May 6, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos has announced that three more players will be joining the Spartan hockey program for the fall of 2013. Forwards Thomas Ebbing (Troy, Mich.), Villiam Haag (Gothenberg, Sweden) and defenseman Chris Knudson (North Barrington, Ill.) will join previously-signed forwards Joe Cox (Chelsea, Mich.), JT Stenglein (Greece, NY) and Mackenzie MacEachern (Troy, Mich) as the newcomers for the 2013-14 season.
"We are very excited about this class," said Anastos. "They possess a nice blend of scoring ability, size, speed, toughness and tenacity that will help us continue our evolution into a championship-caliber team."
Five of the six played at least part of the 2012-13 season in the United States Hockey League (USHL), while Knudson is a veteran of the North American Hockey League. A total of 14 returning veterans played in either the USHL or NAHL before joining the Spartan program.
Michigan State graduates four seniors from the 2012-13 team; three are forwards (Anthony Hayes, Chris Forfar, and Kevin Walrod) and defenseman Matt Grassi. Anastos and his staff brought in 12 new faces for the fall of 2012.
THOMAS EBBING (EH-bing)
Center; 5-11, 170;Left Shot ; DOB 9/28/94; Troy, Mich./ Chicago Steel (USHL)
Scouting Report: Skilled center with a great work ethic. Games with Team USA added additional experience to his game.
Had a 16-10-26 scoring line in 60 games with the Chicago Steel (USHL) in 2012-13 ... Ten of his goals came on the power play, as did three of his assists ... Two of his goals stood as game-winners ... Racked up 63 penalty minutes ... Member of the US Junior Select Team that captured a gold medal in Nov. 2012 at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where he was a teammate of classmate JT Stenglein ... Drafted in the third-round, 34th overall, by the Chicago Steel in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft ... Scored 43 goals and registered 69 assists over two seasons at Birmingham-Brother Rice in Troy, Mich. ... Completed his junior year at Brother Rice (2011-12) by helping his team to its first Division 2 State Championship since 2005 ... A 2012 Michigan Division II First Team All-State selection ......Played with Mackenzie MacEachern at Brother Rice and in Chicago.
Tom Anastos: "Thomas made a very smooth transition from being a dominant high school player to a key contributor on his junior team. He has very good skills and is a relentless worker. He is a natural center who will bring skill and energy to our team."
VILLIAM HAAG (WILL-iam HAYG)
Forward; 6-1, 200; Right Shot; DOB 11/25/93; Gothenburg, Sweden/Vastra Frolunda HC
Scouting Report: Has the size and strength to transition to the college game quickly. A proven goal-scorer.
Completed his second season (2012-13) with Vastra Frolunda HC ... Played 11 games for the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) during the 2012-13 season, scoring two goals and adding five assists in that stint ... For J20 Frolunda, compiled a 29-17-46 scoring line in 41 games and was a +23 ... His 29 goals led the J20 SuperElit League, and 46 points was ninth overall ... Ranked 13th in the league in +/- ... Ranked 16th among players in points per game (1.12), with a minimum of 20 games played ... Junior European Trophy Champion in 2010-11 ... Won SM gold medals in J18 and J20 in the same season ... Won a J18 SM bronze medal in 2009-10 ...
Tom Anastos: "Villiam is a strong and powerful skating winger who has excellent goal-scoring ability -something we really need on our team. He shoots the puck extremely well and has a very quick release. He is also a very versatile player as he has the ability to play either wing position."
CHRIS KNUDSON (kah-NOOD-son)
Defenseman; 6-3, 205;Right Shot; DOB 4/27/93; North Barrington, Ill./ Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL)
Scouting Report: Mobile defenseman who can get pucks to the net. Strong, smooth skater.
Played 55 games for Wichita Falls after an early-season trade from Wenatchee ... Had a 5-12-17 scoring line as Wichita Falls' top-scoring defenseman ... Had 82 penalty minutes, second on the team ...In 2011-12 with Wenatchee, had a pair of goals-- both serving as game-winners-- along with 13 assists ... Of his 13 assists, 10 came either on the power play or shorthanded ... Registered four assists in eight playoff games... Played midget hockey for Team Illinois, where his coach was Spartan All American Sean Berens (1995-98).
Tom Anastos: "Chris is a smooth-skating defenseman with very good mobility. He makes a good first pass and has the ability to get pucks to the net. His size and reach will help him make the transition from junior hockey to the college game on the defensive side of the puck."
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PLAYERS:
Forward; 5-11, 160; Right Shot; DOB 1/7/94; Chelsea, Mich./ Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
Scouting Report: A fierce competitor that sticks his nose into every situation on the ice... A top penalty killer and shot blocker ... Makes smart plays and goes to the `dirty areas' every time ... A hard worker with lots of energy.
Owned a 20-20-40 scoring line in 62 games for the Lumberjacks in 2012-13 ...Team captain his final season in Muskegon ... In 2011-12, owned a 6-14-20 scoring line in 57 games for the Jacks ... Two of his six goals were game-winning tallies ... Had 33 PIM ... Was teammates with current Spartans Matt DeBlouw and Travis Walsh in Muskegon during 2011-12 campaign ... Two-year totals of 26-34-60 for the Lumberjacks ... Played for Team USA in the summers of 2010 and 2011 at the European Tournaments ... Captained the 2011 USA Team at the prestigious Ivan Hlinka Tournament ... Is a product of the Compuware AAA Hockey Program.
Tom Anastos: "Joe has an extremely high work ethic combined with outstanding leadership characteristics. He is a relentless competitor who will bring a lot of energy to our team. He has good skills and has developed into an excellent penalty killer."
MACKENZIE MacEACHERN (mack-ECK-ern)
Forward; 6-3, 180; Left Shot; DOB 3/9/94; Troy, Mich./Chicago Steel (USHL)
Scouting Report: Very dynamic scorer in high school ... Big, with a very good reach ... Has good hands, sees the ice well and has a good scoring touch around the net.
Was the third-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (No. 67 overall) ... Appeared in 50 games in Chicago in 2012-13, scoring eight goals and adding 13 assists ... Scored twice on the power play ... Two of his goals stood as game-winners ... Had 35 penalty minutes ... Completed his senior year at Brother Rice High School (2011-12) by helping his team to its first Division 2 State Championship since 2005 ... Named the state's Mr. Hockey in addition to being named to the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Dream Team ... In 29 games, had a 42-48-90 scoring line and was an impressive +50, netting 11 power play goals, eight shorthanded markers, and six game-winners ... Was the fourth pick overall by Chicago in the 2012 United States Hockey League Draft ...Played with Thomas Ebbing both at Brother Rice and in Chicago.
Tom Anastos: "Mackenzie has loads of potential. He's a good skater, sees the ice really well and has an excellent scoring touch. He is playing extremely well this season in Chicago of the USHL and we expect he will make an immediate impact on our team next season."
JT STENGLEIN (STEN-gline)
Forward; 6-0, 200; Left Shot; DOB 7/11/93; Greece, N.Y./Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)
Scouting Report: Will bring a scoring touch and a considerable physical presence to the Spartan lineup.
Began his third USHL season with the Youngstown Phantoms, and was traded twice - first to Sioux city for 14 games, then to the Waterloo Blackhawks for the balance of the season (28 games) ... Averaged better than a point-per-game in each of his three stops ... Managed a 24-31-55 scoring line in 53 games overall ... Ranked 24th in the USHL in points and goals, tied for 25th in assists, and tied for 19th in power play goals (7) ... Ranked fifth in the USHL in penalty minutes (177) ... In Waterloo, had 12 goals and 17 assists, was a +1, and had three power-play goals and four game-winners ... Member of the U.S. Junior Select Team that captured a gold medal in Nov. 2012 at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia ... Scored the game-winning goal against Canada West in the gold-medal game, a 6-3 victory for the U.S. ... Had two goals and two assists in the tournament overall ... In 11 games for Youngstown this season, has six goals and five assists ... Was named the USHL CCM Player of the Week for a five-point effort in a win over Waterloo ... In 56 games in 2011-12, scored 31 goals and added 20 assists ... His 31 goals set a Youngstown franchise record ... Also recorded 132 penalty minutes.
Tom Anastos: "J.T. is a goal scorer with a power forward's mentality. He has a terrific shot and brings a strong physical presence. I expect him to be an excellent college player. "