Michigan Tech has received its first non-portal commitment since August of 2023 in the form of Slovakian goaltender Shikhabutdin Gadzhiev from the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. Gadzhiev was the first choice goaltender for a very strong Muskegon team this past season, and profiles as a true #1 option at the collegiate level. 

Gadzhiev’s late 2004 birthday and likely future as Michigan Tech’s #1 goaltender poses an interesting question about his immediate future. The Huskies already have two capable goaltenders lined up for next season in Max Vayrynen and Derek Mullahy. While Gadzhiev is ready to make the jump to collegiate hockey, adding him into the mix would give Michigan Tech 3 goaltenders who would likely command playing time with only 1 net to share. Alternatively, the Michigan Tech staff could return Gadzhiev to junior for an overage season, preserving a year of eligibility, and find a true #3 to sit behind Vayrynen and Mullahy. This would allow Gadzhiev to join in the Fall of 2025 and replace Mullahy, which would offer a much clearer path to playing time. As this figures to be a complex situation, we may not know the answer until the Huskies either receive another commitment or release next season’s roster.

Featured photo courtesy of Muskegon Lumberjacks

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

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