Gravel (pronounced Gra-Velle) is following in the footsteps of his father Jim who was a forward for the St. Cloud State Huskies from 1977-81. The younger Gravel turned down offers from Michigan State and Northern Michigan of the CCHA to join the Huskies. He's a 5th round (148th pick overall) draft choice of the Los Angeles Kings in 2010. The Kings were lured by his 6'4" frame and upside potential as a defenseman. Gravel's resume includes a year with the Marquette Rangers of the NAHL and a year with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. A "Defense First" defenseman, he was 6-14-20 along with 65 PIM in two years of junior hockey. In 2009, he was a member of the U-17 USA squad that competed in the Vlad Dzurille Tournament and in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka U-18 tourney. He was also named to the USA team that competed in the 2009 World Junior A Challenge. Athletic, with a big frame and good skating ability makes Gravel a player to watch as he develops with the SCSU Huskies. He'll need to work on his strength and ability to jump into the play but will immediately compete for a position on the Husky DE corps. He should develop into one of the leagues top defensive defenseman in a few years.
This veteran of the North American Hockey League looks to have an offensive impact on the Huskies. A proven scorer at every level, Thorson combines size and a great shot in his arsenal. At the high school level, Thorson had 21 goals and 21 assists for Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in 2006-07 and followed that up leading the conference in scoring as a senior with 31 goals and 31 assists in 2007-08. Again, in the fall high school Elite League he showed his ability to put the puck in the net scoring 24 goals in 25 games. Following his senior season he was named to the MN Great 8 Showcase and was named MN All State Honorable Mention. He immediately began his scoring ways in the NAHL with 28-20-48 in 58 games including 23 PIM. In 2009-10 he finished 13th in NAHL scoring with 24-30-54 in 58 games and 22 PIM. His efforts earned him a NAHL nomination for 2010 Junior Player of the Year and inclusion on the NAHL All - Central Division team. He was also chosen to play in the 2010 Sherwood NAHL Top Prospects Tourney. Thorson currently holds the
all-time points and goal scoring records for the Owatonna Express franchise with 52/102. Coach Pat Cullen of the Express commented " Cory is a very skilled hockey player and very deserving of the opportunity to play at the WCHA level." With considerable depth at forward Thorson will have his work cut out for him but his ability to score will benefit him as he competes for playing time.
The Huskies landed an outstanding recruit in Nick Jensen, a 5th round draft choice (150th overall) of Detroit in the 2009 NHL entry draft. A swift, smooth skating offensive defenseman, Jensen led the USHL in plus/minus at +34 in 2008-09. An outstanding athlete and student, Jensen competed in both hockey and football at Rogers (MN) high school. He was a three-time all-conference hockey player and scored 53 goals in high school prior to leaving after his junior year. He was also named AP All-State honorable mention and to the Star Tribune All Metro team. In 2008-09 Jensen put up 5-17-22 in 52 games including 27 PIM for the Gamblers of the USHL. In 2009-10 he again had an outstanding offensive and defensive year with a +36 and 6-21-27 in 53 games. In the USHL playoffs, he had 8 points in 12 games. His success earned him a spot in the USHL All-Star game and was a member of the Gold medal winning USA 2010 World Junior Challenge team. Nick's father Jeff also competed at the collegiate level with the Lake Superior State University Lakers and was a 10th round pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 1978 NHL entry draft. This swift skating and offensive defenseman should make an immediate impact in the SCSU lineup and should be one of the top first-year defenders in the WCHA for 2010-11.
Johnson has made quite a leap after two seasons - from playing Midget AAA hockey in 2007-09 to Division I hockey in the WCHA with the Huskies. Johnson caught the eye of the SCSU coaching staff after exploding with 13 points and a +10 rating in the NAHL playoffs in 2010, leading all rookies in points and making the NAHL All Rookie team. A creative offensive player, Johnson was named to the Midwest Junior Hockey All-Star team in 2007 and followed that up by being named MVP at the Buffalo Saints Tourney while with the Ohio Bluejackets Midget AAA team. In 2008-09 he compiled 15-18-33 in 46 games including 48 PIM for the Dallas Stars U18 Midget AAA team while captaining the squad that was runner-up in the Nat'l Tourney. An undrafted and untendered player, he joined the Topeka RoadRunners and quickly became an offensive leader finishing with 19-35-54 and a +15 plus/minus. He also led the squad with 5 power play goals and 2 short-handed goals. He ended up tied for 13th in league scoring alongside SCSU recruit Cory Thorson.An honors student, Johnson will have hit work cut out for him in cracking the deep offensive lineup of the Huskies. He'll need to work on his strength and ability to play through checks in the physical WCHA. Hockey db Profile
Brandon Burrell - 6'1" 194 Defense, Brooklyn Park, MN
2009-10 - Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)
2008-09 - Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)
2007-08 - North Metro Stars (MSHSL)
The Huskies have added another former player from the Wenatchee Wild of the NAHL with the addition of Brandon Burrell, a teammate of fellow Husky recruit Nic Dowd. A native of Brooklyn Park, MN Burrell played his high school hockey for former SCSU player Chic Pojar. In 2007-08 Burrell led the co-op Stars in goal scoring with 16 and earned a place on the Metro All Conference team. He decided to forgo his senior year and joined the Wenatchee Wild. In 2008-09 he compiled 9-18-27 in 51 games including 49 PIM. As a result, he was named to the NAHL All-Rookie team. In 2009-10 Burrell again showed he was one of the top offensive De-men in the league putting up 28 points on 4 goals and 24 assists. He also finished +9 in plus/minus. Burrell adds much needed depth to the Husky defense and his size and offensive ability should lead to playing time in 2010-11. As he acclimates his game to the WCHA he should become a solid contributor the the squad.
The University of New Hampshire's loss was the SCSU Huskies gain as Reid who originally committed to UNH ultimately ended up as a Husky due to transcript issues and credit for some classes taken. What the Huskies gained was a tall, high scoring centerman with good hockey sense and loads of upside potential. The Delta, BC native has no regrets and is thrilled to be a Husky. They've also gained a player the Nashville Predators thought highly enough of to draft him with the 110th pick in the 4th round of the 2009 NHL entry draft. They see him as a developing prospect who will benefit from several years of collegiate play. Reid spent a year and a half with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and a year and a half with the Westside Warriors of the BCHL. Gradually increasing his offensive totals, Reid compiled 10-16-26 in 55 games in 2007-08, 12-28-40 in 58 games in 2008-09 and exploded with 27 goals, 45 assists and 72 points in 2009-10. He also added 8 points in the BCHL playoffs. Also included in his resume is his addition to the Pacific roster of the World U17 Hockey Challenge in 2008 and the 2009 World Junior Hockey Challenge where he put up 4 goals and 2 assists in 5 games. Reid gives the Huskies a tall rangy centerman with skills and scoring ability. His offensive skills and good hockey sense should allow substantial playing time for the Huskies in 2010-11.
Recruit Nic Dowd goes down in the record books as the first player from Huntsville, AL drafted into the NHL and the first player from Wenatchee of the NAHL to be drafted. As a mite hockey player, Dowd racked up 103 goals and 68 assists for an astounding 171 points. Dowd eventually ended up at the prestigious Culver Academy where he compiled 46 points on 15 goals and 31 assists in 45 games. From there, he moved on to the Wenatchee Wild in 2008-09 where he was a stalwart on the power play and compiled 16 goals and 33 assists in 46 games. He flourished in the playoffs scoring 22 points in 13 games and was +10. In 2009-10 he moved to the USHL's Indy Ice again finding success offensively with 48 points in 46 games and 6 points in 9 playoff games. Dowd was drafted #198 in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2009 NHL entry draft. Said Wenatchee coach Paul Baxter " His learning curve is very steep and his competitive vigor in all aspects makes him a very attractive NHL prospect. Nic has tremendous stick skills and vision along with a very good skating stride that will get better as he physically matures." Dowd has a tremendous amount of upside and will benefit from a structured strength program at SCSU. There's no doubt he'll see ice time in 2010 and as typically is the case will be better the second half of the season as he acclimates himself to the rough and tumble WCHA. Dowd will develop into an outstanding player and NHL prospect while at SCSU. A great get for the Huskies.
Originally slated to be skating for the Northeastern Huskies in 2010-11 MacMillan de-committed in August and joined the SCSU Huskies due to scholarship and paperwork issues. A prolific scorer, MacMillan exploded for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and led the league with 61 goals goals. His totals for 2009-10 were 61-32-93 including 33 power play goals and 13 game winning goals. As a result, he was named the 2009-10 Coastal Conference MVP. In 2008 -09 he racked up 55 points on 33 goals and 22 assists. He skated for the Powell River Kings in 2007-08 and compiled 17 points. Not afraid to mix things up physically, MacMillan put up over 200 PIM the past two seasons including 94 during the 2009-10 season. A natural scorer with a good nose for the net he can play through checks and play the physical game. MacMillan should be an impact player for the Huskies in 2010-11.
His younger brother Mark was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in the 2010 NHL entry draft and will join UND in 2011. MacMillan is an outstanding late recruit for SCSU.