July 16, 1999

The University of Notre Dame hockey team has completed its national letter-of-intent signees for the 1999-2000 season, after adding left wing Jake Wiegand (Northville, Mich./Lincoln Stars) to a group of six earlier signees.

Wiegand is Notre Dame’s fifth spring signee, joining fellow forwards Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and John Wroblewski (Neenah, Wis.), defenseman Paul Harris (Ridgefield, Conn.) and goaltender Tony Zasowski (Darien, Ill.). All five of the spring signees-and one of the two ’98 fall signees-played in 1998-99 for teams that compete in the United States Hockey League. Zasowski played for the USHL runner-up Omaha Lancers while Dunlop, Wroblewski and Harris played for the USA Hockey Development program (with the Under-18 Team).

Fall signee Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.) was a right wing with the USHL champion Des Moines Buccaneers while the other fall signee-defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill./The Taft School, Conn.)-completes what is considered one of the nation’s top incoming classes.

Wiegand was the third-leading scorer for the Lincoln (Neb.) Stars during the 1998-99 season, with 23 goals, 23 assists and a team-best 12 power-play goals in 56 games. His four game-winning goals in ’98-’99 included two of the team’s three postseason game-winners.

A 6-2, 200-pound lefthander who is known for his hard-hitting and aggressive style of play, Wiegand totaled 20 goals and 12 assists with the Stars in 1997-98. He spent the 1996-97 season as a member of the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors of the National Hockey League.

Notre Dame is set to lose six seniors from its 1998-99 squad, including four regular members of the starting lineup. Those players include team captain and right wing Brian Urick (57 goals, 69 assists in 146 career games), left wing Aniket Dhadphale (61 goals, 44 assists, 25 power-play goals in 143 career games), All-America defenseman Benoit Cotnoir (28 goals, 60 assists in 141 career games) and goaltender Forrest Karr (27-25-6 career record, in addition to setting Irish career records with a 2.92 goals-against average and .888 save percentage).

Urick, Dhadphale and Cotnoir combined for 319 career points (146 goals, 173 assists) in 430 combined games. The other Irish losses to graduation include forward Craig Hagkull (7 goals, 12 assists in 104 career games) and defenseman Scott Giuliani (2 assists in 19 career games).

Player          Pos. Birthdate  Ht.   Wt. Shoots Hometown          1998-99 team  Jake Wiegand     LW   3/21/79   6-2  200     L   Northville, MI    Lincoln (NE)                                                                     Stars (USHL)   

Earlier Spring Signees

Connor Dunlop     C    1/5/81   5-10 185     L   St. Louis, MO     U.S. National Under-18 Team Paul Harris       D   3/23/81   6-2  195     R   Ridgefield, CT    U.S. National Under-18 Team John Wroblewski   F   5/26/81   6-1  200     R   Neenah, WI        U.S. National Under-18 Team Tony Zasowski     G  10/12/78   5-11 190         Darien, IL        Omaha (NE)                                                                          Lancers (USHL) 

Fall Signees

Michael Chin     RW   9/24/80   6-2  200     R   Urbana,IL         Des Moines (IA)                                                                    Buccaneers (USHL)  Evan Nielsen      D   5/28/81   6-2  195     R   Evanston, IL      The Taft School (CT)