REPORT: Denver lands highly-prized former St. Cloud recruit on heels of Pioneers’ sweep

Photo credit: NHL.com

Today was the beginning of the signing period for college hockey recruits. For most of the day, there was little intrigue as the Pioneers officially added formerly verbal commits in Slava Demin, Brendan Budy, and soon, they’ll add Will MacKinnon. But the biggest news of the day came after the close of business when, as friend of LetsGoDU Jake Baskin reported on Twitter and was later confirmed by the Dubuque Fighting Saints, highly touted center, Cole Guttman.

The news of his signing was big because prior to signing his National Letter of Intent (NLI) he had been verbally committed to play at St. Cloud State, the team the Pioneers just swept at Magness Arena. Guttman will join the Pioneers next year.

Of course, given the fracas at the end of Saturday night’s game that saw a linesman separate DU head coach Jim Montgomery and SCSU head coach Bob Motzko, speculation flew on Twitter that Guttman’s decision was the subject of the argument. While no one will be able to confirm nor deny that, it adds another level of intrigue to what took place over the weekend.

In any event, Denver just gained an extremely talented center with a high ceiling. Last year, in 53 games with Dubuque, Guttman put up 54 points on 27 goals and 27 assists. So far this year, in just 10 games, he has eight points on four goals and four assists.

“I’m really excited,” Guttman said via the Fighting Saints’ website. “When the opportunity came around, I obviously had to jump on it. It’s close to home, it’s a great program, and the coaching staff is awesome. I’m excited to get started.”

As a Dubuque alum, he’ll join Dubuque’s all-time winningest coach in Montgomery. While Guttman never played for Montgomery, Dubuque is turning into a pipeline for the Pioneers as Guttman will join Dylan Gambrell and Evan Janssen as recent Pioneers to have played for the Fighting Saints.

“I think I can offer a lot to the Pioneers, and [Montgomery] had faith in me as well. I was really fortunate for them to have faith in me, and as I said before, I can’t wait to get out there.”

With Guttman, Montgomery is continuing to show the country that Denver is poised to sustain their current stretch of national success and keep the Pioneers atop the college hockey world for some time come. While St. Cloud fans will certainly feel at least a bit disappointed about this move, this news could not be any better for Denver fans.

News and Notes

Jim Montgomery’s wife is expecting and due very soon. He and his family are hoping that his new baby girl is born prior to their series this weekend against North Dakota.

16 thoughts on “REPORT: Denver lands highly-prized former St. Cloud recruit on heels of Pioneers’ sweep”

  1. I come from an era where your verbal commitment was part of your personal honor.

    I hope that DU is not a school that is actively recruiting anyone who has already committed somewhere else.

    I always get queasy when anyone changes their verbal commitment, even when my school benefits from such a switch…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, this certainly adds a layer of intrigue to what went down last weekend.

    I, too, feel uneasy about a recruit changing a verbal commitment. There’s always the question of is there something sleazy going on behind the scenes. That said, I would trust that Monty and his staff aren’t compromising their ethics when it comes to recruiting. Reputation still means something.

    I would also add that I don’t know how much a verbal commitment really means to kids nowadays. Kids, parents, family advisors, and whoever else is in the mix–they are all looking out for their kids’ best interests. If that means changing a commitment, so be it. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, that’s just the way it seems to be. It certainly happens in football.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Regardless of how it went down, there is a massive gulf between the academic & social opportunities at DU & Cloudie. Just as I wouldn’t fault a kid for backing out of DU for Harvard as one example.

    Sucks for Motzko, but that’s what he signed up for.

    We almost lost Berkhoel to the Gophers in the 11th hour. Lucky for us he honored his commitment, brought home the Natty & Lucia was stuck holding his ballz.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Monty mentioned in the post game interview with Jay S. the he was delayed getting to the booth because they had a recruit on campus this past weekend. Could it have been Cole?

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  5. There is also another recent commit, in Trevor Wong. He is young but his current bantam stats are filthy…61 points, including 26 goals in 10 games so far. He is considered to be a top WHL pick and a big get for DU.

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    1. No one asked if you were excited. Lol, get over yourself. It was obviously just a comment made by someone, during comments about DU recruiting, with some details added. It sounds like the kid probably could have given a verbal anywhere, but he did for DU. I’m sure the coaching staff will take your opinion to heart, however…LOL!

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  6. I bet Roy Moore is excited about the 14 year old recruit.

    Things sound good on the recruiting front. I hope that somehow indicates that Montgomery will be around for more than just the current season. In terms of Guttman…if the kid had his own plan to come to DU and Montgomery fielded the call, I don’t see anything wrong with that. I think Montgomery gets good recruits of his own, and doesnt use poaching as some kind of strategy.

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  7. Bet you the first person Monty/Carle called when Guttman called DU and said he wants to play for them was Motzko. These coaches have a high level of respect for each other and all follow an unwritten code when it comes to this stuff. Don’t think for one second that Motzko and Monty didn’t have a conversation about the kid when he told St. Cloud “see ya”

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    1. I don’t think the on-ice conversation was about recruits. It was likely about the unravelling of composure on both sides in a very emotional game. SCSU was whistled for two five minute majors for dangerous play during the game, while DU ran into the SCSU goalie in the final minutes. Both coaches had the right to be upset with each other, and in the heat of the moment, these tense coach exchanges do happen.

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