Hello there Michigan Tech hockey fans! it’s been a while, hasn’t it? The Huskies played their final game on March 13th, 2021, a full 180 days from the writing of this article. Over this period, we have seen several changes on both the player side and coaching sides of the bench and I’m here to give you Husky hockey fans a recap from the offseason, and of course, a preview to this upcoming season!
Of course I would, be remiss to not first mention that my esteemed colleague Mike “Old Dog” Anleitner is also covering this new crowded roster in his weekly pieces. I will try my best to give you a differing prospect going more into the numbers rather than his in depth analysis of roster dynamics. His first two pieces on the offense and defense are must-reads!
Without further ado, let us begin this second half of Tech’s 100th season of hockey!
As the world knows, we have been going through a global pandemic that is still raging, and as a result the NCAA has changed eligibility rules in addition to transfer rules for its athletes. This has led to some departures from the Huskies, with an abnormal amount arrivals as well.
First here is a list of those who have left the program either due to graduating, transferring, etc:
The biggest name on this list is defenseman Tyler Rockwell, who saw a very good second half of his final season, scoring and assisting on clutch goals in important situations. In addition, forwards Carson Bantle (Transferring to Wisconsin) and Greyson Reitmeier leave holes in key depth positions in the forward core.
Finally, with this coming season Michigan Tech also says goodbye to assistant coach Dallas Steward who leaves to join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Northstar Christian Academy coaching staff. I would personally like to wish him and his family the best, and say that on behalf of THG and Mitch’s Misfits, he and his family will always have a home at the John Macinnes Student Ice Arena.
On the flip side, the Huskies also find themselves with an excess of incoming players resulting in a net gain as compared to last season:
The biggest names on this list come in the form of Grant Docter, Marcus Pedersen, and Tyrone Bronte. Docter especially has been talked up by a lot in the Minnesota high school hockey community and within THG in our Chasing McNaughton podcast. Next up is Marcus Pedersen, who is from the same league as Tech’s own Arvid Caderoth. I would expect to see a similar transition in terms of points as Tech saw with Caderoth last year, which should be a big boost to this Tech offense. Lastly is Tyrone Bronte, who we saw play last season in the WCHA’s final year. 13 points does not seem like a lot over the course of 22 games, but given the context of playing on the 3-18-1 Chargers, he had a great season, all things considered. He should add some much needed depth down the center. I would look for Bronte to end up on either the 2nd or 3rd line as the main center.
These three players aren’t the end of this list, though. The Huskies add more very large D men in Matthew Quercia and Micheal Karow. They should add the size factor that head coach Joe Shawhan likes in his defensive corps. Don’t let those offensive numbers scare you, they will add even more depth to an already impressive Huskies’ blue line.
These additions to an already robust returning lineup give coach Shawhan more than enough weapons on offense while also maintaining the top conference defense that has been expected of this Husky team. Though it is always sad to see players leave, the Huskies are now arguably a stronger team on paper this year and this should result in a higher level performance on the ice this season.
The final note to touch on regarding Husky personnel is that former Husky strength and conditioning coach Tyler Shelast has been promoted to assistant coach. I would like to congratulate him, and I am personally excited to see what he has to add to Tech’s game plan.
Next time on Tech’s 21-22 season preview, we will take a look at the Huskies’ schedule and see how they should perform.