Huskies Announce 2012-2013 Roster, Add 12 New Players
The Northeastern Huskies officially announced their recruiting class and roster for the upcoming season on Monday. The class features 12 new players, including USHL Player of the Year, forward Kevin Roy. You can read Coach Madigan’s quotes on the class and each individual player on the new GoNU.com
The 12 new faces make it one of the biggest classes in Hockey East, which is a bit surprising considering the Huskies technically had just 1 senior last season, Mike McLaughlin. But 7 other players also left the program over the summer. Anthony Bitetto and Steve Quailer signed Entry Level Contracts with Nashville and Montreal, respectively. Alex Tuckerman graduated and decided not to stay for his final year of eligibility. Luke Eibler and Rob Dongara both chose to transfer. Eibler, decided to go back to his native Michigan and enroll at Northern Michigan University. Dongara, from Scituate, MA, hoped to walk on to the team at UMass Amherst. And finally, twin brothers, Justin and Drew Daniels, decided to leave the program. As of right now, they have not signed with anyone for the upcoming season.
Roy is the headliner of the class. He originally committed to Brown, where he was recruited by current NU Assistant Coach Jerry Keefe. After a controversial decision to decommit in late July, Roy chose to follow Keefe to Northeastern. The Quebec native was a 4th round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. Roy is a big time goal scorer and figures to be one of the best freshman in Hockey East this season. While its unlikely he matches the numbers posted by Johnny Gaudreau and Scott Wilson in their freshman campaigns, Roy should be one of the offensive leaders for the Huskies this season. He could begin the year on the 3rd line, but he will likely be getting Top 6 minutes and power play time by the end of the season.
Cam Darcy, from South Boston, MA, is a center who comes from the US National Team Development Program. He was originally recruited by former coach Greg Cronin, but decomitted shortly after the coaching change. Coach Madigan was able to get him to recommit this past fall in what was one of his first big recruiting successes. Darcy mostly saw time on the lower lines of the USNTDP team, but Madigan views him as guy with plenty of offensive talent. He went undrafted in his first year of eligibility, but participated in the Ottawa Senators’ development camp this summer. He will be the youngest player on the team at just 18 years old, and could likely center the 3rd line.
Ryan Belonger, a forward from Wisconsin, is one of two recruits to come from the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) program, where former Husky Rob Rassey is an assistant coach. As an alternate captain, Belonger put up middle of the road numbers in his second USHL season. Belonger’s strength is his defense and he is one of many recruits that come in with leadership experience. He will likely start the year on the 4th line.
Michael McMurtry is a bit of an unknown. He is a Canadian forward that comes from the Gloucester Rangers of the CCHL. The league is not a big time feeder to NCAA schools, but it has occasionally produced quality players. McMurtry was the Rangers’ captain and leading scorer. In his comments, Coach Madigan highlighted his offensive ability, but McMurtry will likely find himself fighting for a spot on the 4th line.
Rounding out the forwards are two transfers, Massachusetts natives Matt Marshall and Torin Snydeman. Marshall comes to Boston as a 5th year senior after playing 4 years at Vermont. He will be eligible this season. Snydeman comes from Sacred Heart. He will be forced to sit out this season and be considered a Junior when he suits up next year.
Marshall had an outstanding prep season at Nobles and Greenbough, which allowed him to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning and to back out of his commitment to Northeastern and attend Vermont instead. His career has been a disappointment so far though with just 14 points in 86 games. Marshall played just 3 games last season due to injury. The 24 year old projects to be outside of the lineup on most nights, but he may be able to win a place on the 4th line if he can show why he is an NHL draft pick.
On defense, former Michigan State recruit Mike Gunn, will be the guy to watch. The Michigan native was a teammate of Ryan Belonger’s in Youngstown this past season where he was an alternate captain. He also served as alternate captain the year before on the Chicago Steel. But Gunn will bring more than just leadership to the table. He is considered a quality puck moving defenseman, something the Huskies severely lack with the departure of Anthony Bitetto. Gunn should see plenty of ice time for a Huskies team that returns just two defensive starters. He should find himself on the point on one of the power play units as well.
Colton Saucerman missed the 2nd half of last season after undergoing knee surgery, but said that his rehab is going well and that he will be ready for the beginning of the season. The former Lowell commit has played for 3 USHL teams, most recently the Lincoln Stars. Like Gunn, his offensive abilities will be his biggest contribution. Also like Gunn, Saucerman can expect to see solid ice time and serve as a “quarterback” on a power play that desperately needs some guidance.
Its not all about offense from the blue line for the Huskies. Dax Lauwers comes in with a reputation as a heavy hitter and big time shot blocker. Lauwers is a sophomore who is transferring to Northeastern after a year at Army. The Alaska native spent last season in Lincoln with Kevin Roy and Colton Saucerman. Lauwers could find himself on one of the top 2 defensive pairs and on the penalty kill unit if all goes well for him..
Dustin Darou is one of three recruits that hail from Ontario. He has spent the last 5 years in the CCHL, the same league as McMurtry. Darou provides a balance of offensive skill and defensive responsibility. The former Michigan commit posted career highs in points last season and was the 4th highest scoring defenseman in the CCHL. Darou will turn 21 at the beginning of the season and will bring a lot of experience to a young defense. He should be a fixture in the lineup from Day 1.
The third and final Ontarian is walk-on Jarrett Fennell, who comes to the Huskies from the Aurora Tigers in the OJHL. Fennell captain the team in his last season. Coach Madigan described him as a “puck-moving defenseman”. He is a bit like Darou in that sense that he has an all around game, but his offensive numbers are nowhere Darou’s. Fennell will likely start the season as the 7th defenseman and not much is expected of him. He could be a bit like another Canadian defenseman that came in as an older guy and didn’t play much at first. That guy got into the lineup late in his freshman year and hasn’t been taken out since. That guy is the only upperclass defenseman this team has, Drew Ellement.
The final recruit is Goaltender Derick Roy, who is the older brother of Kevin Roy. Roy played for the South Shore Kings in the EJHL this past season. With 3 goalies ahead of him on the depth chart, it seems likely that he would redshirt this season. With Chris Rawlings and Bryan Mountain set to graduate after this season, Roy will have to wait a year before he can really enter himself into the discussion, whether he redshirts or not. But as of right now, he will be 1 of just 2 goalies on the roster for next year.
So the breakdown is 6 forwards, 5 defensemen and 1 goalie. 3 transfers and a host of guys who decommitted at various points in their career. The biggest theme appears to be character though. Almost all of these guys served as some type of captain for their junior teams. Last season was a failure for Northeastern and Madigan responded by cleaning house. He is clearly after a certain type of player and you have to think he is happy with how this class shaped up.
We’ll have more on the team as a whole as the season gets closer, but its obvious that this year’s Northeastern Huskies will be a team that is far removed from the one that crashed and burned down the stretch of last season.