Western Michigan has signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the spring signing period.
JJ Crew (Placentia, Calif./Lincoln Stars-USHL) will be joining the Broncos for the 2008-09 season, while Kevin Connauton (Edmonton, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints-AJHL), Brett Beebe (Redondo Beach, Calif./Waterloo Blackhawks-USHL) and Jordan Gidaro (Brampton, Ontario/Burlington Cougars-OPJHL) will defer their enrollment until the 2009-10 season.
The four join Greg Squires, Ian Slater, Lucas Isley, Jesse Perrin and Luke Witkowski from the November signing period.
Crew, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound forward, helped the Stars to a third-place finish in the West Division of the USHL. During his first season in the USHL, he scored six goals and added 14 assists in 59 games. The previous season he played with the Colorado Rampage AAA Major Midget team, scoring 30 goals and 38 assists in just 25 games.
Connauton, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman, scored 18 goals and added 32 assists in 71 games during his first season with Spruce Grove. He was the top-scoring rookie defensman in the AJHL and the third-leading scoring defenseman in the league. His strong season led to a Rookie of the Year nomination and he was a unanimous selection to the AJHL North All-Rookie Team.
Beebe played on the 2006 U.S. Select Under 17 team that participated in the Three Nations Cup and was tied for third in scoring during the tournament. A 6-foot, 180-pound forward, he scored five goals and four assists in 34 games during his first season in the USHL. The previous season he played for the Anaheim Junior Ducks AAA Major Midget team and scored 30 goals and 53 assists in 60 games.
Gidaro scored 21 goals and 29 assists in 39 games during his first season in the OPJHL. The previous season he scored 37 goals and 18 assists in 33 games for King Wild of the Greater Metro Hockey League and received the Luke Reynolds Award for the GMHL’s best forward.
Squires, Slater, Isley, Perrin and Crew will join the Broncos in 2008-2009, leaving Witkowski, Connauton, Beebe and Gidaro to skate with the Brown & Gold during the 2009-2010 season.