On Monday, Northeastern added 12 new players to the roster for this year: 5 defensemen, 6 forwards, and a goalie. This is a massive class, but one that is needed after the departures of the summer: Mike McLaughlin graduated, Alex Tuckerman decided to forgo his final year of eligibility, Luke Eibler and Rob Dongara both transferred, Anthony Bitetto and Steve Quailer signed with NHL teams, and the Daniel brothers left for some unknown destination.
The new guy here is Derick Roy. Played played for the South Shore Kings in the EJHL, and garnered a 2.78 GAA and a .912 Save Percentage. I doubt Roy will see much of any time between the pipes, but considering how poor our goaltending has been in some games, another guy can’t really hurt here.
Northeastern adds 5 guys: Dax Lauwers and Colton Saucerman from the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, Mike Gunn from the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, Dustin Darou of the Central Junior Hockey League, and Jarrett Fennell of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. From Madigan’s quotes on these players and what they’ve done in their junior teams, I’d expect Lauwers, Saucerman, Gunn, and Darou to start immediately. Darou and Saucerman have strong offensive capabilities, which is really needed after losing Bitetto and Eibler this offseason. Lauwers and Gunn are both more stay at home defensemen, which will go nicely with the two offensive defensemen we’ve picked up. Fennell is a walk-in, and he’ll likely slot in as a 7th or 8th defenseman.
The big pickups here are Kevin Roy and Cam Darcy. Roy broke the USHL scoring record with 50 goals and 59 assists last year, and will likely slot into a 2nrd or 3rd line position immediately. Cam Darcy was used as a 4th line grinder for the US-18 team, but Madigan clearly thinks he could be an offensive force. He compares to Adam Reid, who was used in a similar role and put up similar points but came to NU and put up some solid offensive numbers his first year. Darcy also has lots of experience playing against college teams (including Northeastern) and foreign competition, which will come in handy. I’d expect Darcy to be slotted into the 3rd line to add offensive punch there.
4 other forwards were added: Matt Marshall, Ryan Belonger, Torin Syndeman, and Michael McMurty. Snydeman has to sit out a year as he is a transfer from Sacred Heart University. Marshall is a 5th year senior who is transferring from UVM after not playing last year with an injury. Marshall has some connections to NU, in that he committed here originally but backed out and went to UVM after being drafted by the Lightning. Marshall adds some experience, but probably won’t see a lot of ice time (and if he does will likely be a 4th line guy). Belonger and McMurty are both likely to be placed in grinder roles: they put up respectable numbers in their junior teams, but have been mentioned by Madigan as good two-way guys. Figure we’ll see them on the 4th line.
This is now absolutely Madigan’s team now. 40% will have been exclusively recruited by him, and more than half the team has only ever played for him. Madigan is also going for a lot of leadership this time around after some discipline issues last year. A lot of incoming guys were captains or alternate captains on their teams, which is always a good sight to see. Madigan also recruited a number of guys who can make an immediate impact: overage guys like Darou, Lauwers, and others are 20 or 21 and can likely jump into the college game far easier.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about this new team. There’s a lot of depth that wasn’t there last year, and this is no unequivocally Madigan’s team. Now let’s see what he does with it.