October 30, 2012

Vatrano appears to be headed to UMass

By Andrew Merritt

Former Boston College recruit Frank Vatrano appears to be headed to UMass. Vatrano, once a highly-touted member of BC’s incoming freshman class this year, withdrew from the school just weeks before the start of the season. U.S. Hockey Report reported that Vatrano did not make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse, and would not have been eligible to play this season.

Tuesday afternoon, the Twitter account @Frank_Vatrano, which appears to belong to the East Longmeadow, Mass., native, posted this tweet just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30:

Though it isn’t “verified” by Twitter, the account would appear to be Vatrano’s, based on previous tweets and some mentions by accounts that apparently belong to Vatrano’s former teammates on the U.S. National Team Development Program squad. UMass spokeswoman Jillian Jakuba wrote in an email to the New England Hockey Journal on Tuesday afternoon that, “per NCAA rules, unfortunately no representatives from the university can give any comments regarding prospective student-athletes.”

If Vatrano is indeed headed to UMass – likely for next season – he would almost certainly be the Minutemen’s top incoming recruit. He was one of 40 players invited to September’s CCM/USAHockey All-American Prospects Game, a showcase of the top American draft-eligible players. In 2011-12, he scored seven goals and 11 assists in 24 games for the USNTDP Under-18 team, and was listed No. 88 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting service’s final rankings before April’s draft.

Vatrano was not drafted this year, though the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats drafted his rights should he decide to forego college and play Canadian Major Junior hockey. That seems unlikely, though, as Vatrano almost immediately joined the Boston Junior Bruins after leaving BC, and has said in many reports that he has every intention of coming back to school, even if it’s not at BC. Vatrano has six points (4g, 2a) through seven games with the Junior Bruins this year. 

Twitter: @A_Merritt
Email: MerrittNEHJ@gmail.com