Game (AAPG) has consistently featured dozens of players selected in the NHL Draft held the following summer. The inaugural event, called the CCM / USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, featured 23 players drafted in the 2013 Entry Draft, including 3 first-rounders. Last year’s AAPG, played in April 2021, included 24 players subsequently drafted in June. Four of these players were drafted in the 1st Round.

The current UNH men’s hockey roster includes 2 players who competed in the AAPG and were drafted by an NHL team. Freshman defenseman Alex Gagne played in the 2020 game. While he was not selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, Gagne was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightening in the 6th Round (# 196 Overall) in the 2021 Draft. Sophomore defenseman Luke Reid also played in the 2020 AAPG and was selected in the 6th Round (# 166 Overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators.

The 2022 BioSteel All-American Prospects Game was held last Monday at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan and was broadcast live on NHL Network. For the 44 American-born prospects, it was a golden opportunity to make an impression on the over 210 NHL scouts in attendance. Two UNH commits – Damien Carfagna from Wood Ridge, New Jersey and Tyler Muszelik from Long Valley, NJ – seized the opportunity and excelled.

~ DAMIEN CARFAGNA (DOB: 12/12/02) played on Team Blue’s third defensive pair and also logged minutes on the power play and penalty kill. Overall, he posted 2 shots on goal, 0 penalty minutes, and a +/- rating of +3. In the 3-on-3 overtime, Carfagna created the most memorable play of the game.

With 2:43 remaining, Carfagna blocked a shot at the top of the slot and the puck bounced off the sidewall. Jack Harvey, a forward for the Chicago Steel and a Boston University commit, passed the puck back to Carfagna just inside their own blueline and he took it from there.

Carfagna carried the puck through the neutral zone with Cutter Gauthier, the leading goal scorer for the USNTDP U-18 team and a Boston College commit, joining the rush on the right wing. This created a 2-on-1 break. Carfagna cruised into the right faceoff circle and ripped a wrist shot over the goalie’s blocker for the game-winner. Here’s a video of the entire play:

So far this season, Damien Carfagna has scored 4 goals and 28 assists in 29 games with the Green Bay Gamblers. He has the most assists among all USHL defensemen and second most points. He is on track to enroll at UNH in Fall 2022.

This is the second year Carfagna has been eligible for the draft. In my article “Will UNH Commit (s) Be Selected in 2021 NHL Entry Draft?” last July, I speculated that Carfagna was a possible late 7th round pick but “may need one more season to demonstrate excellence”. He has certainly upped his offensive game this season – he increased assists from 12 (last season) to 26 (to date this season) and power play assists from 1 to 11. Based on his improved play with the Gamblers and outstanding performance in the BioSteel All-American Prospects game, I’d say Carfagna has a very good chance of being drafted in the late rounds of the 2022 NHL Draft.

~ TYLER MUSZELIK (DOB: 7/1/04) was the starting goalie for Team White and played the entire first period and the first 10 minutes of the second period. He faced 13 shots on goal and made a save on each of them. Muszelik became the 6th goalie in the history of the AAPG to stop every shot that he faced. Here are some video highlights of his shutout performance:

So far this season, the 6’3 “, 193 lbs., Muszelik has posted a 13-4-2 record for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under-18 team. His overall Goals Against Average is 2.95 with a Save Percentage of .896.

Over the course of the 2021-22 season, the NTDP U-18 team will play 15 exhibition games against NCAA Division 1 teams and 4 against Division 3 schools. To date, Muszelik has played in 9 of these NCAA games and has a 6-2-0 record with a 2.93 GAA and .904 Save%. High points have included 4-3 wins against Notre Dame and Boston University and a 2-0 shutout of North Dakota. Like Carfagna, Tyler Muszelik is on track to enroll at UNH in Fall 2022.

On January 12th, the NHL Central Scouting Service announced it’s MidTerm Rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft. Tyler Muszelik was the 5th ranked North American goalie. Historically, a midterm rank that high is usually followed by that goalie being drafted by an NHL team. UNH’s current goalie, Mike Robinson from Bedford, NH, was selected by the San Jose Sharks in Round 3 (86th Overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

2021-22 Statistics

Player AZ Stars** Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM +/-
2022 Commits
Nicolas Ardanaz * 5/30/02 (D) 3.75 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 31 1 13 14 14
Damien Carfagna * 12/12/02 (D) 4.0 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 29 4 28 32 18 +11
Jake Dunlap 12/5/01 (F) 3.75 Madison Capitols USHL 31 12 9 21 32 +4
John Evans 4/8/02 (F) 4.0 West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 28 8 18 26 2
Cy LeClerc * 8/17/02 (F) 3.75 Janesville Jets NAHL 34 21 22 43 2 +14
Tyler Muszelik * 7/1/04 (G) 4.0 US National U18 Overall 21 13 4 2 2.95 .896
Team USA U-18 USHL 6 2 2 2 3.52 .885
NCAA Exh. 9 6 2 0 2.93 .904
INTL 3 3 0 0 1.67 .942
Cade Penney * 3/23/01 (D) 3.75 Surrey Eagles BCHL 20 0 4 4 10
Madison Capitols USHL 8 0 5 5 8 +3
Stiven Sardarian 2/7/03 (F) 4.0 Youngstown Phantoms USHL 22 4 8 12 6 0
Kristaps Skrastins * 11/20/01 (F) 3.75 Amarillo Wranglers NAHL 33 20 21 41 51 +7
JP Turner * 1/31/03 (F) 3.75 Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 27 2 2 4 20 -6
Morgan Winters * 12/8/01 (F) 3.5 Omaha Lancers USHL 14 4 6 10 8 +3
Youngstown Phantoms USHL 12 3 5 8 16 -1
2022 or ’23 Commits
Jed Baliotti 2/7/02 (G) 3.5 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL 5 2 1 0 3.14 .896
Northeast Generals NAHL 3 1 1 0 2.76 .910
Aberdeen Wings NAHL 2 2 0 0 3.00 .872
Brendan Fitzgerald * 10/26/03 (D) 4.0 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 25 1 11 12 46 +4
2023 Commits
Nick Ring 10/26/03 (F) 3.75 New Jersey Titans NAHL 34 7 16 23 6 +3
2023 or ’24 Commits
Ryan Conmy 10/23/04 (F) 3.75 Bishop Kearney Selects 18U 18U AAA 13 15 10 25 0
Sam Court 1/7/04 (D) 3.75 NV River Rats U18 18U AAA 17 1 9 10
Avon Old Farms NE Prep 11 1 7 8 2
Connor DeTurris 10/8/04 (F) 3.5 Madison Capitols USHL 5 1 1 2 2 +2
Chicago Fury 18U 18U AAA 28 22 16 38 24
T1EHL 18U 9 7 1 8 12
MES 18U 12 11 6 17 6
* = Signed National Letter of Intent
** = Neutral Zone 5-Star Rating

NOTE

The statistics for the commits, presented in the above table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the “2022 Commits” are projected to start playing for UNH in the Fall of 2022. I have based these projections on the following factors:
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the commit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the commit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The commit’s performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.



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