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Hockey Recruit Update

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Checking in on the future of Michigan State hockey

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

While the Spartans may be off this weekend, junior hockey leagues around the country will still be in action meaning many Michigan State recruits will be taking the ice tonight. It felt like a good time with a break in the college season to check in on the future classes of Spartan hockey.

Class of 2015-16

Name Position Team Stats (games, goals, assists, points, +/-)
Brennan Sanford LW Des Moines Buccaneers 25 GP, 2G 5A, 7pts  -3
Mason Appleton C Tri-City Storm 23 GP, 6G 7A, 13pts even
Jerad Rosburg D Sioux City Musketeers 12 GP, 3G 1A, 4pts  +11
Zach Osburn D Chicago Steel 17 GP, 3G 1A, 4pts -3
Cody Milan F Tri-City Storm 23 GP, 5G 7A, 12pts -9

This is a pretty well rounded class coming to East Lansing next season. Rosburg (Clarksville, MD) is the son of a Baltimore Ravens coach and will bring good size to the defense corps. He currently is not playing since he was put on the 45 day IR back on November 26. Also coming in to play defense is Zach Osburn (Plymouth, MI) who was the 6th overall pick in the 2013 USHL draft by the Indiana Ice. Osburn is a bit smaller than Rosburg but will be a great offensive defenseman, something the Spartans sorely lack right now.

Up front this class includes three forwards, each with a different skill set. Mason Appleton (Green Bay, WI) was a commitment over this past summer that looks to be a late steal for the coaching staff. Appleton played three seasons of Wisconsin high school hockey, including scoring 60 points in 23 games last season. He has carried that offensive success over to his first season in the USHL with Tri-City. Cody Milan (White Lake, MI) was originally slated to be on campus this year but returned to the USHL for another year of development instead. In 2012 Sioux Falls took Milan with the 9th overall pick in the draft but he never really had the output they expected from him and he was dealt to Tri-City last season. The fresh start seems to have worked for Milan as he has 12 points in 23 games this season. Brennan Sanford (Holt, MI) like Appleton committed to the class this past summer. Sanford a 1995 birthdate is the oldest member of the class and will likely be a depth player for the Spartans. After splitting time last season in the NAHL and USHL, Sanford has found a permanent spot in Des Moines of the USHL.

Class of 2016-17

Name Position Team Stats (games, goals, assists, points, +/-)
Ryan Bederka D Honeybaked (Fargo) 13 GP, 0G 8A, 8pts
Mitch Lewandowski LW Honeybaked (Des Moines) 13GP, 9G 4A, 13pts
Noah Lalonde C Honeybaked (Des Moines) 5 GP, 0pts
Ty Farmer D Youngstown Phantoms

15GP, 0G 1A, 1pts even

Mitch Eliot D Muskegon Lumberjacks 24GP, 0G 2A, 2pts, -1
John Lethemon G Chicago Steel 4-4-1 .907 save % and 3.13 GAA

*Note: The Honeybaked stats are limited to league games. They have played many more games.

This is the class that Honeybaked built with four players coming from the suburban Detroit AAA hockey program (Mitch Eliot was also a Honeybaked product). The offensive headliner from the class is Mitch Lewandowski (Orion, MI) who shoots left, has good size and was taken 4th overall in the USHL futures draft by Fargo. Ryan Bederka(Brighton, MI) tends to be an offensive defenseman and has been scouted as playing with an edge to his game as well. While Ty Farmer will be the defensive headliner of the class, Bederka will be no slouch himself. Ty Farmer(O'Fallon, MO) is the rare non-Honeybaked player in the class. He is an excellent defenseman who may have the opportunity to play for the US National Development program next season after playing in Youngstown this year. Youngstown is a veteran USHL squad but Farmer has seemed to acclimate well.

Noah Lalonde (Macomb, MI) is a little less heralded than the rest of the class but still possesses many skills that the Spartans desire. Lalonde, a 1998 birthdate, is already 178 pounds and should develop into a power forward for the Spartans. Mitch Eliot (Grosse Pointe, MI) finished the season in Muskegon last year upon completion of the Honeybaked season. Eliot, the son of FSD TV commentator Darren Eliot, will also have a shot at the US National Development program like Farmer. John Lethemon (Northville, MI) is the goalie that will be coming in to backup Ed Minney once Jake Hildebrand graduates. Lethemon has already graduated high school, after leading Farmington to the division III title last season, including a shocking upset over Cranbrook-Kingswood where he stopped 60 of 62 shots. Lethemon jumped to the USHL this season after coming from off the radar last season to near NHL draft pick and has split time in the net with Chicago.

Class of 2017-18 and ?

Name Position Team Stats (games, goals, assists, points, +/-)
David Keefer RW Muskegon Lumberjacks 24 GP, 5G 5A, 10pts  -2
Marcel Godbout F Waterloo Black Hawks 21GP, 2G 0A, 2pts  -9

Marcel Godbout (Center Line, MI) is included here simply because I don't know when he is going to arrive on campus or if he will arrive on campus. Like Milan, Godbout was expected to be in East Lansing this season but returned to the USHL. However, unlike Milan, Godbout did not send in his National Letter of Intent in November so his arrival date is unknown at this time. During his recruit press conference did admit the 2015-16 class may not be done so it is possible that Godbout will still end up on campus next season. This season Godbout has struggled in a new USHL franchise, after spending last season in Des Moines, scoring just two goals in 21 games.

David Keefer (Howell, MI) continues the Honeybaked pipeline as he played with the HB boys from the 2016-17 class. Keefer was drafted 10th overall by Muskegon in the 2014 USHL draft and has had a great start on a very talented USHL team. Keefer like some of his fellow classmates may eventually have a shot at the US National Development Program as well.