Jay Keranen has been a Michigan fan since Day 1.

Now, the defenseman and native of Brighton, Mich., is joining the Wolverines’ hockey team for the second half of the year.

Keranen spent the last two seasons playing for the Prince George Spruce Kings in the BCHL, with whom he won the Fred Page Cup in 2019. In 58 games in the 2018-19 season, Keranen tallied one goal and 11 assists for a total of 12 points.

Keranen announced his commitment to the Wolverines in July but was not with the team in the first half of the year while he took classes at Washtenaw Community College to raise his GPA. After gaining admission and enrolling for the winter semester, he was eligible to begin practicing with Michigan on Dec. 26.

Keranen said his biggest adjustment after training on his own in the fall has been the increased speed at the college level. But so far, Pearson has been pleased with what he’s seen from the newcomer.

“From what I’ve seen so far, I really like him,” Pearson said. “He’s a solid kid. He’s a warrior, he’ll give you everything he has. He’s a coachable kid. He’s a we guy, not a me guy, which is extremely important.”

Michigan currently has just eight defensemen on the roster — fifth-year Shane Switzer, seniors Griffin Luce and Luke Martin, sophomores Nick Blankenburg, Jack Summers and Jake Gingell and freshmen Cam York and Keaton Pehrson. Adding depth with a more experienced player in Keranen could be important for the Wolverines in the second half of the year.

“He’s gonna add some depth,” Pearson said. “He can skate and he’s really solid defensively, so he’s going to give us some mobility back there.”

This story has been updated since publication.

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