14 NMU hockey players listed in NCAA transfer portal, only 1 has landed at another school

From left, Northern Michigan University’s Jack Perbix and Bemidji State’s Eric Pohlkamp crash into Wildcats goalie Beni Halasz during their CCHA game played on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)


Journal Sports Editor

MARQUETTE — The relatively new NCAA transfer portal could have a huge effect on the Northern Michigan University hockey team, if the numbers it shows of potential transfers pan out.

An online story from a North Dakota newspaper that apparently is being updated weekly shows that 14 players from the 2023-24 Wildcats team have placed themselves in the portal, though only one has actually been accepted at another university.

In the story’s most recent update from Monday morning, the NMU transferring player is forward Michael Colella, a Wenonah, New Jersey, native who was a senior on last year’s Wildcat team. He was also in the story’s April 1 update.

Though playing for four years at NMU, he should have another year of eligibility left as his first collegiate year was in the 2020-21 season, the coronavirus year that the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for.

An online story entitled “The 2024 men’s college hockey transfer portal tracker” by Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald shows 274 players across NCAA Division I as having entered the transfer portal.

Colella is on the “Committed transfers” list as going to Atlantic Hockey Association member Canisius University of Buffalo, New York.

Schlossman’s listing shows no players going coming to NMU from those who entered the portal after the college season ended during the allowed period from March 31 to May 14 for nongraduates.

Just 58 of the 274 listed players — 21.2% — have a destination school listed. CCHA schools are shown as receiving just five players so far, two at St. Thomas and one each at Lake Superior State, Bemidji State and newest member Augustana.

Schlossman mentions that while nongraduates are restricted to the six-week period to enter the portal, graduating students can enter at any time, and exceptions to the restricted time period are also allowed for players from schools with a head coaching change or if a player’s aid is reduced.

The author also mentions that due to pending litigation, players making multiple transfers who enter the portal will also be immediately eligible to change schools.

Schlossman also includes in his listing “2023 portal numbers,” including that 291 Division I hockey players entered the portal a year ago, with 74.2% transferring to another D-I program and only 2.1% staying with their current team. Other players went to Division III, turned pro or even moved on to ACHA club hockey.

Begun in the fall of 2018, the NCAA’s transfer portal rule “permits student athletes to place their name in an online database declaring their desire to transfer,” said the Wikipedia online website, “NCAA transfer portal,” devoted to the subject.

“Athletes enter the portal by informing their current school of their desire to transfer; the school then has two business days to enter the athlete’s name in the database,” the site continues.

“Once an athlete’s name is entered in the database, coaches and staff from other schools are permitted to make contact with the athlete to inquire about their interest in visiting the campus and accepting a scholarship.”

It mentions that this process is meant to create “greater transparency” to the process and allows athletes to publicize their desire to transfer, and also that it is allowed in all three NCAA divisions.

More than 200 of the hockey players on Schlossman’s lists are on the “Uncommitted players in the transfer portal,” broken down by forwards, defensemen and goaltenders, with each group listed by points scored last year, or in the case of goalies, saves percentage last season.

Including Colella, five of the Wildcats players on the lists were NMU seniors by athletic eligibility last year, while three were freshmen who either didn’t play or scored no points in 2023-24.

The most concerning position for NMU fans will probably be the goalies, as the only two netminders who saw ice time at all last season, plus another who didn’t play, are on this goaltenders list.

Sophomore Beni Halasz is listed eighth among 38 goalies with a saves percentage of .901, while junior Charlie Glockner is on the list in 13th with a .885 saves percentage. The third Northern goalie listed in freshman Carsen Stokes, who didn’t play.

Closest to the top of the forwards list from NMU is senior Artem Shlaine, who is listed 10th among 116 players there after he scored 23 points, including 10 goals, last season. Also in his entry is that he was a fifth-round selection in the NHL draft by the New Jersey Devils.

Then comes senior Kristof Papp, who is 16th with 19 points including six goals, followed by freshman Kevin Marx Noren, who is 27th after his 17-point season with four goals.

Then comes a big dropoff, nearly 50 spots, to senior Mitch Deelstra, who is listed 73rd with three points including one goal. Soon after is sophomore Zach Michaelis, 75th also with three points but no goals.

Two more Wildcat freshmen round out NMU players on the forwards list — Brendan Poshak is 101st and didn’t score last year, while Travis Hensrud is 113th and didn’t play.

Three Northern defensemen round out these lists. The top one is sophomore Josh Zinger, who is listed fourth among 62 defensemen after he scored 20 points, including three goals, last season.

NMU senior Aiden Gallacher is 17th with eight points, including three goals, while sophomore Isack Bandu is 26th with five points including a single goal.

Of these players, Halasz and Zinger were CCHA Players of the Week twice each last season, Halasz as a goaltender and Zinger as a defenseman, while earning one weekly award were Shlaine (forward), Glockner (goaltender) and Marx Noren (rookie).

Zinger was also named an All-CCHA Second Team Defenseman at the end of this past season.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 552. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today