Tuesday reading: Commit on choosing CC; Jaden analysis; Final 5; polls

CC commit Jared Hanson talks about why he chose CC:

“It’s every kid’s dream growing up,” Hanson told his hometown newspaper on Monday by cellphone from Lincoln, Neb., where he plays for the Lincoln Stars of the Tier I United States Hockey League. “I’m very excited about it and am looking forward to it a lot.”

Hanson, 19, who left Palmer after his sophomore season to play at a higher level, is in his second full year with the Stars. The 6-foot, 190-pound forward is second on his team with 22 goals and third on the squad with 43 points and a plus-27 rating. In 97 career games, Hanson has tallied 31 goals and 36 assists with a plus-39 rating.

His play with the Tier I franchise caught the attention of a number of Division I scouts, including the coaches of the storied Colorado College program.

Penn State, Ohio State and Harvard were among the Division I squads battling for Hanson. Ultimately, Hanson opted for a future at the Colorado Springs, Colo., school.

“The hockey program is one of the best in the country annually. The coaching staff is great, not to mention great academics,” Hanson said. “It was kind of an easy decision for me.”

Hanson said he seriously considered schools such as Harvard and Penn State. Northeastern and St. Cloud State also were in the mix.

For more of the article, click here.

This STLToday.com columnist questions why the Blues sent former Tiger Jaden Schwartz immediately to the NHL roster.

Minnesota Duluth prepares for the WCHA Final Five. The Bulldogs play Friday against the winner of the No. 6 seed Michigan Tech/No. 3 Denver winner. The Huskies have enjoyed some success against Denver this season going 1-0-1 in Houghton.

No. 4 seed North Dakota, which plays No. 5 St. Cloud State on Thursday is an NCAA bubble team. SCSU, rated No. 19 in the latest Pairwise rankings, may have to win twice to make the NCAAs. No. 1 Minnesota awaits the winner on Friday night.

Colorado College is out of both national polls, receiving some votes in the USCHO.com poll and nothing in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.

Blues confirm deal with Jaden Schwartz

Here’s the St. Louis Blues press release.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play in the NHL and I’m excited to be able to do it as a St. Louis Blue,” said Schwartz in the release. “The Blues are having a terrific season and I will do whatever they need me to do just to help out.”

Here’s the STLToday.com article:

CHICAGO • With 12 games remaining on the schedule, the Blues were in first place in the NHL by four points when they woke up in Chicago on Monday. There was a four-point cushion between them and the New York Rangers atop the league standings, five points between the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference.

And the Blues now have something else going for them as postseason beckons.

The team finalized a thee-year entry level contract with Colorado College sophomore Jaden Schwartz on Monday, adding the 19-year old to the parent roster.

Schwartz, the Blues’ No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL draft and 14th selection overall, will join the team in Chicago tonight and will be available on Tuesday against the Blackhawks.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong made it clear Schwartz’s status as a player ultimately rests with coach Ken Hitchcock.

“Ken knows hockey, does his research,” Armstrong said. “He will make those decisions.”

To that end, Hitchcock is well aware of Schwartz and what he has to offer. One has to assume the Blues would not swipe a contract year off their prospect’s NHL clock unless they felt he would get playing time.

“He’s going to spend the rest of the year with us,” Armstrong added. “The way the rule is written, if he signs an NHL deal this year, he can’t go to the minors. So he’s signing to be available for our roster for the the rest of the season.”

“Our options were three: No 1, he was going to stay in college and he decided he doesn’t want to do that. No. 2, sign him and put him in Peoria and start the three-year clock ticking next year. Or No. 3, make him available for our team this year.

“After talking to our scouting staff and Dave Taylor in particular, who has seen him play two of last three weekends. And in looking at our roster now, and our injuries now, we thought it was worth getting him under contract to play for our team this year.”

CC’s Jaden Schwartz will sign pro deal with Blues

The Colorado Springs Gazette is reporting that CC sophomore Jaden Schwartz will sign a pro deal with the St. Louis Blues as early as Tuesday. Here’s the story:

Sophomore left wing Jaden Schwartz is leaving Colorado College for a professional deal with the St. Louis Blues that he’s expected to finalize this week. And his departure opens the door for his older brother, Rylan, to also abandon the Tigers for the pro ranks.

Jaden Schwartz will sign with the Blues – the team that drafted him in the first round in 2010 – as early as Tuesday, sources familiar with Schwartz’s decision told The Gazette. The Blues have had discussions with Schwartz, sources said, since CC suffered a season-ending defeat Saturday to Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. Neither Schwartz nor CC coach Scott Owens returned phone and text messages.

If Schwartz sticks with the NHL-leading Blues for their playoff run, his contract would pay $700,000 a year, and if he winds up with the Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen of the American Hockey League, it would net $250,000 a year. Either way, his contract would be prorated based on the length of time he’s on the roster – a contract being negotiated by an adviser to Schwartz, whose NCAA eligibility is gone once he signs a pro deal or hires an agent.