In the college hockey world, recruiting classes are built over a multi-year period. With players eligible to receive offers and commit to schools on August 1st of their junior year of high school and then typically playing a full junior hockey career that takes them to 20 or 21 years old, there is a long period of time for coaches to put recruiting classes together. Because of this, Michigan Tech already has commitments from players that will join the Huskies next fall and beyond. Over the course of two articles, we’ll take a look at the players who have already committed their collegiate futures to Michigan Tech. Up first, the Defenseman and Goaltenders.
6’1”, 172 Lbs
After two seasons with the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL, Miller has made the jump to the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, where he has immediately stepped into the role of their all situations #1 defenseman. Miller’s calling card is his play in his own zone, but he is a capable puck mover and flashes some offensive upside as well. Miller projects as a potential top pairing defenseman at the collegiate level, so Husky fans should get used to hearing his name. Miller is expected to arrive at Michigan Tech in the fall of 2024.
6’0”, 161 Lbs
The son of former NHL defenseman Sean Brown, Rylan is a slick and highly skilled offensive defenseman currently plying his trade for an Okotoks Oilers program that has become a premier talent factory in Canadian Junior A. Given that arguably the biggest current hole on Michigan Tech’s roster is a lack of a natural powerplay QB, Brown will likely fill a major need as soon as he arrives in Houghton. With the Huskies having a surplus of defenseman with multiple years of eligibility remaining, Brown likely will not be in Houghton until the fall of 2025, though he may be ready as soon as next season. When he finally arrives, Brown will provide a unique, high-octane skill set that will see him be relied upon as a top 4 and powerplay mainstay throughout his Michigan Tech tenure.
6’2”, 201 Lbs
The Misfits will need a new flag when Percic arrives in the UP, as he hails from Slovenia. Percic is a big, physical defensive defenseman and should carve out a nice role as a foil to one of Michigan Tech’s more flashy puck movers in the future. Percic was teammates with current freshman Max Koskipirtti in Finland last season, and has now made the jump to North America with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. The early move to North American junior hockey should help smooth his transition to the collegiate level, though he may not be relied upon very heavily early on as each of Michigan Tech’s current right shot defenseman have eligibility remaining. Expect Percic to join the Huskies in the fall of 2024.
6’2”, 205 Lbs
The most recent Michigan Tech commit, Max Beckford is lined up to replace Blake Pietila’s roster spot at the conclusion of this season, and he will likely compete for playing time behind Max Vayrynen moving forward. At 6’2”, Beckford has more of the prototypical goaltender size than some recent Huskie goalies, which makes him an intriguing prospect. Beckford has bounced around junior hockey over the past several seasons, spending time with the preeminent AJHL franchise in the Brooks Bandits, as well as putting together a very successful NAHL stint last season. Beckford has found his way to Langley of the BCHL, where he will likely start a majority of their games and have plenty of opportunity to hone his craft before making the jump to collegiate hockey in the fall of 2024.
Given that Joe Shawhan builds his teams from the back end out, it should come as no surprise that Michigan Tech has been aggressive in its recruiting of potential difference makers on the blue line. All 3 defenseman currently committed have legitimate top 4 upside at the collegiate level and could very well end up forming the backbone of the Michigan Tech blueline in the future. Next time, we’ll take a look at the forwards with verbal commitments to the Huskies.
Nathan is currently a student at Michigan Tech, studying Engineering Management. He cultivated his love for the game over a 10 year youth hockey career and is excited to bring his passion to Tech Hockey Guide and Michigan Tech hockey. While not at school, Nathan resides in the Chicagoland area