Michigan hockey's incoming class for the fall of 2007 grew by one this week with the commitment of forward Louie Caporusso, a 5-10 182-pound forward currently playing with the St. Michael's Buzzers junior A team in Toronto. Caporusso joins defenseman Tristin Llewellyn (Indiana - USHL) and forward Matt Rust (USNTP U-17) as the initial members of Michigan's 2007 class.
Caporusso follows in the footsteps of current Wolverine Andrew Cogliano, who played for St. Michael's just last season and former Wolverine (and current Los Angeles King) Mike Cammalleri, who hails from the same Toronto neighborhood as Caporusso.
A skilled forward with good quickness, Caporusso has scored 14 goals and has 26 assists in just 31 games for the Buzzers this season. A 10th-round pick of St. Michael's Major Junior franchise in last spring's Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft, Caporusso has been hotly pursued to join the OHL this season but has made the decision to take the NCAA hockey career path over Major Junior A.
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Only 24 hours after making his commitment to Michigan, Caporusso took a break from his whirlwind week to talk about himself and his decision with TheWolverine.com.
On making the commitment to Michigan:
"I'm very excited, almost overwhelmed by it. I'm really looking forward to carrying on the tradition of players coming from my neighborhood here in Toronto. I've wanted to play at Michigan since I made a visit there back in October. There couldn't be a better atmosphere than the one I experienced in the arena for a game and on the campus.
"The decision came down to Michigan and the University of New Hampshire. I got the call from [U-M] Coach Mel Pearson Monday night with the offer. I called back and committed on Tuesday. I talked with Coach [Red] Berenson and he told me that he really looked forward to having me become part of the program. He also told me that my style of play would fit in very nicely with Michigan's program."
On his October visit to Michigan:
"My visit to Michigan was excellent. I truly enjoyed the university facilities and the team spirit exhibited at game time and afterwards. It was very professional.The Yost Arena experience was, to say the least, exhilarating. It was difficult to keep in mind that this was simply a regular-season game of college hockey. The fans' enthusiasm made it feel more like an NHL game going into overtime in Game 7 of the playoffs. It was really wild."
On his style of play:
"I rely heavily on my speed and smarts to be where the puck is going to be rather than where it's at. I buy into Wayne Gretzky's theory of hockey in this sense. Another strength is my strong anticipation of the play. I have good vision of the ice and can see plays developing. I'm working on getting physically stronger."
On his decision to play college hockey over Major Junior A:
"Growing up, I always felt that the OHL would be the league to aspire to. However, in learning more about college hockey and after seeing first-hand the quality and style of the NCAA game, I'd say that I probably fit the NCAA style much more. I know I can live up to the speed and quality of play in college hockey. I also preferred the recruiting approach of the NCAA over the OHL.
"The NCAA caters to both athletics and academics and this suits me a lot better."
On who he patterns his style of play after:
"I model my game after players like Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano because of their excellent control of the puck and the speed that both of them have."