Michigan State hockey has begun the first phase of recruiting for the upcoming season. Nicolas Müller of Arisdorf, Switzerland and Josh Nodler of Oak Park, Michigan have officially signed letters of intent to join the Spartans.
"Both of these young men fit well into what we are building here at Spartan Hockey, and will be a big part of our program moving forward next season," coach Danton Cole said. "We will be adding one or two more recruits to complete this class."
Müller played for Modo Hockey in the Sweden J20 SuperElit league.
"Nicolas brings a tremendous amount of experience and skill to MSU," Cole said. "He was an integral part of Switzerland's success last year at the U20 World Junior Championships. He has also been a leader on his teams both for Switzerland, internationally and in Sweden for his junior team. We look for him to step in and be an impact player his freshman year."
Müller has represented Switzerland in the 2018 and 2019 IIFH World Junior Championships. He had five assists in seven games, playing on the top line to help the his team advance to the next round and win fourth place at the 2019 WJC. He also had two goals in five games at the 2018 WJC.
Müller has played the last two-plus seasons with Modo Hockey, serving as team captain with an average of nearly one point a game during the 2018-19 season. He managed to score 40 points in 42 games. He also scored seven points in five playoff games.
During the 2016-17 season with Modo, Müller played in 24 games in the J18 league before moving to the SuperElit league where he played 22 more games.
On top of his successful career with Modo, Müller has international hockey experience. He played for Switzerland at the 2017 U18 World Championships, the 2017 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the 2017 World Jr. A challenge. He has been the spotlight for Basel and ZSC before playing for Sweden, where he racked up 28 points in 30 games.
Nodler has previously played for Fargo Force in the USHL. He is also eligible for the 2019 NHL draft.
"Josh has had an excellent year and has progressed very well. He is a very smart player and makes the players on the ice with him better," Cole said. "His 200-foot game is going to make us a much deeper team at the center. Josh has always been a great leader both on and off the ice, and he will fit in well with our culture."
Nodler ranked as the number 75 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming 2019 NHL draft. He is selected to play in the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Nodler is currently in his rookie season with the Fargo Force. He is third on the team with 42 points in 51 games. His 17 goals are fourth best on the team, and his 25 assists are third highest.
Nodler assisted the U.S. to gold at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
He led the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, with seven points.
When he was with U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team in 2017, he helped them take home first place at the Five Nations Tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic. He scored five points in four games.
In the 2017-18 season, Nodler scored 22 points in 18 games for Honeybaked U16. He also appeared in four games with the NTDP U-17s and two with Fargo that season. Nodler has played four seasons with Honeybaked.