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4 Spartans enter transfer portal as MSU hockey's roster reconstruction gets underway

March 20, 2023
Sophomore forward Jesse Tucker celebrates after scoring against Ohio State University at Schottenstein Center on Jan. 6, 2023. The Spartans lost to the Buckeyes with a score of 3-1.
Sophomore forward Jesse Tucker celebrates after scoring against Ohio State University at Schottenstein Center on Jan. 6, 2023. The Spartans lost to the Buckeyes with a score of 3-1. —
Photo by Audrey Richardson | The State News

The transfer portal opened up Monday and Michigan State wasted no time taking initial steps toward constructing its roster for next season. Four players have already entered the portal: sophomore forward Jesse Tucker, junior forwards Zach Dubinsky and Kyle Haskins and junior defenseman Powell Connor, a team spokesperson confirmed to The State News. 

The Spartans were already set to lose 10 seniors this spring, but that was decreased to nine when senior forward and MSU’s leader in points Nicolas Müller announced he will return for a fifth season. Fellow senior forward Jagger Joshua is the only Spartan who can do the same, though it is uncertain whether he will exercise that right. That currently leaves 13 vacant spots on the roster — not including incoming freshmen.  This could decrease to 12 should Joshua, who scored 13 goals this season, also return for a fifth season. 

Tucker is perhaps the biggest loss for the Spartans, even though he took a step back as a sophomore. In the year prior, he was one of the few young flashes of hope as the team’s first line center, leading Michigan State with 22 assists and 24 points as a freshman. However, Tucker struggled to match that same offensive production this season, recording just three assists and four goals as he slid down the line chart and played mostly as a winger. Then down the stretch, he alternated between a healthy scratch and the fourth line left wing with freshman forward Gavin Best.

He was a quick grab in the portal, already announcing his commitment to Clarkson.

Dubinsky transferred to Michigan State last spring from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and had a formidable spot as the fourth line center. He and graduate transfer forward Justin Jallen formed a needed defensive-minded presence, though Dubinsky produced just one goal and four assists in 28 games. Dubinsky committed to the Spartans before Danton Cole was fired and Adam Nightingale took over as head coach, potentially explaining his quick departure from the program. 

Haskins was a regular in the lineup in his first two seasons with the Spartans and showed some potential by leading all freshmen with five points (one goal, four assists) during the 2020-21 season. However, he compiled just one assist and zero goals in 27 games as a sophomore and appeared in just two games this past season (both in October). 

Connor appeared in 49 games across his three seasons for MSU, though just six of them came this past season. 

Nightingale, hired in early May, was busy in the transfer portal last spring, even though many transfers had already landed with new teams. He notably brought in graduate transfer goaltender Dylan St. Cyr, who started all but one game for the Spartans and was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention. Nightingale and his staff are expected to be busy in the portal again as Michigan State attempts to build off its breakthrough 18-18-2 season.

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