Developing: The MSU Hockey Roster
There has been some movement, and (potentially) another domino to fall
Adam Nightingale, has wasted no time, getting to work as the head coach of Michigan State University. A lift he is still doing alone, after Albie O’Connell, previous head coach of Boston University, tuned down a position as MSU assistant. Nightingale has been recruiting and scouting the USHL playoffs (a fact he alluded to in his introduction press conference) and was reportedly at the MAHA Selects skate last week as well seeing players from the 2005-2006 age groups in Michigan.
While he has been looking out at the longer horizon of Spartan hockey, Nightingale has not lost his vision on the immediate future in East Lansing. Nightingale upgraded the goaltending competition, forgoing previous commit Nate McDonald, who had 9 collegiate starts, to close a circle from years ago, finally delivering Dylan St. Cyr to East Lansing. St. Cyr, the son of Manon Rheaume, who previously was on staff with Tom Anastos, grew up playing for Honeybaked and the USA NTDP, but never had deep interest in MSU as a recruit, instead starting his college career at Notre Dame.
St. Cyr spent his first two seasons getting 11 starts in South Bend, sitting behind a surging Cale Morris. By his redshirt junior season St. Cyr (after sitting out a year redshirting as Cale Morris returned for his Senior season) was finally G1, playing 22 games with a .921 save percentage. St. Cyr seemingly would finish his college career last season, using his Covid year at Quinnipiac. He once again ran into a hot competitor, as despite his 1.16 (!!) GAA and .936 save percentage (!!), St. Cyr lost the net to Yaniv Perets who put up nearly identical stats as a Sophomore. Now St. Cyr has used his 2nd transfer, due to being a grad transfer to come to East Lansing for one final season to stack some games up to try and earn more professional opportunity.
St. Cyr is a smaller goalie, who may remind you of Drew DeRidder. Similar path to this point, similar size, but unlike DeRidder, we have not seen St. Cyr fight mentally to win a job and hold onto it outside of one season at Notre Dame. I think St. Cyr and returning Junior Pierce Charleson will be a part of a pretty talented goalie tandem. However, with a new coaching staff in town, there is ample opportunity for each to take the net entirely. A nice side effect of taking in St. Cyr? May not hurt with MSU’s standing with his half brother, Dakoda Rheaume-Mullen, a talented top 10-15 player in the 2006 birthyear in the US, who will be playing with the NTDP next season (where he would have been coached by….Adam Nightingale).
More Juice Coming
So far MSU has announced defensemen Michael Underwood (previously committed as transfer under Danton Cole), St. Cyr, and the Krygier twins returning to MSU as official. I have had conversations with incoming freshman Laker Aldridge, a late commit who had not signed his NLI before Cole was fired, who I can confirm has received his housing arrangement and course schedule per Aldridge himself, so expecting he stays a part of the class. I also can confirm per conversations that Zach Dubisnky, transfer forward from RPI, is still expected to be in the class and looking forward to his time in East Lansing. I have not talked with Justin Jallen, forward transfer from Brown, but have heard from sources around the program, he will be in the class as well.
With these announcements and prognostication, the roster would seem to be set. 15 forwards, 8 defensemen, 3 goalies, is a pretty full roster. So I assumed, lets start watching the incoming freshman for my series of posts on them. Then word started trickling in this week of a forward coming in and a forward going out. Due to the sensitivity if the forward leaving, I have not been able to confirm who it is or may be, and won’t share my guesses out of respect for them.
I was able to confirm yesterday the forward expected to come in. I was planning on needing to keep that secret as well, as there could be a snag in getting the player in. Why is that? Well they entered the transfer portal after the May 1 deadline. Then last night Mike McMahon’s newsletter (again subscribe it is invaluable) shared the whole story, so I will share a piece of that below:
Michigan State has landed a commitment from Lake Superior State forward Miroslav Mucha, according to multiple sources. But, this is a story worth monitoring.
Per sources, Mucha has to file an appeal with the NCAA for this transfer to go through. He did not enter the transfer portal until after the May 1 deadline. According to the rule, players cannot transfer after May 1 unless there is a coaching change or a program pulls a player's financial aid. On appeal he can claim that he didn't know the rule, was not advised correctly by Lake Superior State on the rules, or he could say that Lake Superior State pulled his scholarship money (which would be hard to prove if Lake State never pulled his money). According to a source, the claim is that Mucha, who is from Slovakia, was out of the country and that prevented him from entering the portal in time before the deadline.
This is an…interesting situation. Mucha would be an excellent add for MSU. He is 24, has international experience skating for Slovakia, playing 4 years at LSSU under solid coaching, being an assistant captain last season, and scoring 35 pts in 37 games played. This would be a slam dunk addition in my opinion, oh and he overlapped some with Adam Nightingale at Shattuck St. Mary’s (not directly coached by Nightingale but per conversations, very familiar with Nightingale and thinks he is a “great coach and better person”).
This story has some layers we need to peel and see how it all settles. You have all MSU alums involved in coaching (Damon Whitten, Mike York, Zach Cisek all played at MSU and coach LSSU). A player entering after the deadline, seeking an appeal, and then quickly committing to his new team with absolutely raise eyebrows around the coaching community. My prognostication? Mucha has his appeal approved, plays in East Lansing next season, and we have some coaches around the country gnashing their teeth.
It has been an interesting few weeks in East Lansing and I for one am feeling one way about the future right now, (and this is while I am hearing some names for assistant coach I REALLY like):