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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wolverines sign trio from U.S. NTDP

The University of Michigan announced today that the team has received National Letters of Intent from a trio of forwards that currently play for the U.S. National Team Development Program: Chris Brown (Flower Mound, Texas), Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe) and A.J. Treais (Bloomfield Hills).

All three players will join the Wolverines for the 2009-10 season.

Brown is listed at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. Nineteen games into the season, he has five goals, including three on the power play, and seven assists for 12 points. Additionally, he has 36 penalty minutes. Brown was named an 'A' prospect in the NHL Central Scouting Service's fall ratings on Oct. 20. An 'A' prospect is stated as a player who is predicted to be drafted in the first or second round of the upcoming 2009 NHL Entry Draft. With the U.S. NTDP Under-17 Team in 2007-08, Brown had 13-7-20 totals in 63 games. He also racked up 74 penalty minutes.

Lynch (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) has three goals and four assists for seven points in 19 games. The NHL CSS rated him as a 'B' prospect, which is a player who is estimated to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds in the 2009 NHL Draft. Last year, Lynch accumulated 19 goals and six assists in 63 games for the U.S. NTDP Under-17 Team. He led the team with five game-winning goals.

Treais measures in at 5-foot-8, 150 pounds. In 13 games this season, he has three goals, including one shorthanded tally, and four assists. The NHL CSS has Treais pegged as a 'C' prospect -- a player who could be chosen in the late rounds of the 2009 NHL Draft. In 2007-08, Treais had a 12-17-29 scoring line in 63 games for the U.S. NTDP Under-17 Team. Five of his goals came on the power play.

"I think each player will add something to our team," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "I think A.J. Treais looks a little bit like T.J. Hensick. He can be a prolific small centerman. Kevin Lynch is kind of a grinder. He's going to be a good player who can play with other good players. He's physical, he works hard, he's tough. He has pretty good hands. Chris Brown has a lot of potential. He's a big, strong, physical winger who can score."

"I think (the three recruits) give us a good combination of size and skill," Wolverines associate head coach Mel Pearson said. "Chris Brown has had a good career at USA Hockey. I think he's really come into his own this year. He's learned to play more physical and use his size. He has really good hands. He has a great shot. We expect him to come in here and use that size and add some scoring to our team.

"Kevin Lynch is a really hard-nosed, two-way player. He's the kind of guy you'd like to have on your team. He'll play the same whether you're playing at home or on the road. You know what to expect out of him every game, which is important. He has really good hands, too. I don't think he's scored as well as maybe he could have at the program. They have him in a little bit different role. He has excellent hands. As he gets closer to the net he's got better hands. I think he's a guy who can finish as well as give you a good two-way game.

"A.J. Treais is a smaller player, dynamic, highly skilled. He's not unlike some of the kids we've had like T.J. Hensick, Mike Comrie, Mike Cammalleri, Louie Caporusso -- he's along that line. He's not a really big player, but he's very talented. He has excellent stick skills. He's a guy who I think can really add something on the power play down the road.

"We like the combination of the size, the skill and the speed that those three give us."

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