Let me just start this by saying that I don’t follow college hockey too closely, so bear with me. But, hockey deserves to be covered on this website, too!
After a rough 2016-2017 season on the ice — one that saw just seven total wins, three conference wins and former head coach Tom Anastos stepping down — the Michigan State Spartans hockey team has added some talent to the roster for the upcoming season in hopes of improving.
New head coach Danton Cole announced the addition of five new players yesterday. Those players are all forwards: Tommy Apap, Brody Stevens, Jake Smith, Austin Kramer and Gianluca Esteves.
Each of the aforementioned players have signed their National Letters of Intent to play for the Spartans during the 2017-2018 season. This brings the current freshmen class to eight, as Tommy Miller, Mitch Lewandowski and David Keefer previously signed on.
Apap, from Bloomfield Hills, is a 21-years-old forward and stands at 6-feet-2-inches tall. He most recently played for the United State Hockey League’s Youngstown Phantoms where he served as team captain and scored 20 points in 58 games last season. He is a leader.
Stevens, 20, comes from rival city Ann Arbor and measures at 6-foot even, 202 pounds. He last played for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL, recording 28 points in 2016-2017. According to his scouting report, he brings a lot of energy and competitiveness.
Smith is from East Amherst, New York and will turn 21 years old during the season. Having last played in the British Columbia Hockey League as a member of the Chilliwack Chiefs, he scored 58 points in 58 games last season, averaging an impressive one point per game played.
Kramer, 21, is by way of Grand Rapids. He was last with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League. He recorded 43 points in 57 games last year, and added eight points in 11 playoff games, which helped the Brahmas capture the NAHL’s Robertson Cup.
Esteves, 20, put up a nice 45 points in 60 games last season for the NAHL’s Aston Rebels. The only Canadian of the group, Esteves hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba and brings a lot of speed. His Rebels lost to Kramer’s Brahmas in the Robertson Cup National Championship game.
The hockey team begins its regular season with a home-and-home series against Bowling Green on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14. Be sure to check out the full season schedule.
Do you think the hockey program will improve this season? Let us know in the comments section.
Note: Yes, the feature image is from the 2007 Frozen Four Championship: There wasn’t much to choose from and it’s fun to relive the glory days.