It's that time of year in the hockey calendar where teams are either making their push for the playoffs or gearing up for a run at a state and national title. The Michigan State Spartans' hockey program currently has 13 players committed and set to arrive in East Lansing over the next three seasons. So let's take a look at what is on the horizon for the Spartans and how these players are doing as of this past weekend.
|Brennan Sanford||LW||Des Moines Buccaneers||39||4||7||11||-4|
|Mason Appleton||C||Tri-City Storm||40||9||14||23||-2|
|Jerad Rosburg||D||Sioux City Musketeers||12||2||2||4||+11|
|Zach Osburn||D||Chicago Steel||33||4||2||6||-9|
|Cody Milan||F||Tri-City Storm||40||8||11||19||-8|
- Cody Milan has had a nice bounce back year after being traded from Sioux Falls to Tri-City last season. Milan who originally was set to be in East Lansing this season has settled into Tri-City nicely on a team that sits in second in the USHL's Western Conference.
- Mason Appleton committed just this past summer and is the leading scorer in the class. Appleton appears to be the player out of this class that could have the quickest impact as he stands 6'2" and 193 pounds before getting to campus.
- Zach Osburn comes from the Victory Honda AAA program and is in his first full season in the USHL. The offensive defenseman has struggled to find his coring touch on a Chicago team that sits 12 points out of a playoff spot.
- Jerad Rosburg was placed on the DL at the end of November and hasn't played since. His team is in 1st place in the Western Conference and hopefully an extended season means time for Rosburg to get back on the ice.
|Name||Position||Team (USHL rights)||Games Played||Goals||Assists||Points||+/-|
|Ryan Bederka||D||Honeybaked (Fargo)||19||2||6||10|
|Mitch Lewandowski||LW||Honeybaked (Des Moines)||23||12||6||18|
|Noah Lalonde||C||Honeybaked (Des Moines)||15||6||2||8|
|Ty Farmer||D||Youngstown Phantoms||29||0||3||3||-3|
|Mitch Eliot||D||Muskegon Lumberjacks||39||0||3||3||-2|
|John Lethemon||G||Chicago Steel||11||4 wins||6 losses||.892 save %||3.51 GAA|
This is the crown jewel of classes' under Tom Anastos and has been garnering hype really for the last two years. The class features four players who have played together as 1998's with Honeybaked(Mitch Eliot has already accelerated out of AAA hockey to the USHL). The 98 HB's were upset at last year's nationals and are a front runner again this year to win State's in March and contend for a national title after that.
- The stats for the Honeybaked players are strictly in HPHL (High Performance Hockey League) games. Trust me they have played far more than 23 games, with tournaments and the like so the stats are not exactly the whole story.
- Honeybaked was upset last week in the HPHL championship game by Chicago Mission. They will turn their focus now to the state tournament.
- Lewandowski and Farmer are probably the headliners of the class. Farmer and Eliot are young defenseman in the USHL on teams that currently sit in the playoffs of the USHL. Their stats are low but that is to be expected really.
- Lethemon was behind goaltender Cale Morris before he was traded to Waterloo. Chicago is far from a playoff team and Morris has taken off playing for Waterloo. Lethemon unfortunately has not seen his playing time increase as he hasn't played in a game since January 10. Lassi Yrjola, a Finnish goaltender, has started all the recent games for Chicago. Yrjola is 21 in July meaning he can not play in the USHL next season, so it looks like Lethemon will come into next season's training camp as the main guy in Chicago.
2017-18 and ??
|David Keefer||RW||Muskegon Lumberjacks||39||6||7||13||-3|
|Marcel Godbout||F||Chicago Steel||37||5||4||9||-17|
- Marcel Godbout is the question mark from this table. Godbout, like Cody Milan, was set to arrive on campus this past fall but was sent to the USHL for a little more development. He is on his third USHL team in 2 seasons, after being traded from Waterloo. Godbout stands just 5'8" and did not sign his national letter of intent in the early singing period when Milan and the 2015-16 class did. Tom Anastos has honored all his commitments so far, but if Godbout does not arrive on campus next fall you have to wonder a little bit if there is a chance he ends up at another school.
- Focusing on Godbout the player, I certainly hope he ends up in the green and white. He has shown an ability to score with Des Moines in 2013-14.
- Keefer has acclimated well in his first season in the USHL but has seemed to hit a wall as of late. He has just 1 goal and 2 assists in his past 15 games, after scoring 5 goals in his first 24 games.