Michigan Tech picked up its third commitment this week as Joel L’Esperance (Detroit Compuware U-18) made his choice earlier today. The 1995-born forward joins a group of recent huskies from Brighton, Michigan, including Aaron Pietila, John Kivisto, and Lars Helminen. Last season for Compuware, Joel had 18 goals and 18 assists in 36 games while playing with Northeastern recruit Garrett Cockerill. Compuware has a great tradition of producing NHL-caliber players including Jack Johnson, Andy Hilbert, Andy Greene and Brian Rolston.
L’Esperance will likely spend some time in the USHL before heading to Houghton. He was selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the 3rd round of the 2011 USHL Futures Draft (41st overall). Scouts at various levels have had many positive things to say about L’Esperance. One scout said, “He has a quick, pro style shot and is a natural center.” Another said, “He fights for the puck like there is no tomorrow, plays physical and tries to make things happen in all three zones of the ice.” Just the kind of attributes Michigan Tech needs from a center.
EvenStrength.com had this to say about the future Husky back in February 2011:
Overall Player Rating: B+
Skating ability: Average
Shooting ability: Above average
Passing ability: Above average
Weakness: Needs to add a little more grit to his game.
Intangibles: Skilled forward with very good decision making skills.
Career potential: L’Esperance has really come into his own this season. He makes very smart decisions with the puck; making clean passes and having a very hard, accurate shot. While far from a push over, some scouts would like to see L’Esperance add a bit more “toughness” to his game, which many feel would make this youngster a complete player. With the right work ethic and his talent, L’Esperance should be playing meaningful hockey past the Midget level.
The future of Michigan Tech Hockey looks brighter every day. There are some very skilled players committed to this program now. Bill Muckalt and Damon Whitten have been very busy recruiters so far in the Mel Pearson era. More commitments are expected in the coming weeks, including a replacement for Senior Goaltender Josh Robinson. Keep checking in here for all your Michigan Tech recruiting news.