The Michigan State Spartans have announced the initial group of players who have signed National Letters of Intent to join MSU for the 2021-2022 season. Jeremy Davidson (Kalamazoo, Michigan/Fargo Force), David Gucciardi (Toronto, Ontario/Waterloo Black Hawks), Tanner Kelly (San Diego, California/Muskegon Lumberjacks), Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Arizona/Chicago Steel) and Jesse Tucker (Longlac, Ontario/Green Bay Gamblers) all have signed on as the first five recruits of the new class.
Three of the signees currently rank within the top-11 in the United State Hockey League (USHL) in terms of points, the top junior ice hockey league sanctioned by the NHL. Middendord ranks third, while Davidson and Kelly are both tied for 11th. Tucker sits just outside the top-20 and Gucciardi is ranked seventh among all USHL defensemen.
You can find the player bios below per the press release from the program:
Kalamazoo, Mich. | Fargo Force (USHL) | F | 5-10, 172 | DOB: 2/28/00
Plays a power game with and without the puck in all zones of the ice …Strong on his edges and uses his agility and excellent passing ability to create offense.
Ranks second for Fargo in points (25), is tied for first in assists (17) and is third in goals (8) … Leads the team with 58 shots and carries a plus-9 rating … Played 22 games for UMass in 2019-20, registering a goal and an assist … Spent two seasons at Shattuck St. Mary’s before making the move to the USHL in 2017-18 where he put up 30 points (13g, 17a) as a rookie for the Central Illinois Flying Aces … Split time between Central Illinois (33 GP, 14-12—26) and the Fargo Force (30 GP, 10-7—17) in 2018-19 … Played youth hockey for Honeybaked.
Toronto, Ontario | Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) | D | 5-11, 161 | DOB: 10/9/02
Terrific skater with excellent stick skills … Has an offensive mind … Plays an aggressive game and looks to push the pace and play toward the opponents’ net.
In his second USHL season where he leads Waterloo in points (16) and assists (12) and also ranks seventh among the league’s defensemen in both categories … Also leads Waterloo in power-play points (6) … Posted a season-high four-game point streak from Jan. 22-29 over which he recorded five points (1g, 5a) … Had 13 points (3g, 10a) and 77 penalty minutes in 35 games last season split between Muskegon and Sioux City … Started the 2020-21 season with Youngstown before being dealt to Waterloo … Played for the Toronto Patriots of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2018-19, recording 18 points (5g, 13) and 85 penalty minutes in 47 games.
San Diego, Calif. | Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) | F | 5-10, 164 | DOB: 5/11/02
Relentless two-way forward that plays fast and is constantly pursuing the puck … Has a good stick around the net … Excellent special teams player is a very good shot blocker and provides a strong net-front presence on the power play.
Ranks third for the Muskegon Lumberjacks and is tied for 11th in the USHL in points (25) and is tied for seventh in the league in goals (12) in his second full USHL season … Third for the Lumberjacks in total shots on goal (73) … Has recorded seven multi-point games and a pair of four-game point streaks so far in 2020-21 … Had 15 points (3g, 12a) in 42 games in his first full USHL season in 2019-20 … Made his USHL debut in 2018-19, playing six games for Muskegon after racking up 101 points (35g, 66a) in 69 games for Little Caesars U16 … Played youth hockey for Little Caesars since 2015.
Scottsdale, Arizona | Chicago Steel (USHL) | F | 6-1, 190 | DOB: 7/11/00
Powerful skater with an excellent shot … Plays with an edge and has a willingness to go to the hard areas to score goals … Is able to use his shot or excellent passing ability on the power play to create chances.
Ranks third in the USHL in points (43), second in goals (21) and tied for third in assists (22) … Leads the Chicago Steel in power-play goals (9) and carries a plus-21 rating … Team captain … Has a team-high two shorthanded goals … Played parts of two seasons for Colorado College before heading to the USHL in 2019-20 … Appeared in 41 games for Colorado College as a freshman, recording 11 points (7g, 4a) … Played six games for CC in 2019-20 before joining the Chicago Steel of the USHL where he wound up putting up 24 points (12g, 12a) in 32 games … Played for Danton Cole in 2016-17 at the US National Team Development Program, recording 18 points (6g, 12a) in 51 games for the U-17 team … Played amateur hockey for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes prior to joining the USNTDP.
Longlac, Ontario | Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) | F | 5-11, 174 | DOB: 3/1/00
Tenacious two-way center … Skilled playmaker … Has a strong hockey IQ and reads the play very well … Will look to find open teammates but can find the back of the net with his quick release and accurate shot.
Put up 43 points in each of his first two USHL seasons and is in his third year with Green Bay where he ranks third on the team in points (21) and assists (17) … Tied for the team lead in power-play assists (12) … Team captain … As a rookie in 2018-19 he led Green Bay in both points (43) and assists (30) … Led Green Bay again in 2019-20 in points (43) and goals (18), while ranking second in assists (25) … Had a team-high 88 penalty minutes in 2019-20 … Played parts of two seasons for the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League prior to making the jump to the USHL … Had 50 points (17g, 33a) in 52 games for North York in 2017-18.
You can catch Coach Cole’s media remarks yesterday as the Spartans get ready to host Arizona State for a series beginning Sunday, Feb. 14.