Thursday, August 18, 2022

Michigan State adds towering Swedish defenseman Viktor Hurtig

June 28, 2022
<p>Team members surround senior right defenseman Dennis Cesana (22) in between plays in the first period. The Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 4-1, at Munn Ice Arena on Jan. 21, 2022. </p>

Team members surround senior right defenseman Dennis Cesana (22) in between plays in the first period. The Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 4-1, at Munn Ice Arena on Jan. 21, 2022.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

The Spartans welcomed another member to the 2022-23 men's ice hockey team Tuesday, bringing in freshman defenseman Viktor Hurtig to round out the roster.

Standing at 6-foot-6 and 191 pounds, Hurtig travels over from Sweden where he most recently played in the J20 Nationell league and accumulated six goals and 11 assists splitting time for the Växjö Lakers and Mora IK. Hurtig was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, joining fellow defenseman Christian and Cole Krygier as the three drafted Spartans. 

Hurtig is another piece in the puzzle for a large roster turnover led by head coach Adam Nightingale and the new coaching staff. Michigan State will have 11 new players next season, four of which are defensemen, six forwards and one goaltender. 

"We are excited to add Viktor to our back end," Nightingale said in a statement. "Hurtig's size, skating and ability with the puck will help our team. We look forward to him helping our team along with continuing his development towards a professional career.”

The makeup of the blue line in particular will be a group to keep an eye on moving forward. Junior Nash Nienhuis, sophomore David Gucciardi and the Krygier twins are the four returnees of regular starters. Graduate student Michael Underwood was grabbed from the portal from Clarkson and presumably takes the fifth spot. Then there are three freshmen, Matt Basgall, Daniel Russell and Hurting, in addition to juniors Powell Connor and Cal Dybicz. Connor appeared in a career-high 28 games last winter, while Dybicz has played in just one career game two years ago. 

However the lineup shapes up come October, Hurtig certainly slots to be in the mix.

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