July 28, 2011 - 6:45pm
BY STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson announced the addition of three skaters — forward Andrew Sinelli and defensemen Mike Chiasson and Michael Szuma — on Thursday to boost the number of incoming freshmen for the 2011-12 campaign to nine.
The trio joins goaltender John Gibson, defenseman Brennan Serville, and forwards Phil Di Giuseppe, Zach Hyman, Alex Guptill and Travis Lynch to round out the 2011 recruiting class.
Chiasson is the son of Steve Chiasson, an NHL journeyman who spent eight seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and 13 total years in the NHL. Michael spent the past three seasons with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, accumulating seven goals, 20 assists and a plus-23 plus/minus in 122 games with Omaha.
"Chiasson is a defenseman that we were able to add late and we're pretty fortunate that he was available to us," assistant coach Billy Powers said in a release from the Athletic Department. "He brings great experience from the premier development league for college hockey."
Sinelli, a Dexter, Mich. native, comes to Ann Arbor after spending the past two season in the Unites States Hockey League. In two seasons, Sinelli tallied 12 goals, 14 assists and 96 PIM in 95 games spread across stints with the Youngstown Phantoms, Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Sioux City Musketeers.
"Sinelli is a kid who was a premier player in his age group coming up through the Honeybaked organization," Powers said. "He's now played a few years of junior hockey. His offensive numbers fell off a little bit in junior hockey, but he does have a history of producing and the ability to put up points. What I like about him is his game has evolved without the puck and he took on a penalty killer role with Youngstown and did a great job."
Szuma hails from Novi, Mich., but comes to Michigan from the Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League. In 2010-11, Szuma helped the Warriors capture the North Division title and reach the Rovertson Cup final. He tallied seven goals, 15 assists and a plus-13 plus/minus in 56 games with the Warriors.
Szuma also played a season with the Green Mountain Glades of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, scoring four goals and five helpers in 43 games.
"Szuma is a kid that we tracked a year ago and he ended up playing in Flint in the North American Hockey League for a new franchise," said Powers. "He was lucky because he got to play under head coach Moe Mantha, who was a career NHL defenseman, so he's had great tutelage and it shows in his game. He's another intelligent, high hockey IQ defenseman who's reliable.
"There is some offensive up-side; he played on the power play. He's a local Michigan kid who's really excited about putting on the Maize and Blue."
The trio increases tops off the 2011 recruiting class at five forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender. Michigan graduated seven players after its NCAA title run in 2010-11 and lost another in junior defenseman Brandon Burlon leaving a season early to sign with the New Jersey Devils.