Jim Madigan and his staff have secured a verbal commitment from ’98 right shot centerman Zach Solow, currently playing in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Solow, a 5-foot 11-inch, 180 pound Floridian, played in 39 games with the Fighting Saints, scoring 8 goals and notching 17 assists for 25 points. He came over mid-season from the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he scored 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 25 games. If you take Solow’s .64 points per game average and project it across the full 60 game slate for Dubuque, he would have scored 38 points, which would have been good for placing 5th on the team in scoring.
Solow played as a second and third line center on a Dubuque team that finished third in their standings, making the Clark Cup playoffs. Solow is described as a “tough centerman with high compete level” (@USHockeyWire), a “powerful two-way forward who can bury the puck,” and another source noted that he “played a strong defensive game and added some offense as well.” Projecting to be a more defensive-minded center, it is noteworthy that he also only had 14 penalty minutes, an encouraging number for a two-way forward, especially on a team that was the second-most penalized team in the USHL.
In a statement released by the Fighting Saints on their website, Solow was quoted as saying: ““Northeastern is in the great city of Boston, and they’re an up-and-coming team. I’m really excited to be committed there and to potentially win a Beanpot and hopefully a national championship there someday.”
We project Solow to arrive in the Fall of 2017, after spending one more season at Dubuque. He is also eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, so we will continue watching to see how his stock changes in the following year. Dubuque has been a quality source of talent for the Huskies in the past, providing impact players in 2016-17 Captain John Stevens, former defenseman Matt Benning, former center Mike Szmatula, and, going further back, former Northeastern captain Vinny Saponari. As a projected 2017 arrival, Solow could fill in a void left by the potential early departure of Dylan Sikura (2014 Blackhawks draft pick) or Nolan Stevens (2016 Blues draft pick). As a center, Solow could also potentially fill in spots in the center of the lineup that will be opened by the graduation of John Stevens, Tanner Pond, and Brendan Collier.
You can check out the our laterst NU roster projection here. Stay tuned to the site for all of our previews of Hockey East teams. Follow us on Twitter @NUHockeyBlog, and as always, Go Huskies!