Thursday, September 06, 2012

Defenseman Thomas Welsh de-commits from Penn State

I reached out to Mike Welsh a person that I had interviewed via email last September when his son Thomas committed to play hockey at Penn State. Thomas has since de-committed from PSU. I again, had a conversation with Mike Via email.

It’s nice to talk to you again Mike.  It’s been almost a year since we last chatted.

Q: Your son Thomas Welsh who is a highly sought after recruit recently de-committed from Penn State University this past week and I was wondering if NCAA Hockey is still in the future for Thomas? 

Mike Welsh: Having Thomas gain the experience academically and by continuing his development in hockey by being at an NCAA Division 1 school, was the driving force on why he left Canada before his minor midget draft year.  We felt that if Thomas was in the USA at a prep school that this would send a very clear message to the NCAA that this is a "kid" that really wants to play school hockey.

Decommitting was not something that Thomas – nor us as a family every considered once a decision with PSU was made.   We as a family took our time when we decided on PSU.   As we have stated before Div 1 hockey has so much to offer....  However, one cannot deny the CHL has many benefits as well, its an individual decision that families must make.  Either option can by the right choice.

Q: Was the scandal at Penn State University a factor in the decision to de-commit Penn State University?

Mike Welsh: Absolutely not, PSU University is a very fine institution.

Q: If he’s still considering College Hockey are there any particular schools that he might be interested in? 

Mike Welsh: Thomas will need to explore his options and will have to make a decision based upon due diligence.

Q: I read on a blog that your son’s rights were trade from Sarnia to Mississauga. Is the CHL still an option as well?

Mike Welsh: Thomas was initially drafted by Sarnia in 2011 but was recently traded to the Steelheads this spring (2012).  There has been some discussion with the Steelheads but that is as far as it goes.  Thomas will need to explore other DIv 1 schools.

Q: Has Thomas looked into any schools out west or are there any schools that have shown an interest as well?

Mike Welsh:  The recruiting process for Thomas will need to be "restarted", when he committed to PSU for 2013, he sent a message to other schools that this was his choice.    He will need to restart this process.   The NCAA has particular rules on recruiting and those rules need to be adhered to so that the eligibility for a player remains intact.

Q: I see that Thomas is playing with the OJHL's Georgetown Raiders…

Mike Welsh:  Thomas is playing for the Georgetown Raider Jr A team this year.  It was a family decision for him to return due to some health issues with me.  He recently played in the Team Canada East Evaluation Camp and in the Burlington Cougar Tournament and I provided a link for you.  [click to view]

This is from the Thank You Terry PSU Blog.
 2013 defense commit Thomas Welsh was at a Team Canada East selection camp over the weekend as part of the buildup to choosing who will wear the maple leaf at the World Junior A Challenge in November. Welsh received sound marks for his performance from at least one scout, as he ultimately seeks to join PSU freshmen Curtis Loik and Luke Juha in earning a WJAC gold medal.
So all's great, right? Wrong.

[Mississauga Steelheads GM James] Boyd was there not only scouting the talent. But also his talent. D-Man Thomas Welsh. 95 birthday.

The Steelheads acquired Welsh's draft rights from Sarnia (who initially selected the Toronto native in the fifth round in 2011) back on June 1st. So it certainly seems as if all signs point to the OHL club making a strong push for a guy who qualifies as one of Guy Gadowsky's better recruits to date.

For now, the plan is for Welsh to join the OJHL's Georgetown Raiders this season after playing previously for New England prep powerhouse Salisbury School. But stay tuned.