June 20, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson today announced that two more student-athletes will join the Irish roster beginning this summer in preparation for the 2014-15 campaign.
Joining the Irish roster for the coming season are forward Bo Brauer (Edina, Minn.) and defenseman Tony Bretzman (Mendota Heights, Minn.). They will join five others who signed in the fall of 2013 – forwards Jake Evans (Toronto, Ont.), Connor Hurley (Eagan, Minn.) and Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.) along with defensemen Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.) and Bobby Nardella (Melrose Park, Ill.). The list of signees goes to 12 when the five student-athletes who signed the previous year but deferred until 2014-15 are included. Those five include forwards Dawson Cook (Cadillac, Mich.) and Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton, Calif.), defensemen Jordan Gross (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Luke Ripley (Kitamit, B.C.) and goaltender Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa).
Brauer is a 6-3, 209-pound right wing who played last season for the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). A native of Edina, Minn., Brauer was a teammate of fellow freshman Connor Hurley on the 2012-13 Minnesota State 2A championship team. He also was a teammate of sophomore defenseman Ben Ostlie and junior center Steven Fogarty on the 2010-11 squad.
As a rookie last season with Nanaimo, Brauer played in 56 games, scoring 19 goals with 16 assists for 35 points to finish fourth in points and goals for the Clippers. Nanaimo finished third in the BCHL’s Island Division with a 27-28-1-2 mark and lost in the first round of the league playoffs to Powell River (versus incoming frosh Luke Ripley), four games to one where he picked up a pair of assists in three games.
Following the season, Brauer was selected by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the eighth round, 132nd overall in the USHL Entry Draft. A developing, prototypical power forward, he has good hands around the net, a strong shot and isn’t afraid to go to the front of the goal. Brauer also was selected in 2013 by Port Huron of the North American Hockey League in the second round, 32nd overall.
The hard-working forward played three seasons at Edina High School for coach Curt Giles. In 73 career games with the Hornets, Brauer had 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points. He had a pair of assists in the 2013 State Championship game as he helped the Edina to a 4-2 win over Hill-Murray.
Jackson on Brauer: “Bo is a big, strong winger who has shown the ability to get to the net and score in the BCHL. He will have the opportunity to come in and compete for playing time on this year’s roster. We believe that he can continue to develop into the prototypical power forward, taking advantage of his size and skills around the net. He follows a strong group of players in both skill and character that have preceded him from the program at Edina High School.”
Bretzman is a 5-10, 165-pound, right-handed defenseman who is a smooth-skating defender known for his puck-moving ability. A native of Minnesota, he played this season for the Langley Rivermen of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), where he had three goals and 22 assists for 25 points in 57 regular season games while helping Langley to a record of 37-13-3-5, good for 82 points and first place in the BCHL’s Mainland Division. The Rivermen won their opening playoff series, four games to two, against the Surrey Eagles before falling to eventual champion, Coquitlam, four to two, in the Division Finals. In 12 playoff games, Bretzman had one assist.
A product of St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn., Bretzman was a standout defenseman for the Cadets from 2010-2013, scoring 17 goals with 58 assists for 78 points in 116 games while helping his team to three consecutive Minnesota State Class 1A championships.
Jackson on Bretzman: Tony is a mobile, puck-moving defenseman who is strong on his skates and has excellent vision on the ice. He has a high, hockey IQ that will give him the opportunity to contribute right away along with the other incoming freshmen defensemen as we look to fill four spots on the backline due to graduation.”
Of the players to sign national letters-of-intent, two of them have been ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the NHL Entry Draft in June. Jake Evans was ranked 106th and Joe Wegwerth was ranked 139th. Defenseman Luke Ripley was mentioned in the ranking as a limited viewed player as he was injured for a large portion of the season.
Two members of the incoming class have already been drafted – Connor Hurley was selected in the second round, 38th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 Draft and Cal Petersen also was selected by Buffalo in the fifth round, 129th overall in the same draft.
Billitier, Brauer, Bretzman, Cook, Evans, Gross, Hurley, Petersen and Ripley are expected to join the Irish this fall with the remaining players deferring to 2015-16.
Class of 2014-15
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. S/C Hometown/2013-14 TeamNathan Billitier D 5-10 181 L Spencerport, N.Y./USA Under-18 TeamWilliam "Bo" Brauer RW 6-3 209 R Edina, Minn./Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL)Tony Bretzman D 5-10 165 R Mendota Heights, Minn./Langley Rivermen (BCHL)** Dawson Cook C 6-1 198 L Cadillac, Mich./Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)Jake Evans C/RW 6-0 172 R Toronto, Ont./St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL)** Jordan Gross D 5-10 178 R Maple Grove, Minn./Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)Connor Hurley C 6-2 174 R Eagan, Minn./Muskegon/Green Bay (USHL)Bobby Nardella D 5-9 160 L Rosemont, Ill./Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)** Andrew Oglevie RW 5-9 156 R Fullerton, Calif./Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (USHL)** Cal Petersen G 6-1 175 R Waterloo, Iowa/Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)** Luke Ripley D 6-4 195 L Kitamit, B.C./Powell River Kings (BCHL)Joe Wegwerth LW 6-3 230 L Brewster, N.Y./USA Under-18 Team
** Signed national letters-of-intent in 2012-13 but deferred to 2014-15.