The Princeton University Tigers received some major news today, as Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Liam Gorman announced that he had committed to join the program for next season. The big power forward will join a roster that did not feature any NHL draft picks this past season and lost several veteran leaders, and could immediately step into a top role as a freshman.
Gorman, who turns 19 this week, was a sixth-round pick by the Penguins last year out of St. Sebastian’s School in Massachusetts. The Boston-area native returned to St. Sebastian’s for one more year as the team’s captain and senior leader, but played through the whole season without making a decision on his NCAA future. In the meantime, he helped to grow his own game while playing a key role for a talented St. Sebastian’s squad. On one of the more talented teams at the New England prep school level this year, Gorman played alongside highly-regarded 2019 draft-eligible defenseman Jayden Struble, Boston University commit Liam Connolly, and uber-talented 15-year-old Jack Hughes. Gorman was the glue guy though – a 6’3″, two-way center who works hard and using his big frame to win battles and create offense.
Princeton hopes that he can bring that game to the college level right away next season. Outside of a surprise ECAC Tournament championship in 2018, it has been a decade since the Tigers were a presence on the national scale. Even with recently-signed NHLers Ryan Kuffner and Max Veronneau on the roster, Princeton still finished ninth in the conference and now have to deal with the loss of their top two scorers. They hope that Gorman, who is undoubtedly the highlight of the incoming recruiting class, can help make up for those losses and take the program on that first step back toward relevance during his tenure. Playing at the home of Hobey Baker himself, the pressure will be on the Penguins prospect to be a difference-maker, but with his size, strength, and mature game, Gorman should be ready to handle the expectations.