It’s been a busy last few days in Forceland but one of the major stories with the team this off-season has been Garrett Haar.
Haar, who was drafted by the Washington Capitals with the 207th overall pick last week, decommitted from Northeastern a day after NHL Draft. He said that the departure of coach Greg Cronin to the Toronto Maple Leafs was the major reason why he decommitted.
He plans on spending one more year in Fargo and while doing that will decide where he’ll play college hockey. Haar told The Forum on Sunday that his choices are Boston University, Denver, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota.
A few months ago when Brian Cooper’s recruitment was a hot topic, Slightly Chilled took a look at what WCHA schools could land him. This time, the focus will be on Haar and where he could go.
1. Boston University: Haar was already heading to Boston anyways so why not go to Boston University? It’s still Hockey East and according to Chris Heisenberg’s recruiting list for 2012, the Terriers only have two defensive commits heading into July. Haar has said he’d like to go to a program that can develop him for the NHL and BU has that reputation especially when looking at current NHL players like Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt Gilroy and NCAA Tournament hero/Bruins farmhand Colby Cohen, who were just at BU not too long ago. But here’s another problem, the Terriers aren’t graduating anyone anytime soon with the entire defensive corp returning from last season.
2. Denver: The Pioneers are expected to return three defensemen next year and have incoming d-men such as Scott Mayfield coming to campus. Of the three defensemen returning, John Lee, brother of Brian Lee, is the only one that will be a senior. In addition to Mayfield, the Pioneers could have three but as many as four defensemen (depending on where forward/d-man Wade Bennett ends up) that are expected to come in. Included in that class is Josiah Didier, a recent draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens. It appears that Denver’s blueline is crowded and it could stay that way for quite a while.
3. Minnesota: The Gophers are like the Pioneers in that sense of having three returning defensemen while having three incoming defensemen headlined by Detroit Red Wings prospect Ben Marshall. Minnesota’s defensive corp will be mainly freshmen and sophomores so it could be one of those cases where if Haar goes to Minnesota, he’ll certainly have to fight for playing time. Also the Gophers already have two defensemen commits already for this recruiting season.
4. Minnesota-Duluth: The defending champs are losing four d-men from last year’s title-winning team and have four returners. That being said, the Bulldogs are also bringing in four guys too for this season. This year’s recruiting class lone defensive commit is the Force’s Willie Corrin. Given the way this week has gone it would make plenty sense for Haar to head to Duluth which got former Force coach Jason Herter on Monday and then today received a commitment from Force forward Austin Farley.
5. North Dakota: Because playing at UND would be such a horrible thing. The Sioux graduated three defensemen, have five coming back and have three incoming recruits. Ben Blood would be the only senior and with Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City) set to be the only defensive commit, for now, to come in 2012-13, the Sioux could easily be a viable option for Haar.