Dexter native Andrew Sinelli among 3 added to Michigan hockey's recruiting class
After playing junior hockey on the road for the past two years, Dexter native Andrew Sinelli is returning home to play for Michigan.
The Michigan hockey program announced Thursday the official addition of Sinelli, Mike Chiasson and Michael Szuma to its 2011-12 recruiting class.
Sinelli, spent the past two seasons in the United States Hockey League, the premier junior league in the United States, playing for the Youngstown Phantoms and Dubuque Fighting Saints in the 2010-11 season and the Sioux City Musketeers in 2009-10.
Sinelli, a right-handed forward and a former Michigan State verbal commit, had five goals, three assists and 36 penalty minutes in 38 games with Youngstown.
"Sinelli is a kid who was a premier player in his age group coming up through the Honeybaked organization," Michigan assistant coach Billy Powers said in a statement. "He's now played a few years of junior hockey. His offensive numbers fell off a little bit in junior hockey, but he does have a history of producing and the ability to put up points.”
Chiasson is the most high-profile signing of the three, both for his own play and his NHL pedigree. A defenseman, Chiasson captained the Omaha Lancers of the USHL last season and had four goals, 11 assists, 41 penalty minutes and a plus-10 plus/minus rating over 50 regular-season games. Chiasson is the son former NHL player Steve Chiasson, who who spent 13 years in the league and played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1986 to '93.
“We're pretty fortunate that he was available to us," Powers said. “Omaha was second in the league in goals against and he was a big part of that because he's an honest, smart, stay-at-home defenseman that takes a lot of pride in his plus/minus. He's more worried about contributing to the team than individual stats."
Szuma, a defenseman, also has Michigan roots having grown up in Novi. He spent the last year playing for the Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League, recording seven goals, 15 assists, 36 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating in 56 regular-season games.
"He was lucky because he got to play under head coach Moe Mantha, who was a career NHL defenseman, so he's had great tutelage, and it shows in his game,” Powers said. “He's a local Michigan kid who's really excited about putting on the Maize and Blue."
The addition of Sinelli, Chiasson and Szuma brings Michigan’s incoming freshman class to nine along with goalie John Gibson, defenseman Brennan Serville, and forwards Zach Hyman, Phil Di Giuseppe, Alex Guptill, and Travis Lynch.