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Hockey Recruiting Spotlight: Left Wing

Spotlighting the Wolverine's recruiting efforts at the left wing position

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Continuing a six part series spotlighting the Wolverine's recruiting efforts. Up next the left wing position, where the coaching staff has put together another star studded group.

Previous Spotlight: Centers

Brendan Warren
Class: 2015
2014-15 Team: USDP (U18)
Scoring Line: 13-12--25, 33 games

The only true winger in the 2015 class, Warren is an outstanding skater who plays a smart, two-way game. He has good size and isn't afraid to get to the hard areas of the ice.

After a solid season with U-17 saw Warren finish with 40 points, he was expected to take over as a primary scoring option for the U-18's. It hasn't quite worked out that way, as Warren has put up solid numbers this season but not as the dominant scorer many were expecting him to be.

Still, there's plenty of optimism the skilled winger can be a point producer when inserted into the Wolverine lineup. When Warren arrives on campus the Wolverines may not have a left wing position open, so a move to the right may be in order.

Warren is a "B" rated skater for the 2015 NHL draft and the 34th ranked skater on the CSS Midterm Rankings.

Nick Pastujov
Class: 2016
2014-15 Team: USDP (U17)
Scoring Line: 12-13--25, 31 games

The crown jewel of Michigan's recruiting classes. Long considered an OHL Top-10 pick and a lock to play in their league, Berenson and staff pulled a major coup when they landed a commitment from Pastujov and his brother Michael last July.

A quick winger with high end skill, Pastujov combines smooth hands and impressive stick skills with dynamic playmaking. He handles well in tight spaces, makes smart plays with the puck and is an excellent skater. He also has shown a willingness to throw his weight around as a forechecker and can give the opposing team fits with an active stick in the neutral zone.

At times this season Pastujov has shown the ability to take over games, with a four goal outing against Switzerland at Four Nations and a nine point tournament at the World Under 17 games. He should be in the early discussion to land in the 1st round of the 2016 NHL draft.

James Sanchez
Class: 2016
2014-15 Team: USDP (U17)
Scoring Line: 5-7--12, 32 games

No recruit in the class has more untapped potential than Sanchez. At 6'1, 175lbs he's a physical, imposing forward who plays a strong two-way game and skates well, but has extremely raw offensive skills.

So far this season he's found himself on the scoresheet for the wrong reasons with 56 minutes penalty minutes to go along with 3 game misconducts for head contact, checking from behind and roughing.

With a year and a half left before he gets to campus, Sanchez has plenty of time to refine his game and become a major weapon. Smooth skating big men who can handle the puck are a rare commodity in today's game.

Josh Norris
Class: 2017
2014-15 Team: Oakland Jr Grizzlies U16
Scoring Line: N/A

The son of former Michigan State Spartan star and current Oakland Jr Grizzlies coach Dwayne Norris, Josh Norris has a balanced offensive skill set, strong skating and a high hockey IQ.

Norris is a standout player in a state loaded with talent and should get an invitation to the NTDP camp next season.

Blade Jenkins
Class: 2018
2014-15 Team: Compuware U15
Scoring Line: N/A

Michigan's latest commitment, 14 year old Blade Jenkins is quite a few years from getting to Michigan but that didn't stop the coaches from offering the young phenom.

Jenkins is in another stratosphere when it comes to his play. Scoring numbers are a little harder to get at this level, but indications from more informed people is that he's around 2 points per game, somewhere around the 80-90 point range. That's against competition a year older, he's that good.