Michigan State Hockey lost its head coach Tuesday afternoon, leaving plenty of unanswered questions for the future of the program -- specifically on the short-term for the upcoming season. The blue line is starting to come into form, however, with senior defenseman Cole Krygier opting to return to MSU for a fifth season, the university has confirmed to The State News.
Krygier, a seventh round pick by the Florida Panthers in the 2018 NHL Draft, was visibly more involved in the offense in 2021-22, part of whole team effort to rejuvenate a putrid offense from the previous season. Results spewed in one of his best seasons as a senior, recording a career-high in goals with four and assists with seven.
However, Krygier took 21 penalties last season, good for the third highest on the team behind junior forward Jagger Joshua and his twin brother, Christian. It was by far Cole Krygier's most penalized season with 11 more infractions than his 10 taken sophomore year.
The Spartans graduated the Krygier twins and Dennis Cesana, leaving the future of the defensive group inexperienced. Christian Krygier is currently in portal and his intentions at this time are unclear. Then sophomore defenseman Aiden Gallacher departed via the transfer portal and MSU was left with just four defensemen on the roster and no incoming freshman for next season.
Michigan State added Clarkson transfer Michael Underwood last week to the defensive core and Cole Krygier's return brings MSU to the six minimum defensemen. Last year's team had eight defensemen on the roster, indicating there is still work to be done for the full repair of the blue line.
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