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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Men’s Hockey: Hastings era moves forward with more new additions

Examining architecture behind latest edition of UW men’s hockey
Ahmad Hamid
Badger Men’s Hockey vs Minnesota Duluth

The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team’s Mike Hastings era has already brought about a lot of change.

On the surface, it seems as if many of the changes have been positive — there’s been a huge vibe shift within the program. But, on the other hand, some changes have been negative.

A lot has transpired since March. Let’s get caught up on all the changes with the roster and coaching staff.


Roster update

Between graduates, draft signing and transfers, Wisconsin has lost 12 players who were on the team last season. Graduate students Dominick Mersch, Brock Caufield and Jack Gorniak are all out of eligibility, and star defenseman Corson Ceulemans signed his ELC with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Additionally, since Hastings’ hiring, there has been plenty of movement on the transfer portal front for the Badgers. Eight players who spent time on UW’s roster last season put their names in the transfer portal during the season last year and this offseason.

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Three of the eight have already committed to play elsewhere. Caden Brown and Brayden Morrison have found homes in the USHL with Waterloo and Dubuque, respectively, and defenseman Jake Martin has committed to defending national champion Quinnipiac.

Of the eight portal losses, Jared Moe, Wisconsin’s starting goaltender for the last two seasons, looms the largest. Barring anything else, the net should belong to Kyle McClellan, the Mercyhurst transfer who came over before last season. 

But, Wisconsin has added three players from the portal to attempt to offset these losses. All three of them were former Minnesota State players who played under Hastings last season.

Forwards Christian Fitzgerald and Simon Tassy are both coming to UW with three seasons of eligibility remaining. Fitzgerald put up 29 points in his rookie campaign, scoring 16 goals while adding 13 assists in 38 games played. Tassy played 15 games, scoring one goal and four assists.

By far the biggest addition of the portal season so far, though, has been David Silye. Silye, a first-team All-CCHA honoree, was the leading scorer for the Mavericks last season. His 23 goals and 16 assists will hopefully translate to a team in desperate need of some scoring punch. 

As far as players go, these three additions and the nine-player recruiting class for next season will all contribute to immense roster turnover from last year.

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Coaching staff 

Mike Hastings has also been busy trying to lock in his coaching staff for next season. Andy Brandt is the only holdover from the Granato regime, with everyone else being a new addition.

The big one, of course, is Todd Knott. Knott, who was Hastings’ right-hand man in Mankato, turned down a chance to be the head coach for his old team to join his boss in Madison. Knott, last year’s winner of the Terry Flanagan Award recognizing his body of work as an assistant, is well-renowned around NCAA circles for his recruiting and will hope to replicate his success and longevity with the Badgers.

Hastings is also bringing over Luke Regner to be director of hockey operations for the Badgers. Regner, a 2017 UW graduate, spent the past four seasons with the Mavericks in a similar role and will return to his alma mater after previously spending time with Robert Morris before taking the Minnesota State job.

Hastings could hire a third assistant, but that decision has not been made yet. 

With all the new faces among players and coaches, it truly is a new era for Wisconsin hockey. Whatever your thoughts are on the future of the team, there will be many new players and coaching staff members to watch out for this upcoming season.

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