Depending on who you believe, Alexandre Coulombe 2015 University of Vermont recruit has either decommitted from the school on his own or his scholarship offer was withdrawn.
A 6-foot-4, 190-pound defenseman from Granby, Quebec, Coulombe will be competing for Shawinigan Cataracts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League next year, foregoing his NCAA eligibility.
This past season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, Coulombe scored three goals and 12 points in 54 games and accumulated 50 penalty minutes. In 11 playoff games, Coulombe picked up one assist and 10 penalty minutes. He was named to the BCHL all-rookie team. Prior to joining Penticton, Coulombe played for Stanstead College.
It appears though that there was some confusion over when Coulombe would be attending Vermont. Sources in his camp are saying that Coulombe believed there was an option for him to attend the University in 2014.
UVM head coach Kevin Sneddon has now stated that the agreement was for Coulombe to enroll and attend UVM in 2015. Also stating there was never an option for 2014.
Sneddon has gone further in clarifying the Vermonts position stating that Twitter was the source of information that helped them decide to pull the scholarship offer from Coulombe.
Coulombe’s desire to move on from the BCHL was well known among hockey circles. The move to the QMJHL is also not surprising for the Quebec native, though it is surprising to many hockey scouts. Seen as needing more development time, the NCAA route was seen as being the best route for the 1995 DOB defenseman.
While tall, he has yet to fill out his frame and having additional time playing NCAA hockey would have likely allowed an NHL team to consider him seriously in three to four years. His path now will now likely become more difficult in that he will have less time to physically mature.
For Vermont, they now have an open spot for 2015 and a year in which to fill that hole.