A complete lot has modified for the Michigan hockey workforce since this time ultimate season.
Starting with the most obvious, Brandon Naurato has changed Mel Pearson as head trainer. But the composition of the roster appears completely other too.
To get started, the Wolverines best go back one among their best seven level leaders from ultimate 12 months. In changing the ones six, Michigan has a number of holes to fill because it makes an attempt to duplicate the good fortune of ultimate 12 months’s Frozen Four squad.
But with a large crop of incoming freshmen — 12 in general — the Wolverines may simply have the ability to fill the ones holes. This season’s consequence is tricky to are expecting with this sort of younger roster, however must the ones freshmen play to their potential, the sky’s the restrict for this 12 months’s workforce.
On that observe, the Daily breaks down Michigan’s roster for the 2022-23 season.
The goaltending place is most likely the one a part of the Wolverines’ lineup this is set in stone. Coming off a season by which he began all 42 video games for Michigan, junior goaltender Erik Portillo will as soon as once more maintain nearly all of mins between the pipes. Portillo earned a large number of honors for his play ultimate 12 months, together with being a Big Ten Goaltender of the Year finalist, a Mike Richter award semifinalist and a member of the All-Big Ten 2nd workforce. With Portillo preserving down the castle as soon as once more, Michigan gained’t have to fret an excessive amount of about who’s in web.
Behind Portillo are junior Noah West and freshman Tyler Shea. While neither will most probably see the ice an excessive amount of, West is predicted to maintain the main backup position to Portillo as he did ultimate 12 months. West will hope to construct on his .917 save proportion in his restricted mins within the crease as he continues to expand at the back of Portillo.
Though the lack of now-Buffalo Sabre Owen Power without a doubt stings, the protection is in just right arms with sophomore Luke Hughes on the helm. The 2021 fourth-overall pick out within the NHL draft shined in his first 12 months with the Wolverines, notching 39 issues on 17 targets and 22 assists ultimate season, just right for 3rd at the workforce. Hughes is getting better from an damage he suffered this summer time, then again, and after sitting out of Michigan’s season-opening exhibition in opposition to Windsor, his actual go back to the lineup is unknown.
Behind Hughes, the Wolverines have a number of enjoy to again him up. Junior Jacob Truscott must as soon as once more spend a number of time on ice, coming off a season the place he tallied 15 assists and blocked 44 photographs. Sophomore Ethan Edwards and senior Keaton Pehrson may also glance to reprise their roles from ultimate 12 months, having performed in 36 and 27 video games, respectively. However, Edwards didn’t play in Saturday’s exhibition sport and most probably will stay out.
On the opposite finish of the damage spectrum, junior Steve Holtz is getting back from an damage that saved him sidelined for the ultimate 4 months of the 2021-22 season. Holtz prior to now served as a shutdown defenseman previous to his damage and has already demonstrated some scoring prowess with a objective in opposition to the Lancers.
Despite having a big team of succesful returning defensemen, Michigan’s proficient freshman elegance comprises more than one defensemen that can most probably see taking part in time in an instant — Luca Fantilli and Seamus Casey. Casey brings an electrical skillset to the Wolverines as a former member of the U.S. NTDP U-18 workforce and a skilled offensive defenseman with a dynamic shot. He has already confirmed his mettle in the case of scoring, with two targets in opposition to Windsor as he stepped as much as the primary defensive pair rather than Hughes.
Michigan may have a number of manufacturing on offense to switch after main scorers Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, Thomas Bordeleau and Kent Johnson all left for the NHL. Much of that manufacturing should come from a few of Michigan’s best returners, specifically sophomores Mackie Samoskevich and Dylan Duke. Samoskevich is about to offer constant scoring as soon as once more, leaning on his high hockey IQ and high-powered shot that helped him rating 10 targets ultimate season whilst taking part in all however two video games.
Duke, who performed in all however one sport ultimate season himself, may also step up into a bigger position this season. Duke utterly overhauled his skating within the offseason to change into a faster participant who tires much less simply, environment himself as much as be a premier objective scorer for the Wolverines this season. Duke will constantly play within the grimy spaces, screening the goalie and tipping in photographs as he did on Saturday en path to scoring two targets.
As for the brand new forwards, all eyes are on freshman Adam Fantilli. In two seasons with the USHL Chicago Steel, Fantilli notched 110 issues in 103 video games. Since attending to Michigan, Fantilli has already drawn comparisons to Beniers, Brisson and Bordeleau, whilst being named to the preseason All-Big Ten 2nd workforce earlier than taking part in a unmarried sport. Fantilli is a dynamic two-way ahead with superb arms and an NHL-ready shot who will give a contribution in an instant.
But Fantilli is solely one of the freshmen forwards who will see constant ice time. Though relatively undersized, Gavin Brindley tasks as a first-round pick out within the 2023 NHL Draft at the deserves of his shot and his pace. Frank Nazar III, the thirteenth pick out within the 2022 Draft, has electrical pace and proficient arms, and can command a number of mins as soon as he returns to the ice. Alongside the ones 3, Jackson Hallum, TJ Hughes and Rutger McGroarty all undertaking to spend a number of time at the ice, with Kienan Draper preventing for a place as neatly.
The Wolverines will most commonly fill out the intensity in their traces with returners. After struggling a decrease frame damage ultimate season, senior Eric Ciccolini is wholesome once more for the beginning of the season. Senior Nick Granowicz, sophomore Mark Estapa and junior Philippe Lapointe may also most probably slot into intensity roles and search to offer enjoy.
With this sort of younger offense, graduate captain Nolan Moyle can be tasked with bringing the workforce in combination, whilst offering his personal enjoy. Moyle will play in a grinder position, making improvements to Michigan’s physicality and environment the tone for the remainder of the forwards.
This 12 months’s Wolverines’ squad misplaced lots of ability from ultimate 12 months, however their crop of younger avid gamers provides them an excellent chance to fill the gaps. If Naurato can carry them in combination and they are able to regulate to the varsity stage briefly, Michigan has the potential to duplicate the good fortune of ultimate 12 months’s team, and even perhaps exceed it. If the ones changes take longer than anticipated, Naurato’s first 12 months in rate is also a disappointing one.
Dylan Duke – Adam Fantilli – Mackie Samoskevich
Jackson Hallum – TJ Hughes – Eric Ciccolini
Rutger McGroarty – Frank Nazar III – Nolan Moyle
Mark Estapa – Gavin Brindley – Phillippe Lapointe
Jacob Truscott – Luke Hughes
Ethan Edwards – Steve Holtz
Seamus Casey – Keaton Pehrson