Notebook: Forward Oliver Chau signs NLI to join UMass hockey
Massachusetts hockey coach Greg Carvel announced Monday that Oliver Chau, 5-foot-9 Brooks Bandits’ forward of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Minutemen. Chau scored 35 goals and totaled 52 assists in 60 regular season games with the Bandits en route to winning the 2017 AJHL Rookie of the Year award.
“Oliver quickly proved himself in the AJHL with the Brooks Bandits by earning league rookie of the year honors,” Carvel said in the team’s press release. “He is an undersized player with tremendous quickness and hockey sense. He is an offensive-minded player that creates offense and knows where to be around the net to score. He will have to continue working on his strength and ability to battle, but his potential to be an offensive catalyst is promising. Oliver is a bright kid who is a strong student and is a cerebral hockey player as well.”
The Oakville, Ontario native led the AJHL with 18 power play goals, a Bandits’ record, and ranked third in goals and fourth in points last season.
Chau scored 25 goals and added 23 assists in 45 games in his two seasons (2014-16) at Northfield Mount Hermon School prior to joining the Bandits last season.
Chau joins Mitchell Chaffee, Jake Gaudet, Phillip Lagunov, John Leonard, George Mika, Mario Ferraro, Cale Makar and Matthew Murray as incoming UMass recruits and joins one of top rated recruiting classes in the country.
The Minutemen have undergone major roster turnover after the 2016-17 season as is usually the case after a head coaching change, with up to 10 underclassmen not returning to the team next season.
William Lagesson signed with Edmonton Oilers, forgoing his remaining two years of eligibility, while Dominic Trento, Patrick Lee, Joseph Widmar, Anthony Petrella, Michael Iovanna, Riley McDougall, Luke McElhenie and Nic Reynard intend to transfer elsewhere next season.
McCall lands first recruit
The Massachusetts men’s basketball team has its first recruit in the Matt McCall era.
First reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Fairfield sophomore Curtis Cobb has committed to UMass after two seasons with the Stags. Per NCAA transfer rules, Cobb will sit out the upcoming 2017-18 season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
The Fall River, Massachusetts native averaged 12.1 points per game as a sophomore and 10.8 as a freshman with the Stags. The 6-foot-5 guard tied a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record with 46 points against Manhattan last season.
“[McCall] talked a lot about helping me develop,” Cobb told the Daily Hampshire Gazette Saturday. “Development is going to be a big part of this year off. He has confidence that I’ll help them get better in the future.”
Kellogg may land on his feet
Recently fired Minutemen head coach Derek Kellogg is rumored to be in the mix to become the next head coach of LIU Brooklyn.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish reported Saturday that the Blackbirds’ search was “currently focused” on the former UMass coach.
Kellogg compiled a 155-137 (.531 percent) record in his nine seasons in Amherst before being fired at the end of the 2016-17 season after the Minutemen finished 15-18 and bowed out in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Zach Lewis to Iona
Former Minutemen guard Zach Lewis told Rothstein that he’s committed to Iona and is immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer.
Lewis averaged 8.8 points per game in 23 minutes per game in his only season at UMass. The 6-foot-3 junior spent two seasons at Canisius before transferring to UMass last season.
Kyle DaLuz can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.