You've probably already heard that Minnesota recruit Ryan Walters met with Gopher coaching staff this weekend, and after being told that the coaches wanted him to play another year of junior hockey, Walters decommitted from the Gophers. The reason I say you've already heard is because Walters' father emailed anyone that would listen to tell them his side of the story. I'm not sure what that was designed to do, but I doubt it impresses many people. Walters turns 19 in July. I'm not sure he needs a parent as a PR team.
I'm disappointed that I can't even use my line about how every Minnesota recruit is hyped like a god coming in, and trashed like garbage going out since Walters never actually made it to Minnesota. That of course didn't stop the usual rumors about how the Gophers eradicated a cancer from their team because Walters once refused to give up his seat on the bus to an old lady and is a notoriously poor tipper or something. Again, I'm not sure what that is designed to do, but I doubt it impresses many people. It is kind of funny though, because it seems like I've heard how the Gophers have gotten better as a team every time someone leaves their program, be it from early departure or graduation the past couple of years. You'd think a team that is getting better that often wouldn't be so terrible.
Maybe it's the nature of the beast, with Minnesota having the option of taking players that are considered so good at such a young age, but they've definitely taken some chances on a lot of kids similar to Walters. Some have worked out, others haven't so much. That's part of the cost of doing business if you want to get all of the most talented kids. It's a very fine line to walk. Jerry York made mention multiple times throughout the Frozen Four about how one of the big things they take into account when recruiting a kid is getting the opinion of current players about how that recruit would fit in on the team. Then again, York has had his own issues with kids leaving BC like Kenny Ryan and Ryan Hayes, so it's never really that simple.
It will certainly be interesting to see where Walters lands. Portland owns his WHL rights, but it sounds like Walters will try to find another college to play for. He's talented enough that somebody will be willing to take a chance on him. Hopefully it works out better for both parties than it did with the Gophers.