Goalie Michael Latorella, a 1998 born 16 year old, committed to the Ohio State Men's Hockey team today. Latorella is spending his 2014-15 season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and is set to join the Buckeyes in 2015-16.
Ohio State Men's Hockey Coach Steve Rohlik hit the jackpot with the last goalie brought into the program with Big Ten All-Freshman team honoree Christian Frey, and he's hoping for lightning to strike twice with the latest commitment to the Buckeyes.
Latorella spent the 2013-14 season with the Honeybaked U18 team of the High Performance Hockey League where he put up a .937 SV% and 1.49 GAA in 16 games. Prior to that, he was a member of the Honeybaked Bantam Major AAA team where he put up a .920 SV% and 1.36 GAA. Save percentage is generally determined to be the most accurate determination of goalie performance and for him to improve his when moving up a level is encouraging.
He's a Macomb, Michigan native and stands at 6'1, weighing 185 lbs. Muskegon took him in the 3rd round, 41st overall in the USHL Futures Draft. The London Knights also took him in the 7th round, 138th overall in the OHL Priority Selection. He will be eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft as he won't be turning 18 until May 2016, so he'll have a season under his belt in Columbus prior.
Frey joins Florida Panthers draft pick left wing Miguel Fidler, defenseman Gordi Myer, Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick left wing Dakota Joshua, New York Rangers draft pick defenseman Tyler Nanne, defenseman Michael Davies, defenseman Bradley Johnson, left wing Jason Dhooghe, right wing Sam McCormick, center Tyler Busch and left wing John Wiitala in the Buckeyes 2015-16 hockey draft class.
Ultimately, goalies are the most fickle position on a hockey team as numbers can fluctuate greatly from year to year, but if he's anything close to Frey, Rohlik has another gem. And his SV% numbers certainly look encouraging.