Maine Hockey Journal

Hill commits to UMaine

Brent Hill visited Alfond Arena in August, and last Monday that’s where he decided he wants to play his collegiate hockey.

The 5-foot-10, 181-pound, 18-year-old from Lunenburg, Mass., will be arriving at the University of Maine for the 2017-18 season. He has spent the past three seasons at Cushing Academy, a prep school located in Ashburnham, Mass. As a senior in 2015-16, he had 12 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Penguins.

“Obviously, Maine has the best fans in Hockey East,” Hill said of the reason why he chose Maine. “The coaching staff has NHL experience and National Championships before in college. It was really a no-brainer.”

He has family that lives in Maine, and his dad does some work in Wells.

Cushing coach Rob Gagnon said Hill is a well-liked kid.

“He’s kind of humbled and quiet,” Gagnon said. “He goes about his business and flies under the radar. He’s very well liked among his peers and his teachers.”

Gagnon said Maine jumped on Hill when most schools were probably waiting to see what he did at the next level.

“Nobody was solid on making a commitment because a lot them wanted to see him in junior hockey,” Gagnon said. “I think Maine is doing a really good job in getting ahead of it and stealing a kid in a year or two that a lot of schools would be on.”

Hill describes himself as a 200-foot player but also likes to light the lamp.

“I love scoring goals and making plays set up my teammates,” Hill added.

Gagnon said he’s skilled, fast and can shoot a puck and likes to go in on the forecheck.

His production has gone up every season at Cushing as a sophomore he had four goals and seven assists as a sophomore while as a junior he had seven goals and 12 assists while played the entire year with an injury.

“Last season, I got injured in my first game, tore some ligaments in my ankle, took a few weeks off and decided to play through it, which probably hurt it worse,” Hill said. “Over the summer, I dedicated a lot of my time to rehabbing it, and I came back strong this season – I had a pretty good year.”

Gagnon said Hill needs to continue to play consistently night in and night out like any other player going into college hockey.

“I think all these kids need to get better at playing consistently,” Gagnon said. “I think that’s the same is true for Brent. He can work at being a consistent player and play at his top level all the time. He will go on and have a very good career.”

Hill said he knows he needs to continue working on all facets of his game before he arrives in Orono.

He will spend the 2016-17 season playing junior hockey, but hasn’t decided where he will be playing and will work with the Black Bears coaching staff on what the best destination is for him.

He was a 2012 12th round draft pick of the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Playing in the QMJHL would forfeit majority of his NCAA eligibility.

Hill’s coming to Maine is contingent upon his acceptance into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.

Johnson ranked 18th among North American Goalies

Tyler Johnson, a 2017-18 goalie recruit, was ranked 18th by the NHL Central Scouting among North American goalies for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held in Buffalo, N.Y.

Johnson, who’s in his first season with the Topeka Roadrunners of the North American Hockey League, has a 20-13-2 record during the regular season with a 2.56 goals-against-average and .906 save percentage.

Right now, Johnson is scheduled to sit out the 2017-18 season as he suited up for one game for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL in 2014-15. He and the school are appealing to the NCAA to cut the suspension down.

Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup playing for Denmark

Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, 2017-18 recruit, is suiting up for Denmark at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships which are being held in Grand Forks, ND from April 14-24.

He had 17 goals and 13 assists in 25 games with the Boston Jr. Bruins of the USPHL Premier League as a rookie.

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