Michigan State hockey has just added its newest member of the 2022-2023 roster, and it’s Swedish defenseman Viktor Hurtig.
Welcome to the Spartan family, Viktor Hurtig! You're gonna be in that Green & White sweater. pic.twitter.com/ExreSE84cU— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) June 28, 2022
Hurtig stands at 6-foot-6 and is 191 pounds. He most recently played in the J20 Nationell league, racking up 17 total points for both the Växjö Lakers and Mora IK. The 20-year-old was drafted in the sixth round (No. 164 overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
MSU’s fellow defensemen Christian and Cole Krygier are the only two other drafted Spartans on the current roster. Both were taken in the seventh, and final, round of the 2018 draft; Christian was taken by the New York Islanders, and Cole was selected by the Florida Panthers.
After signing Hurtig, Michigan State has added 11 new players for the 2022-2023 season. It’s also really intriguing to see some European players join Michigan State’s roster. Slovakian forward Miroslav Mucha is another great addition who MSU fans should be excited to watch.
“We are excited to add Viktor to our back end,” Michigan State head coach Adam Nightingale said in a statement. ”Hurtig’s size, skating and ability with the puck will help our team. We look forward to him helping our team along with continuing his development towards a professional career.”
Perhaps most interesting to look for is where Hurtig will fit in. Junior Nash Nienhuis, sophomore David Gucciardi and the Krygier twins all return on defense. Meanwhile, MSU added Michael Underwood from the portal (Clarkson). Three freshmen (Matt Blasgall, Daniel Russell and Hurtig) will join Michigan State in the fall. Juniors Powell Connor and Cal Dybicz are also set to return.
Connor played in a career-high 28 games last year and Dybicz has one collegiate game under his belt from two years ago. It’s hard to imagine that MSU won’t play a defenseman with the skill that Hurtig has, which may mean that some players such as Connor, or the other freshmen, may land themselves on the bench more often than not.
Regardless, it’s exciting to see how it all shakes out during the upcoming season, especially considering that the highly-anticipated renovation of Munn Ice Arena debuts this fall.