By The Numbers: Michigan Wolverines Can Bounce Back

Back in June, FloHockey categorized the Michigan Wolverines’ roster as one cast into limbo following the departure of several key players, but the merry-go-round of star talent in Ann Arbor welcomes the next wave of top-tier prospects.

Just three seasons ago, the Wolverines went 13-19-3, accumulating their lowest win total since 1985-86. It was the fourth time in five years they failed to earn an NCAA Tournament berth and the final season of the legendary Red Berenson era.

Enter coach Mel Pearson, who led the team to a resurgent 22-15-3 season, which came to an end following a loss to Notre Dame in the Frozen Four.

There’s something to be said about a team battling the consistent premature loss of all-star players and even after another disappointing 13-win season, the numbers argue another bounce-back season could be in the works. 

33 Points

From the moment he committed, Quinn Hughes was pegged as another early departure given his immense skill and near-perfect skating. After 69 games across two seasons, his 62 points (10 G, 52 A) is just one of many statistics that show his value. 

Replacing a defenseman of Hughes’ caliber won’t be easy, but a pair of recruits may be up to the task in 2019-20, as ice time will be plentiful and roster spots will be fought for.

16 Goals

Newly named captain Will Lockwood will bear the brunt of the offense for the Wolverines following a 16-goal season that placed him tied for 32nd in the NCAA in 2018-19.

Lockwood’s 31 points placed him second to only Hughes, and he returns as the team leader in goals, assists, and points. Jake Slaker and Nick Pastujov are close behind with 25 and 24 points, respectively, as the trio takes over in 2019-20.

5 Key Losses

Along with Hughes, Josh Norris, and seniors Joseph Cecconi, Nicholas Boka, and Brendan Warren, are among the voids Pearson will need to fill. Norris was on pace for a huge sophomore campaign after scoring 10 goals and 19 points through his first 17 games prior to a season-ending injury.

Cecconi finished fifth in team scoring and his departure, along with that of Boka and Hughes, leaves three defensive spots wide open. Pearson has talked up sophomore defensemen Jack Summers and Nick Blankenburg, but new faces will also be in line for ice time.

3 2019 Draft Picks

Cam York (14th overall, Philadelphia), John Beecher (30th overall, Boston Bruins), and Eric Ciccolini (Round 7, 205th overall, New York Rangers) all enter their freshman seasons with the Wolverines after being drafted in the 2019 NHL Draft.

York will get an immediate chance to take over for Hughes after his record-setting offensive season for the USNTDP (14 goals and 65 points in 63 games). Beecher also hails from the USNTDP (15 goals and 43 points in 63 games). Ciccolini finished ninth in OJHL scoring last season with 62 points, while his 27 goals ranked tenth.

2 Transfers

Two grad transfers in Shane Switzer and Jacob Hayhurst will get the chance to earn larger roles after spending their college careers with Boston University and RPI, respectively.

Switzer was largely a spare part in Boston with just 31 games (3 G, 2 A) over four seasons. Hayhurst hit the 20-point mark in each of his three years with RPI, amassing 22 goals and 44 assists in 102 games. Both players will look to finish their NCAA careers on high notes and will play big roles for Pearson this season.

1 Second Chance

After a mediocre 31-game stint with RPI in 2017-18 in which he recorded 11 points (2 G, 9 A), Emil Ohrvall returned to Waterloo of the USHL for the 2018-19 season and broke out for 63 points (31 G, 32 A) in 59 games.

Only three players scored more goals and just seven tallied more points. A second chance at the NCAA and the experience of the league leave Ohrvall as a huge X-factor for the Wolverines as he looks to cash in on his second chance.

Fresh faces, new leadership, and hunger for open spots and the chance at continued development toward the next level will be the fuel in Ann Arbor, and the Wolverines have the chance to surprise again in 2018-19.

Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

WCHA RinkRap: Michigan Tech Earns A Sweep, Ferris State Finds A Way

With Minnesota State idle this past weekend, there was a lot of movement in the WCHA standings. Ferris State got its first conference win, Michigan Tech pushed their road record to 5-2, and the Nanooks of the North find themselves with a share of first place.

WCHA Watch Guide: Week Of November 18

Check out college hockey action in the WCHA in the week of November 18.

Atlantic Hockey Watch Guide: Week Of November 18

Check out college hockey action in the Atlantic Hockey conference in the week of November 18.

Northern Michigan Head Coach Grant Potulny Invests In Marquette

In Year 1 of the Potulny era up in Marquette, Michigan, Grant and his family were in attendance at a youth hockey tournament, sons playing, parents spectating. Hockey mom Melissa shared an astute observation. 

Northern Michigan's Griffin Loughran Seizing Opportunity

The loss of key contributors left the Northern Michigan offense in limbo ahead of the 2019-20 season, but the youth has taken full advantage of the increased opportunity — and now the offense flows through Griffin Loughran.

RIT Tigers' Committee Sparks Early-Season Surprise In Atlantic Hockey


In nature, the tiger is an independent hunter, but at RIT, the Tigers have formed a by-committee family that has sparked an encouraging start to the 2019-20 season.

WCHA RinkRap: Northern Michigan Comebacks, Minnesota State Ascension

College hockey is in the throes of another hectic season, and nowhere could we see that as much as in the WHCA this past weekend. 

WCHA Watch Guide: Week Of November 11

WCHA conference play continues to heat up — here's the schedule for the week of November 11.

Atlantic Hockey Watch Guide: Week Of November 11

Here's everything that goes down in Atlantic Hockey in the week of November 11.

Atlantic Hockey Weekend Primer: RIT Heats Up, Mercyhurst Earns Accolades

Atlantic Hockey was once again in the national spotlight this past weekend, thanks to a big matchup between Niagara and the top-ranked team in the country, Denver. RIT also used a big series against Holy Cross to jump to the top of the conference standings and reclaim their spot as the favorite to once again advance to the NCAA Tournament.