May 17, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University Michigan ice hockey team has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2011-12 season, head coach Red Berenson announced on Tuesday (May 17). The class includes goaltender John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa.), defenseman Brennan Serville (Pickering, Ontario) and forwards Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario), Alex Guptill (Newmarket, Ontario), Travis Lynch (White Lake, Mich.).
Gibson (6-3, 205 pounds) is rated by the NHL Central Scouting Service as the No. 1 North American goaltender prospect for the 2011 NHL Draft. He has spent the past two seasons tending net for the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. In 2010-11, Gibson had a 24-11-3 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team. He backstopped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championships in April. His 6-0-0 record 2.34 GAA and .926 save percentage at the tournament earned him the Directorate Award for Best Goaltender. In 2009-10, he had a 10-12-1 record, 3.76 GAA and .895 save percentage with the U.S. NTDP Under-17 Team. He also posted two wins with the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team.
"John has a chance to be a big-time goalie," said Berenson. "He's one of those oversized goalies. I've always liked big goalies and yet we've seen recently that Shawn Hunwick has been a terrific goalie for Michigan. John will give us that different dimension. Definitely he can stop the puck. He has a good track record coming in and he should be an all-star goalie at Michigan."
Serville (6-3, 180 pounds) is rated the 104th-best skater in North America heading into the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The blueliner has played for the Stouffville Spirit of the Ontario Junior Hockey League for the last two seasons. In 2010-11, he had three goals, 27 assists and 29 penalty minutes in 36 regular-season games to earn North-West Conference First Team All-Prospect accolades. He also played in the CJHL Prospects Game for Team East. Serville helped Team Canada East win a silver medal at the 2010 World Junior 'A' Challenge. In 2009-10, he had a 3-12-15 line for the Spirit. Over two playoffs, he had 3-12-15 totals in 23 games.
"Brennan is a lanky, right-handed defenseman with good smarts and good puck skills," said Berenson. "I think he's going to be an outstanding defenseman at Michigan."
Di Giuseppe (6-1, 200 pounds) has spent the past two seasons with the Villanova Knights in the OJHL. In 49 regular-season games in 2010-11, he had 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points. He shined in the 2011 playoffs, scoring six goals with 10 assists in 10 games. During the 2009-10 season, Di Giuseppe scored 16 goals and added 31 assists in 56 games.
"Di Giuseppe is a young left winger who's a good skater and good with the puck," said Berenson. "He has a lot of upside. I think he'll be a nice fit at Michigan. He should grow into being a strong player. He has good size and his main strength will be his puck smarts and his skating."
Guptill (6-3, 185 pounds) was selected in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars. He spent the 2010-11 season with the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League. Hampered by injury, he totaled 13 goals and 12 assists in 43 regular-season games. Guptill spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons in the OJHL. He had 30-34-64 totals in 49 games with the Brampton Capitals in 2008-09 and had 19-18-37 totals in 29 games in 2009-10 between Brampton and the Orangeville Crushers.
"Guptill has played in two different leagues in the last two years. He's had parts of two seasons in the last two years and has suffered injuries to the extent that I don't think he's shown us as much as he will when he gets here. He's a good skater, good smarts. He has a chance to be an impact offensive player."
Lynch (5-11, 176 pounds) is the lone Michigan native in the class. His last two seasons have been with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. In 2010-11, he doubled his rookie season point total by scoring 20 goals and adding 24 assists for 44 points. Green Bay is playing in the Clark Cup Finals, seeking its second championship in a row. In 2009-10, Lynch had 6-16-22 totals. He lifted the Gamblers with two game-winning goals during their run to the Clark Cup title.
"Travis is a real solid two-way player. He can help create offense and he does the right thing without the puck. I think he'll fit in really well with the Michigan style of play."
Contact: Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423