The No. 11 Michigan hockey team entered the 2016-17 season missing most of its key contributors from last year. And to make matters worse, the Wolverines will now have to play the first half of the season without sophomore forward Cooper Marody.

After Michigan’s 2-0 exhibition win against Windsor, Michigan coach Red Berenson revealed that Marody is ineligible through the first semester of the academic year.

The earliest Marody can return to the ice is for the Great Lakes Invitational, which takes place Dec. 29-30.

“Remember he got sick last year in January, and that kinda set him back in school,” Berenson said. “(Marody’s) way ahead of himself in (credit) hours. He’s a good student and he was preparing himself for the Ross Business School, but he got affected by one particular class that really cost him. I can’t tell you anymore than that except he’s ineligible. He’ll have to work hard and he’ll be anxious to play the second half (of the season).”

After last season, Michigan graduated Boo Nieves, Justin Selman and Steve Racine, while losing JT Compher, Tyler Motte, Kyle Connor, Michael Downing and Zach Werenski in a spate of early departures to the NHL.

The Wolverines needed all the returning depth they could get, and Marody figured to be a big part of the equation. The sophomore forward tallied 24 points in just 32 games last year after missing several games due to a bout with mononucleosis, scoring 10 goals and recording 14 assists.

Michigan already faced a problem of lack of experience. With Marody’s absence, that problem appears to only have been accentuated.

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