Continuing on from last time, we’ll take a look at the forwards currently committed to Michigan Tech. Given the surplus of young and exciting talent on the roster already, it isn’t imperative that the Huskies hit on all of these prospects, but too much talent is a good problem to have and depth is always important. Amongst this group are several potential high end offensive producers as well as a few players who project very well to depth roles so the future is bright for Michigan Tech hockey.
6’1”, 170 Lbs
Hailing from the Michigan Tech hockey hotbed of Howell, Michigan (Home of the Pietila clan), Daavettila is a big, strong two way forward. His game will be a seamless fit with Head Coach Joe Shawhan’s hard skill philosophy. So far this season with Fargo in the USHL, Daavetilla has been a force in his own zone, an effective penalty killer, and has flashed a higher end offensive skill set. Perhaps lacking the ultimate offensive upside of a top of the lineup player, Daavettila’s game should lend itself well to being an effective middle six forward early on in his collegiate career before evolving into a complementary piece on a scoring line. How the remainder of Daavetilla’s season in junior likely determines whether or not he arrives in Houghton in the fall of 2024 or 2025.
Spruce Grove (AJHL)
6’0”, 185 Lbs
A strong two way centerman, Ryder Matter has shown the ability to play up and down the lineup, whether it be centering Spruce Grove’s top line in the AJHL or drawing into a 4th line role for Canada at the 2022 World Junior A championship. So far in his junior hockey career, Matter’s production has failed to match his offensive talent, but his ability to play 200 feet effectively means he likely still has a bright future at the collegiate level. Matter will likely become a Husky in the fall of 2024 and could potentially be a long term option to replace senior captain Arvid Caderoth as Michigan Tech’s matchup center.
Prince George (BCHL)
5’9”, 154 Lbs
Perhaps the most naturally talented player that Michigan Tech has committed currently, Schrott is a highly skilled forward that oozes offensive upside. He is a product of the Florida Alliance AAA program that is quickly gaining national relevance (notable alumni include Michigan’s Seamus Casey and Gavin Brindley). For this season, Schrott has made the jump to junior hockey with Prince George of the BCHL, where he has quickly become a relied upon scorer for them. Schrott is likely still a couple of seasons away from joining the Huskies, but when he does he will be a huge piece offensively and will likely become a top 6 and powerplay staple.
Matthew Van Blaricom
5’11, 174 Lbs
Van Blaricom is a highly skilled winger who has a bright future as an offensive producer at the collegiate level. Off to a scorching start with Humboldt in the Saskatchewan junior league, Van Blaricom has flashed the type of goal scoring potential rarely seen in a Michigan Tech recruit. Still just 17 years old, Van Blaricom is a few years away from making the jump to Houghton. Look for him to potentially make a move to a higher profile junior league in the coming years as he attempts to develop his game.
Prince George (BCHL)
6’0”, 161 Lbs
A slick and skilled offensive forward, Disher appears to be aptly named given his assist totals throughout his junior career. Disher was tracking nicely as a higher level recruit early on, but a tumultuous season last year that involved being traded twice and a rocky start this season has raised some concerns. Throughout this season Disher will hope to be able to find some stability in Prince George and begin to flash the potential that made him a highly regarded recruit in the first place. Expect to see Disher in Houghton in the fall of 2024.
6’3”, 194 Lbs
Logan Morrell is a big, power forward type who has struggled to produce in junior hockey thus far. Michigan Tech’s coaching staff may have expected some more growth offensively by this stage, but Morrell’s size and ability to play a heavier game likely mean he still has a role moving forward even if he ends up being more of a depth piece. Morrell will likely make the jump to the collegiate level in the fall of 2024.
Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
5’10, 161 Lbs
A highly regarded player coming out of AAA hockey, Dekay has struggled to translate his offensive upside to junior hockey. After spending half a season buried on the depth chart with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL, Dekay was traded to a struggling Cowichan Valley program where he began to flash a bit more. Dekay still has several years of junior eligibility remaining and the Michigan Tech coaching staff will hope he can continue to grow before heading to Houghton.
6’0”, 201 Lbs
A big centerman with some edge to his game, Tardif hails from Quebec and has plied his trade all across North American junior hockey over the past several years. Tardif has begun to flash some offensive upside over the past two seasons, as he put together a decent year with Nanamino in the BCHL last season and is off to a hot start with Maine of the NAHL. Tardif may project best as a bottom 6 centerman, but the snarl he brings may mean he becomes a key piece for the Huskies moving forward. Expect to see Tardif in Houghton in the fall of 2024.
5’10”, 174 Lbs
Brandon Hilton’s case is the most interesting of any Michigan Tech prospect. A highly regarded scorer coming out of AAA, Hilton played one game for the Madison Capitols of the USHL last season before seemingly disappearing completely from the hockey world. He resurfaced late in the Michigan public high school season last year, but so far isn’t listed as playing hockey anywhere this season. At this point it isn’t clear whether or not Hilton is even still playing the game, but if he does pop up again somewhere the Huskies will be much better for it due to Hilton’s high end talent and huge offensive upside. Should he ever become a Husky, Hilton will likely become a top 6 forward and powerplay staple straight away.
Photo courtesy of Fargo Force.
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