It’s summer again here in the Keweenaw. The birds are chirping, the fish are biting, and the mosquitoes and black flies are rivaling the American Red Cross’s blood donation records. Additionally, that means the ice sheet has melted, outgoing students have graduated, and a new season of Huskies hockey is just around the corner. This leaves the Michigan Tech hockey fans in a state of flux in between seasons, as a lot has happened since the national title was awarded on April 9th. In this special edition of “The State of Tech hockey,” we’ll do a round up of all the news over the past couple months.
First and foremost, the new 2022-2023 schedule has been released with a few key changes and additions. I’ll be saving a full preview for later into the summer/fall, but the key highlights are the removal of the University of Michigan from the GLI, the GLI will now be taking place in Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena with Michigan Tech, Michigan State (both being the presumably co-hosts), Ferris State, and Western Michigan. A few rumors have stated that the current contract is slated for two years as of now and it is currently unknown how teams will be invited or who will be permanent attendees.
The next addition is Tech’s second appearance in the Desert Hockey Classic tournament hosted by Arizona State. The tournament is set to take place the following week after GLI and will be held in ASU’s brand new hockey rink which happens to be shared with the Arizona Coyotes for the next three seasons. Those participating in the tournament are ASU, MTU, Boston University, and the Air Force Academy. Tech is slated to play ASU in the first round.
Finally, the Huskies will be seeing some old friends in the University of Alaska Fairbanks this season. UAF is now an independent team and will be hosting the Huskies at the Carlson Center in October using their location to their advantage in locking down home games. For those that don’t know, the NCAA grants exemptions to their overall number of games played if they make the trip out to play either Alaskan team. Instead of the maximum 34 games allowed in a regular season (not including exhibition games) a team can play 36 games if they make the trip to Alaska.
Behind the Bench
This off season has seen a bit more turnover than in previous years under head coach Joe Shawhan. First off, there was a listing for a new Director of Hockey Operations. The posting has since expired on May 4th, 2022, but if you were to do a quick google search you can see archived postings on other sites. This could have been an error though, as Maxx Fredrickson is on both Tech’s website and on his Linkedin page listed as in the current position.
Next up is the voice of the Huskies Dirk Hembroff. He has been hired by Michigan Tech Athletics to be “Director of Athletic Partnerships and Ticket Sales” leaving his post at Mix 93 WKMJ. Nothing will change regarding Tech game coverage, as he will still be the voice of the Huskies going forward.
Next is a job listing for Assistant Director of Athletic Communication. This individual would serve under Cal Larson helping in all things Michigan Tech sports. This isn’t exclusive to Tech Hockey, but would no doubt play a key role as hockey is Tech’s only DI sport.
It is time to address the elephant in the room. This of course is the departure of assistant coach Chris Brooks as he will make his way to Clarkson University in what on the surface appears to be a lateral move. We all at Tech Hockey Guide will miss his presence behind the bench and wish him the best on his future endeavors.
Finally, the new assistant coach has been confirmed by Tech Hockey guide to be Jordy Murray. You can read up on the THG press release here.
In one of the last Joe Shawhan hours at the end of the season Coach Shawhan confirmed to listeners that if a player enters the NCAA transfer portal then they are more than likely not coming back next season. So given that tidbit of information along with an uncharacteristically good tracking of players entering the portal for a variety of sources we can provide a list of players leaving and those who are coming to Tech (as of the writing of this article).
Those leaving are:
Four defenseman and one goalie will make it hard to see a repeat of Tech’s lockdown defensive style that was seen last season. The biggest losses are Buckley and Gotz, as they were staples regarding the everyday line up. Docter, Datema and Bailey all appear to be leaving in pursuit of more playing time, as they were not able to make the everyday lineup with the excess in defensive and goaltending talent. Either way, I hope the best of these five former Huskies and look forward to them making their mark at their new teams.
Those joining are:
Tech has only grabbed two players from the transfer portal with both being forwards. One thing to note is that Jankowski was a former captain at SLU. The reasoning behind the small number of players could be due to other prospective transfer portal targets being taken by other schools or estimated 10+ players coming in as freshmen. If you would like a comprehensive list(s) THG has you covered with our Current Recruits and Recruiting Grid pages.
That should wrap up all major news stories about Michigan Tech Hockey that have happened over the summer so far. If anything else were to happen, THG will be the place to go as we will undoubtedly cover it in some way, shape or form. Have a fun summer Husky fans and know Huskies Hockey will be returning faster than you think!