Nov. 17, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. – University of Notre Dame hockey coach Dave Poulin announced today that seven players have signed national letters of intent to join the Irish hockey program. Four members of the signing class – forwards Eric Condra (Livonia, Mich.) and Christian Hanson (Venetia, Pa.) along with defenseman Jamie Silverson (Thunder Bay, Ont.) and goaltender Jordan Pearce (Anchorage, Alaska) – will join the Irish for the 2005-06 season. The other three signees – defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) and forwards Kevin Deeth (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Ryan Thang (Edina, Minn.) – will defer until the 2006-07 season.
“We are thrilled with the quality and depth that we’ve added for the next two seasons with this group of players,” said Poulin. “This is a very experienced group of players due to their playing an extra year at the junior level. It mirrors our recent success that we’ve had with players like Jason Paige, T.J. Jindra and Mark Van Guilder. Andy Slaggert and Layne LeBel did a great job recruiting this group of quality student-athletes as we build on our success from our NCAA tournament appearance last year.”
Condra, Hanson, Pearce and Silverson will step in to fill the void left by the graduation of Notre Dame’s senior class. That group includes forward Cory McLean, defenseman Joe Zurenko and goaltender Morgan Cey. Here’s a look at the group that will join the Irish in the fall of 2005:
Eric Condra is a 6-0, 185-pound right wing who is currently playing for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). A hard-working, highly skilled forward with a strong shot, Condra has four goals and five assists for nine points in 16 games for the Stars who are currently second in the USHL’s Western Division with a 10-4-2 record. Condra is the nephew of former Notre Dame All-American Kirt Bjork (1979-83) and committed to the Irish in March of 2004 while a member of the Texarkana Bandits of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). With Texarkana, Condra played in 56 games and had 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points while picking up 71 penalty minutes. A native of Livonia, Mich., Condra was a teammate of current Notre Dame freshman Evan Rankin with the Honeybaked AAA team.
Poulin on Condra: “Eric is a strong all-around player who excels in all aspects of the game. He’s a smart, crafty player who knows the game and is always thinking on the ice. He’s got speed and is good around the net. He’s got loads of potential and will give us another strong forward for the lineup.”
Christian Hanson is a 6-3, 190-pound right shot center who is in his second season with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL. Hanson is an “A-rated” player in the NHL Central Scoutings preliminary rankings, which means he could be selected in the top four rounds of next June’s draft. He has the size and skating ability to develop into not only a player who can score goals, but can also set up his teammates. Through 16 games this season, Hanson is second on the Storm in scoring with five goals and seven assists for 12 points. Included in his five goals are one power-play goal and two game winners. The Storm are currently fifth in the USHL’s Western Division with an 8-7-1 mark. Hanson will rejoin former Storm teammates Brian D’Arcy, Luke Lucyk and Mark Van Guilder with the Irish. In his first season in Tri-City (2003-04), Hanson helped the Storm to the USHL finals versus Waterloo. He had 13 goals and 10 assists in 69 games. His father, Dave, played 10 years of professional hockey including stints in the World Hockey Association with the Minnesota Fighting Saints and the New England Whalers and the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota North Stars. He may be best known for his role in the movie, Slapshot, as one of the famed Hanson Brothers.
Poulin on Hanson: “Christian brings size and speed to the lineup. He’s becoming one of the top players in the USHL and gives us a playmaker at forward. He’s strong on his skates and moves well for a player with his size. He definitely has pro potential and a tremendous upside.”
Jordan Pearce will join returning goaltender David Brown to give the Irish a strong 1-2 tandem in goal next season in 2005-06. He is currently one of the top goaltenders in the USHL, playing for the Lincoln Stars after two seasons with the U.S. National Program. An athletic and highly competitive goaltender, Pearce has good size (6-1, 195) and is second in the USHL in wins (8) and fifth in goals-against average (2.67) through the first 16 games. He’s got an 8-4-2 record to go with the 2.67 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage, helping the Stars to second place in the USHL’s Western Division with a 10-4-2 record. Last season with the Under-18 Team, Pearce played versus the Irish in their November exhibition game, making 25 saves in a 4-0 Notre Dame win. On the season, he was 8-11-1 with a 3.57 goals-against average and a .874 save percentage in 27 games. In 2002-03 with the Under-17 team, Pearce was 7-22-0 with a 3.97 goals against and a .891 save percentage. He is the lone USHL goaltender to be “A-rated” by NHL Central Scouting in their preliminary rankings. An outstanding student, Pearce started his senior year in high school this season with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Poulin on Pearce: “Jordan is big and athletic and covers the net well. He’s one of the top goaltenders in the USHL and continues to get better with more experience. He has definitely benefitted from playing the extra year in juniors. He’ll join David Brown next season and continue our tradition of strong goaltending.”
Jamie Silverson will join the Irish in 2005 after signing a national letter-of-intent in May of 2004. He deferred to next year to play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Silverson is a big, rugged defenseman who likes to play a physical-style of defense. An outstanding skater for a player of his size (6-4, 225-pounds), Silverson has no goals and one assist with 53 minutes in penalties in 15 games for Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks are 13-9-0 on the year and are currently third in the BCHL’s Interior Division. A native of Thunder Bay, Ont., Silverson played for the Leamington Flyers of the Western Ontario Junior Hockey League (WOJHL) last season. He helped Leamington to a fourth-place finish in the league with a 28-18-1 record as he collected a goal and nine assists for 10 points in 45 games and 80 minutes in penalties. Silverson has ties to Notre Dame, as he was a teammate of current Irish defenseman Wes O’Neill and freshman right wing Victor Oreskovich when they were members of the 2002 Ontario Under-17 team at the Canadian Championships in Nova Scotia.
Poulin on Silverson: “Jamie will bring an imposing physical presence to our defense. He’s a defensive defenseman who moves well for a player with his size. He decided to go to the BCHL to get more experience and it will help him when he gets here next fall.”
In the fall of 2006, Kevin Deeth, Kyle Lawson and Ryan Thang will join the Irish roster.
Kevin Deeth is a 5-8, 165-pound left shot center who is currently playing at the nationally known Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep School in Faribault, Minnesota. A highly skilled, playmaker with tremendous speed, Deeth makes things happen on the ice. He’s dangerous around the net, sees the ice well and has a knack for setting up his teammates. A native of Gig Harbor, Wash., Deeth has seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 22 games for Shattuck St. Mary’s. Two of his goals have been game winners . This past summer, he played on the same Under-18 World Cup team that fellow incoming recruit, Kyle Lawson, played for. He has been a member of the U.S. Select Under-16 and 17 teams from the Pacific District the last two years. Deeth will play next season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Green Bay Gamblers who selected him in the first round of USHL futures draft in August.
Poulin on Deeth: “Kevin is super fast with a quick, darting style of play that stands out when you watch him play. He’s a tremendous playmaker who scores goals. He’s got outstanding vision and makes things happen when he’s on the ice.”
Kyle Lawson is a talented defenseman with good size (6-0, 200 pounds) who is playing this season with the U.S. Under-18 Team. In 16 games this year, Lawson has no goals and 10 assists to rank second among defensemen in scoring. He recently helped the U.S. team win the gold medal at the Four Nations Tournament. A strong skater and passer, Lawson sees the ice well and is a strong power-play performer. He played last season with Honeybaked AAA where he had 17 goals and 41 assists for 58 points from the blue line. His strong performance in the Under-17 Festival earned him a spot on the national team. He served as an alternate captain this past August with the Under-18 Selects that finished fourth in the World Cup. He was a first round selection of the Tri-City Storm of the USHL in last August’s Futures draft. He is currently a “B-rated” player in NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary ratings.
Poulin on Lawson: “Kyle is a complete defenseman. He’s strong defensively, handles the puck well and has a tremendous shot, which excites me. He’s very good on the power play because he sees the ice so well. He came on late last year to get invited to the U.S. program. He continued to improve each year we’ve watched him. I expect him to be an impact player when he joins us in 2006.”
Ryan Thang rounds out the group of seven signees and will join the Irish in 2006-07. A 6-1, 185-pound right wing, Thang is a hard-working forward who is strong on his skates and has a nose for the net. Strong at both ends of the ice, he has the tools and potential to become a prototypical power forward. He is currently playing for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL where he has a goal and seven assists for eight points in 15 games. Sioux Falls is fourth in the USHL’s Western Division with a 9-5-1 record. Thang played three seasons at Edina High School and will graduate from Sioux Falls High School this coming spring. He becomes the 14th Edina player to play hockey at Notre Dame. A member of Team Minnesota’s Under-16 and 17 teams, he played for the U.S. Select 17’s in 2003 and was captain of that team. In August of 2003, Thang was selected by Sioux Falls with the second pick in the USHL’s Futures Draft.
Poulin on Thang: “Ryan’s got all the tools to be a top power forward at this level. He’s got a great shot and goes to the net hard all the time. He’s a strong two-way player who’s tough and strong on his skates.
Notre Dame Hockey Letter-Of-Intent Signees
Player Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Hometown/2003-04 TeamEric Condra RW 8/6/86 6-0 185 Livonia, Mich./Lincoln Stars (USHL)
Kevin Deeth ** C 5/26/87 5-8 165 Gig Harbor, Wash./Shattuck St. Mary's
Christian Hanson C 3/10/86 6-3 190 Venetia, Pa./Tri-City Storm (USHL)
Kyle Lawson ** D 1/11/87 6-0 200 New Hudson, Mich./U.S. Under-18 Team
Jordan Pearce G 10/10/86 6-1 190 Anchorage, Alaska/Lincoln Stars (USHL)
Jamie Silverson D 3/26/86 6-4 225 Thunder Bay, Ont./Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL)
Ryan Thang ** RW 5/11/87 6-1 185 Edina, Minn./Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
** deferred to 2006-07