Even as the transfer portal slows down, the coaching staff at Michigan Tech has still been very busy. In recent weeks, the Huskies have received commitments from Finnish center Tom Leppa, Finnish winger Elias Jansson, and Swedish center Philip Frankl. All three are expected to head to Houghton this fall, and all will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact.

Leppa, who played for the Clark Cup champion Fargo Force, is a slick, two-way centerman who figures to immediately see key minutes in the Huskies middle 6. He and fellow incoming freshman Reid Daavettila anchored Fargo’s matchup line, and I would expect to see the Huskies staff keep the two together. Leppa will be relied upon to carry many of the responsibilities held by the departed Arvid Caderoth. 

On a team that is suddenly flush with offensive talent, Elias Jansson may just be the most naturally gifted scorer. A skilled and creative playmaker, Jansson will be given every opportunity to immediately earn a role in the top 6 and on the powerplay. Some scouts have cited issues with Jansson’s skating and physical development, so the adjustment to collegiate hockey may not be quite as smooth as the Huskies’ staff would like. In spite of the potential for a longer learning curve, this is still a player with legitimate 30 point a season upside.

It appears that the Michigan Tech staff has a quota of big Swedish forwards to hit, as Frankl comes in to join Marcus Pedersen and replace the graduated Arvid Caderoth. Frankl is the least likely of the trio of new commitments to feature heavily as a freshman, especially now that it has been confirmed that Blais Richartz will be taking a 5th year. Even if Frankl doesn’t play much as a freshman, he’ll still have every opportunity to be an impact player at Michigan Tech somewhere down the line. You can never have too many centers, and ones that are 6’3″ with legitimate offensive upside don’t grow on trees.

These 3 additions, as well as Richartz’s return, likely mean the Huskies roster is full aside from adding a third goaltender. Things looked fairly bleak in Houghton shortly after the loss to Boston College in the NCAA tournament with many key players graduating, several others in the portal, and a seemingly underwhelming freshman class on its way. Since then, the Michigan Tech staff has gotten to work, adding several players from the portal and several more to significantly bolster the incoming freshman class. I genuinely do not have enough good things to say about how phenomenal the recruiting has been over the past 2-3 months (and ever since Jordy Murray was hired, really). The future is becoming increasingly bright in Houghton.

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