Merrimack received a commitment from 2002-born goalie Hugo Ollas, a seventh-round pick of the New York Rangers in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Ollas is a huge — literally — commitment for the Warriors. He measures 6-foot-8.
“Ollas’ style in net is like a typical modern well-schooled goaltender,” Elite Prospects wrote in their 2020 NHL Draft Guide. “He goes down on his knees extremely early and uses his substantial 6-8 frame to stop pucks and to cut off shooting lanes. He never made any unnecessary movements and has a close to robotic way to handle himself.”
Ollas appeared in nine games for Linkoping’s J20 team this season and posted a 2.20 GAA and .906 save percentage. Last season he appeared in 20 games for the organization’s J20 team and posted a 2.43 GAA and .895 save percentage.
Ollas is a teammate of Ivan Zivlak, a fellow 2021 recruit for the Warriors.
Meanwhile, the Warriors also committed Minnesota State defenseman Colby Bukes out of the transfer portal.
Bukes was limited to just five games in two seasons at Mankato but he was a top defenseman in the USHL prior to arriving there. Neutral Zone had Bukes rated as a 4.5-star recruit and in one 2018 scouting reported he was referred to as “the best-uncommitted defenseman in the country.”
Bukes had 6 goals and 30 assists in 58 games for Muskegon (USHL) in 2018-19. He also had 28 points in 59 games for Muskegon the year before.
A fresh start should do Bukes a lot of good. I could see him sliding into the role that Patrick Holway occupied the last two seasons, especially if he can regain the level of play he had in the USHL prior to committing to Mankato. It seems like he has faced a lot of adversity the last two years, including losing his mother to breast cancer, which he detailed in an interview at Colorado Hockey Hub. He’ll be one of the more intriguing players to follow coming out of the transfer portal because he’s not a proven college commodity the way other players are, but he has an excellent resume at the junior hockey level and has tremendous upside.