Michigan Tech recruiting news continues to roll in. The team has picked up a commitment from Kent McPherson, defenseman and captain for the Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL). McPherson brings a complete game, being able to log big minutes while making positive contributions at both ends of the ice. The 6'1" defenseman is commonly described as strong, heady, fast and physical. He has a big shot and is a great passer and team leader. The Stratford, Ontario, native is in his first season with Trenton and, among defensemen, leads the OJHL in goals with 16 and is third in scoring with 32 points. McPherson has been an offensive threat since entering the OJHL last season with the Orangeville Flyers. He finished his season with the Flyers tied for second among defensemen with 14 goals.
McPherson's father, Dan, played for the University of New Hampshire in the late '70s around the same time Mel Pearson was playing for the Huskies. Unlike his father, however, McPherson did take a stab at Major Juniors, playing in nine games for the Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) in the 2009–10 season before deciding he wanted to focus on a college scholarship. That stint will likely cost McPherson a season and nine games of eligibility. He is scheduled to head to Houghton and practice with the team during the 2012–13 season before being eligible to play for the Huskies' tenth game of the 2013–14 season. That all needs to be worked out with the NCAA clearing house, but it's a very similar situation to those of former Huskies forwards Alex Gagne and Taggart Desmet.
McPherson might be a little older than what most Michigan Tech fans would like to see but he is certainly a skilled defenseman that should add some fire power to the blueline during his three seasons of eligibility at Michigan Tech. The OJHL can be a tough league for judging skill because it has so many teams and such an unbalanced schedule. The good news is McPherson's numbers against teams with a winning record are good. In 20 games, he has 9 goals and 8 assists versus teams with winning records. That's only a little worse than his numbers against teams with a losing record: 12 games, 7 goals, 8 assists. Its not surprising to see his numbers are better against weaker competition, but the relative balance is a good sign.
Its hard to argue with the numbers McPherson is putting up this year even with his age, as most of the defensemen he's competing with appear to be older than those in the other leagues Michigan Tech has been recruiting. Hopefully it will translate to successful college career and he can transition into a top four guy very quickly with his age and experience.