BSU men’s hockey inks two during early signing period

The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey program today announced the signing of defensemen Matt Prapavessis (Oakville, Ontario) and Sam Windle (Maple Grove, Minn.) to National Letters of Intent. Both signed NCAA National Letters of Intent with the Beavers during the early signing period and will join the Bemidji State program for the 2011-12 campaign.

Prapavessis, a six-foot, two-inch blueliner for the United State Hockey League’s (USHL) Lincoln Stars and the addition of the 6-4 Windle, a defenseman for the Chicago Steel, also of the USHL, brings an obvious increase in sheer size to the BSU line up for 2010-11.

“Both Matt Prapavessis and Sam Windle bring great length, talent, and presence to our blue line,” said BSU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ted Belisle. “They both are talented defenders with USHL experience and we are excited to welcome them to Beaver Hockey.”

* Matt Prapavessis (D, 6-2, 189; 6/1/1991; Oakville, Ontario) is in his first year with Lincoln and through 12 games, he has netted two goals and four assists for six points to lead all Stars’ defensemen, while he is tied for the team’s lead with a pair of power-play goals.

A true offensive threat from the blue line, Prapavessis has recorded a point in five of his first 11 games with the Stars, which includes a season-high two-point (1-1=2) night Oct. 8 and a game-wining goal versus Windle and Chicago Oct. 23. He has posted an assist in each of the Stars’ last two outings helping to extend the team’s winning streak to four games.  At 7-5-0, Lincoln currently sits fifth in the USHL’s Western Conference but is just four points off the pace set by first-place Dubuque.

Prior to this season, Prapavessis spent two seasons with the Mississauga Chargers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.  During his time in the OJHL, he piled up 14-63=77 points, which included a career-best 43 points (8-35=43) in 49 games to rank fourth on the Chargers roster in 2009-10.

“Matt comes to us from Lincoln where he has had a great start to his first year in the USHL,” said Belisle.  “He possesses a good ability to run the power-play from the blue line and has the knack of creating offense for his teammates whenever he has the puck.  We are certainly excited about his potential.”

* Sam Windle (D, 6-4, 200; 3/10/1992; Maple Grove, Minn.)
is in his first season with Chicago and has posted 1-1=2 points to rank second among Steel defensemen after just 10 games played.  

Windle’s goal this season came in just his third game in the USHL and stood as the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory versus Indiana.  The blueliner has posted a negative plus/minus rating in only two games this season and carries a +5 rating into the Steels’ Nov. 19 game versus Cedar Rapids.

Windle was also selected to participate in the 2010 World Junior A Challenge Nov. 8-14 in Princeton, British Columbia, where he helped the United States Junior Select team to a perfect 5-0-0 record en route to capturing the gold medal.

Windle is ranked 19th in a recent release of NHL Central Scouting’s rankings of Tier I Junior A leagues in North America, setting the future Beavers up as a potential NHL pick in the upcoming draft.

A native of Maple Grove, Minn., Windle played high school hockey for former Beaver captain Mark Phenow (1998-2001) at Osseo High School, where he recorded seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points, finished the season with a plus/minus rating of +32 and scored in 12 of the first 14 games as a junior.  He helped lead the Orioles to fifth place in the North Suburban Conference and a trip to the sectional playoffs with an overall record of 15-9-3 in 2009-10.

Listed at 6-4, Windle will be one of just four players on record at BSU to measure over 6-3–a group that includes BSU great Joel Otto (1980-84). Windle also joins a group of seven current Beavers that hail from the state of Minnesota.

“Windle is an exciting prospect that is blooming as a player right now.” Belisle added, “He is a tall, athletic defenseman who has the necessary skills to be very successful in the WCHA.  As a defenseman that can play in any situation, we are excited about his talent and we are very happy to have him as a part of our program.”
Prapavessis and Windle are the 19th and 20th early-period signees at Bemidji State since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999. That group includes senior Matt Read (F, Ilderton, Ontario), junior Darcy Findlay (F., Bristol, Quebec), sophomores Jordan George (F, Madison, Wis.), Matt Hartmann (F, Hugo, Minn.) and Aaron McLeod (F, Ottawa, Ontario) and freshmen Radoslav Illo (F, Bystrica, Slovakia) and Jeff Jubinville (F, Edmonton, Alberta).