Dean Blais announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Five of the seven student-athletes and an additional walk-on will join four other incoming freshmen -- Ryan Galt, Mason Morelli, Fredrik Olofsson, and Steven Spinner -- on the Mavericks' roster this season.
Here's the profiles of the recruits:
From Penticton of the BCHL. Height: 5-10; weight 170.
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington. Birthdate: 03/26/95
Alferd tied for second in scoring for Penticton of the BCHL in 2014-15 with 18 goals and 28 assists for 46 points in 58 games. He also had 42 penalty minutes. In 115 career games with Penticton, he had 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points and 80 penalty minutes while also getting 10 goals, four assists, and 14 penalty minutes in 33 playoff games. He will wear #9 for the Mavs.
From Keystone of the NAHL. Height: 5-9; weight 167
Hometown: Washington, Michigan. Birthday: 09/05/94
One of the top goaltenders in the NAHL, Blankenburg played two seasons with Port Huron (Michigan) Fighting Falcons and the most recent season with the Keystone (Pennsylvania) Ice Miners. (The ownership of the team was the same; the team moved to Pennsylvania after the 2013-14 season.) Appearing in 35 games in the 2014-15 season, he had a record of 17-14, with three shootout losses. He had a 2.18 goals-against average (GAA) and a .932 save percentage. In 86 career appearances in the NAHL, he had a 44-27-4-5 record, with a 2.23 GAA and a .929 save percentage (including three shutouts). Blankenburg will walk on to the team. Blankenburg will wear #1 for the Mavs.
From Sioux Falls of the USHL. Height: 6-2; weight 180
Hometown: Frystak, Czech Republic. Birthdate: 12/5/94
Buchta finished second in scoring among defenseman for Sioux Falls of the USHL in 2014-15 with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 59 games. He also had 38 penalty minutes. He scored three game-winning goals to tie for third on the team. In 12 playoff games, he had two assists and eight penalty minutes. His previous USHL stint included 19 games with Omaha, where he had one assist and 10 penalty minutes. He will wear #6 for the Mavs.
Zach Court (Forward)
From the USHL. Height: 5-9; weight 169
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba. Birthdate: 01/04/97
Court is playing his first season in the USHL with Cedar Rapids and has picked up two goals and five assists and 10 penalty minutes in 16 games. He is a 2016-17 UNO commit.
From the USHL. Height: 6-10; weight 168
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska. Birthdate: 08/15/95
Galt isn't the first Omaha native to commit to the Mavs, but he would be one of the few to follow through. Last season, playing for Bloomington in the USHL, he was second in team scoring with five goals and eight assists in 21 games. Before that, he played for two seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers with the USHL, recording 27 goals and 33 assists in 116 games. He will wear #21 for the Mavs.
Ryan Jones (Defense)
From Lincoln of the USHL. Height: 6-2; weight 184
Hometown: Crown Point, Indiana. Birthdate: 05/26/96
Jones made his USHL debut in 2014-15, playing in 60 games for the Lincoln Stars he scored four goals and added nine assists for 13 points while also earning 69 penalty minutes. Two of his goals and seven of his points came on the power play. Jones also had one game-winning goal. Jones is a 2016-17 commit.
From Shattuck St. Mary's (prep). Height: 5-11; weight 196
Hometown: Lino Lakes, Minnesota. Birthdate: 03/18/97
In 54 games for Shattuck St. Mary's Midget Prep team in 2014-15, Klehr scored five goals and had 43 assists for 48 points. He also had 18 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team in assists and led all defensemen in points. At the midget level, he totaled 11 goals and 62 assists for 73 points and 34 minutes in 107 games. He will wear #22 for the Mavs.
From the USHL. Height: 6-0; weight 194
Hometown: Minot, North Dakota. Birthdate: 02/01/96
Morelli is in his second season with the Fargo Force of the USHL. He scored five goals and five assists in 19 games in the 2014-15 season. In the previous season, he had six goals and nine assists in 57 games. Morelli will wear #11 for the Mavs. It's unknown if he is related at all to #oldbull David Morelli (who wore #15 for the Mavs and hailed from British Columbia).
Kris Oldham (Goaltender)
From Omaha of the USHL. Height: 6-2; weight 203.
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska. Birthday: 06/25/97
Omaha Lancer fans are well acquainted with Oldham, who led the team in games played during the 2014-15 season, with a 21-6-4 record in 33 games, including one shutout. Oldham had a 2.49 goals-against average (GAA) with a .908 save percentage. He was in net for all three Lancers playoff losses, going 0-3 with a 2.73 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Oldham was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round (153 overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He is a 2016-17 commit.
From the USHL. Height: 6-2; weight 204
Hometown: Broomfield, Colorado. Birthdate: 05/27/96
Olofsson was one of the top scores for the Chicago Steel in the 2014-15 season, with 8 goals and 11 assists in 19 games. He split the previous season between Chicago and Green Bay. In 2013-14, he had 6 goals and 15 assists in 52 games (and 45 penalty minutes). Olofsson was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks (98th overall; fourth round) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He will wear #28 for the Mavs.
From Tri-City of the USHL. Height: 6-0; weight 175
Hometown: Cambridge, Minnesota. Birthdate: 04/28/95
Schulz completed his second season for the Tri-City Storm in 2014-15, scoring two goals and six assists for eight points in 56 games. He also recorded 111 penalty minutes. In addition, Schulz appeared in six playoff game, registering 10 penalty minutes. In 113 games, he had four goals and 13 assists for 17 points and 231 penalty minutes. He will wear #15 for the Mavs this year.
From the SJHL. Height: 5-10; weight 170
Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Birthdate: 08/11/96
Weninger backstopped Kindersley of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 2014-15, recording 27 wins, 10 losses, and 2 ties in 41 games. He had a 2.06 goals-against average (GAA) and a .942 save percentage, both career bests, including four shutouts. Weninger led the SJHL in save percentage, and ranked second in the league in GAA and third in wins. He had a record of 6-4 in the playoffs, with a 2.00 GAA and a .935 save percentage. Weninger represented Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge. He will wear #35 for the Mavs.
Coach Blais also announced that goaltender Brock Crossthwaite, forward Jono Davis, and defensemen Matt Youso and Brian Rideout have left the team.