There are a lot of decisions to make in assembling a team, older or younger, super-talents or late bloomers, MN or Canada, but the proof is ultimately in the pudding. UND finished the last two seasons #1 in the PWR, and likely the top seed in the NCAA tournament both years. They must be doing something right. Also important is how you make up for recruiting misses, and adjusting to things like unexpected departures. A few years ago when Jost left surprisingly, they missed the tournament by one game (flip a loss to a tie or a tie to a win). This year, rebuilding from important departures was aided by the transfer portal, but there's again a surprise hole at 1C. We'll have to see if they can overcome it.
Back to recruiting, we don't even really know, with a few exceptions, who they were after or offered. It sounds like they wanted Chesley and missed, then they went and got Livanavage and Strathmann, who sound like top guys also. As for MN kids, and metro kids in particular, when has UND had much luck with them ever, in the absence of a real inside connection? The top guys off the top of my head to choose UND outright over MN were Parise and Boeser. Parise wanted to be the best, and Herb Brooks sent him on his way. Boeser was deciding as the weight of Lucia's anchor dragged that program down. Unless the kid's dad is a former UND All-American, I'm never surprised when a metro kid picks MN. UND has gotten other great players from MN, like Mark Senden currently. I don't think MN was after him very hard, even though he's exactly what that program needs. As for his importance, how crucial could he have been in the 5OT game last year?