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Michigan State adds fifth-year defenseman Michael Underwood from transfer portal

April 7, 2022
<p>Michigan State hockey Head Coach Danton Cole talks to his team as the Spartans try to find a way back in the game. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 3-2 at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 6, 2021.</p>

Michigan State hockey Head Coach Danton Cole talks to his team as the Spartans try to find a way back in the game. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 3-2 at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 6, 2021.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Michigan State finally addressed its defensive needs with its latest addition from the transfer portal, fifth-year senior Michael Underwood.

The right-shot defenseman spent four years with Clarkson University, scoring five goals and 13 assists in that time. Last year, Underwood notched a pair of goals and five assists in 35 games.

While his point totals might lag behind others on the roster, Underwood's best asset is his defense. A classic "defensive defenseman," he played an essential role on a good Clarkson squad. In fact, in 2021, Underwood was considered a finalist for the ECAC's Best Defensive Defenseman award.

Underwood is perfect for a Michigan State team that needs more defense and more defenseman.

With four defensemen graduating and another in the portal, MSU's defensive depth chart is extremely thin. The top two defenseman currently on the roster, freshman David Gucciardi and sophomore Nash Nienhuis, are both quality players, but they fit more into the offensive archetype of defensemen.

Underwood is the third player Michigan State has added from the transfer portal. The previous two additions are forwards. All three players have multiple years of NCAA experience. With a handful of freshman joining the roster, the Spartans will have a healthy mix of veterans and fresh legs heading into the 2022-23 season.

It's already been a busy offseason for Michigan State. Underwood likely won't be the last roster alteration of the Spring — there are still chips left to fall. Nothing is confirmed, but expect more news to come in the coming weeks.

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