By John Lachmann
Miami announced two players who are expected to join the team for the 2014-15 season on Thursday.
Forward Ryan Siroky of the USHL Green Bay Gamblers and defenseman Louis Belpedio of the U.S. National Development Program should come to Oxford next fall.
Siroky, another California-born product, has three goals and no assists in 12 games this season.
I saw him play last season, and he looked pretty raw at that point. RedHawkey wrote this analysis last year based on just one game: http://www.wcpo.com/sports/sports-blogs-local/futurehawks-a-look-at-ryan-siroky
Assuming he has developed since that point and will continue to evolve as a hockey player this season, he’s a bigger forward who skates well and hopefully he could take over Bryon Paulazzo’s role next season of being a net-crashing forward who can also dish out punishment.
Belpedio, the cousin of former Miami defenseman Vincent LoVerde, is a player I have not seen in person but hope to later this season. He has a reputation as a skilled two-way defenseman who can help out offensively.
He’s a Windsor Spitfires draftee, which is scary considering GM Warren Rychel poached defenseman Patrick Sieloff from Miami and was subsequently – unrelated to Sieloff – punished severely for offering illegal benefits to players.
Belpedio was quoted last year as saying he was unsure about the route he would take to the pros, but signing a Letter of Intent is a move in the direction of Oxford. Recently, Miami forwards Austin Czarnik and draftee Riley Barber have turned down offers to play for the Spitfires.
LoVerde was an underrated defensive defenseman for the RedHawks, and if Belpedio takes after his cousin in any way on the ice he’ll be a welcome addition at Miami.