Thursday reading: Michigan, Jablonski, NCHC, Civitarese, Guentzel

Former Tiger David Civitarese made quite an impression at the recent prospects camp. Thanks to CC statistician Victoria Thomas for providing this image.

Here is a list of Michigan college players who signed pro contracts so far this offseason including Michigan Tech’s Jordan Baker going to ECHL Colorado.

Injured high school hockey player Jack Jablonski is making considerable progress.

Here is an update on CC’s $27 million in renovations at its El Pomar athletic complex, which will include a new varsity weight room and synthetic ice shooting room for the hockey program.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference added two to its league office staff.

And from the How Did I Miss This? story department, here are two older articles on former Tigers. David Civitarese was happy to miss the Calgary Stampede last month. Gabe Guentzel made a good first impression during his first partial pro season.

Anyone traveling to Omaha later this month may want to check out this hockey game fundraiser that features former Nebraska Omaha players and current NHLers.

More weekend reading: Lasch, UND, Duluth, BU, Wayne State

Former St. Cloud State standout wing Ryan Lasch, fresh off the Finnish Elite League scoring title (62 points including 24 goals), has signed a two-way deal with Anaheim.

He is the first Orange County native to sign with the Ducks. Lasch (pictured playing for the Lahti Pelicans) is interviewed in this Q&A.

The North Dakota Alumni Association explains why it wants the Sioux nickname retired.

In happier news, incoming freshman Jordan Schmaltz has said he is 100 percent committed to playing at UND.

Nebraska-Omaha reportedly will hire St. Cloud State assistant Steve Johnson as its new assistant coach. replacing MSU Mankato head coach Mike Hastings. An announcement is expected soon. It is expected to take another week to 12 days before North Dakota announces its assistant hire: Brad Berry.

Cody Danberg, 25, received a medical hardship year from the NCAA and was named as captain by Minnesota-Duluth for 2012-13.

Boston University lost a sophomore to the Blackhawks organization. Rape charges against a former Terriers defenseman were dropped.

Wayne State, which recently eliminated its varsity program, has added a club team. Here’s hoping this is the first step toward another varsity program in Michigan.

An unheralded coaching icon at Providence College is retiring.

Here is some interesting info about the big money Canadian major junior franchises haul in while paying their players only $200 per month, which makes them ineligible for a college hockey scholarship, full or partial. Think the kids in the CHL are getting their real worth?

Guentzel headed to AHL Syracuse

Former Tiger defenseman Gabe Guentzel will likely make his pro debut this weekend for AHL Syracuse. COURTESY TIM BRULE/USCHO

Former Tiger defenseman Gabe Guentzel is flying to Syracuse, N.Y. on Friday to sign an AHL-only contract with the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch for the remainder of this season and the next, he said Thursday night.

“They really wanted to get me out there playing and learning their system,” he said. “That is one of the reasons I chose them.”

The Crunch are affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks organization, in which the puck-moving defenseman hopes he can find a niche and develop his game for the NHL.

Guentzel said he is unsure when he will make his professional debut. He is healthy and able to play when needed, he said.

“They really want to see me get some games under my belt this season,” he said.

The Crunch (27-27-4-4) host the Rochester Americans, which include former Tiger Colin Stuart, on Friday and the Adirondack Phantoms, which include former CC captain Mike Testwuide and Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom, on Saturday.

The college free agent said five other organizations – Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Edmonton and Minnesota – approached him about signing with them toward the end of his senior season, which ended March 10.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. He is the second  of the six Tiger seniors to sign a pro deal after his college career concluded. Tim Hall signed with the Alaska Aces late Thursday night.

Guentzel recorded 26 points (4g, 22a) his senior season and 94 points (16g, 78a) in 156 games for his career, missing only three games his freshman year out of a possible 159 contests played his his four years  a Tiger.