One thing is a near certainty with Miami’s 2020-21 roster: This year’s team should have no shortage of defensemen.

Nine new players will suit up for MU this fall, including eight freshmen, according to the roster posted on the team’s web site.

Three defensemen, a goalie and five forwards will dress as RedHawks for the first time this fall.

Newcomers up front are Michael Holland, Joe Cassetti, Brian Silver, Matthew Barbolini and Caleb Rule. Cassetti and Rule are transfers and will have to sit out the early portion of the season.

With seven returning D-men, competition for starting slots at that position should be fierce. Robby Drazner, Hampus Rydqvist and Dylan Moulton are all freshmen-to-be blueliners.

Swedish-born Ludvig Persson is the RedHawks’ newest netminder.

With nine departures from last season, Miami’s roster officially sits at 27.

Three skaters from 2019-20 are not on next season’s roster in addition to the six departed seniors: Forwards Christian Mohs, Noah Jordan and Brian Hawkinson.

Mohs redshirted his first season and graduated with a year of eligibility remaining, and Jordan and Hawkinson both transferred.

Not listed on Miami’s official roster is Michigan transfer Jack Olmstead, who has logged just nine games with the Wolverines over the past two seasons. It’s still unclear if he will be eligible to suit up for the RedHawks this season.

Here is a look at the incoming class for the upcoming campaign, including comments from Coach Chris Bergeron on each:



Height: 6-2. Weight: 190. DOB: 6-1-2000. Shoots: Left. Home: Williamsville, N.Y.

Scouting report: Barbolini played his age 17 year with Janesville of the NAHL, where he recorded just 10 points, but he made the jump to the USHL in 2018-19 and has played 102 games in that league the past two seasons.

His goal total took a significant jump in 2019-20, as he scored 16 times in 47 games after netting just seven goals in 55 contests a year prior.

Barbolini has great size and will likely jump into the lineup right away. He played both USHL seasons with Lincoln under former RedHawk Chris Michael, who played for Bergeron when he was an assistant, so hopefully that familiarity will make Barbolini’s transition to Miami easier.

Bergeron comment: Barbolini has a huge ceiling – he can play this game for a while. He’s a bigger kid that can skate, there’s hockey player in him, he can score. We fought a couple of big-name programs to get Matthew to Miami, and we’re excited about that.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2015-16Buffalo Jr. Sabres 15U AAAT1EHL151892
2016-17Buffalo Jr. Sabres 16U AAAT1EHL321091910
2016-17Buffalo Jr. SabresOJHL21010


Height: 6-3. Weight: 205. DOB: 2-28-1999. Shoots: Left. Home: Pleasanton, Calif.

Scouting: Cassetti has been playing at the USHL level since 2015, and he transferred to Miami after logging 14 games for Merrimack last season.

After going just 0-2-2 in NCAA play, the left wing returned to Waterloo of the USHL, where he scored 11 times in 22 games before the season was halted. Cassetti netted 20 goals in 62 games in 2018-19.

He has a close relationship with defenseman Derek Daschke since their days with Oakland (Mich.) Jr. Grizzlies, which may be why he picked Miami after departing Merrimack.

Like Barbolini, Cassetti has great size and an ability to put the puck in the net. Since he transferred, his eligibility status is still unclear, but it’s likely he’ll be available the second half of 2020-21.

Bergeron comment: I think Joey Cassetti has a chance to be a really good player. He’s big, he’s versatile, he played in the U.S. Program. I think he found a fit with us – I know there’s opportunity. I think we’re going to look for three pretty good years from Joey Cassetti.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2013-14San Jose Jr. Sharks 14 AAA1512142616
2014-15Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 16 AAAT1EHL6512152742
2016-17USNDT U-18USDP4352728


Height: 6-1. Weight: 190. DOB: 11-23-1999. Shoots: Left. Home: Charlotte, N.C.

Scouting: Unlike most of the recruits Miami has landed in recent years, Holland played four seasons playing prep hockey in Massachusetts and dressed for Boston Jr. Bruins of the NCDC in 2019-20.

An assistant captain at Deerfield Academy, Holland went 9-11-20 with 53 penalty minutes in 2019-20, his first true juniors season.

A major injury blunted his progress a couple of seasons ago, so Miami is hoping he’s a late bloomer who will add some much-needed size to this corps.

His role this season is harder to predict because of his atypical path to Miami.

Bergeron comment: He’s a guy that’s going to hopefully help our depth. He’s another big-time student, big-time kid, he’s a worker. We need some size, we need a little grease in that lineup, and he’s somebody that will hopefully bring that to us.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2015-16Deerfield AcademyUSHS248614
2015-16Springfield Rifles 16U AAAMHSL1035822
2016-17Deerfield AcademyUSHS2581321
2016-17Springfield Rifles 16U AAAMHSL1375128
2017-18Deerfield AcademyUSHS19971612
2018-19Deerfield AcademyUSHS2519143310
2019-20Boston Jr. BruinsNCDC399112053


Height: 5-11. Weight: 180. DOB: 2-15-1999. Shoots: Right. Home: Lansing, Mich.

Scouting: Rule played four seasons at prep mecca Shattuck St. Mary’s, where he recorded over 200 points.

He spent two seasons in the USHL, scoring 13 times in 55 games with Lincoln in 2018-19, playing under former Miamian Michael.

Rule, originally recruited by Bergeron at BGSU and a former Ohio State commit, dressed for nine games with Providence last season before transferring to Miami, so his eligibility for 2020-21 is in question.

Bergeron comment: Caleb can really skate, I think he’s a guy that can really score goals. (He’s) not eligible until we can get some kind of waiver passed or until (2021-22). And that’s just something that we’ve got to work through.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2012-13Belle Tire 13U AAAT1EHL2914223614
2013-14Shattuck St. Mary’s 14U AAAUSHS6518345228
2014-15Shattuck St. Mary’s 16A AAAUSHS5518173514
2015-16Shattuck St. Mary’s 16U AAAUSHS5324436724
2016-17Shattuck St. Mary’s prepUSHS5622325414
2017-18Tri-City/C. IllinoisUSHL37134-829


Height: 5-10. Weight: 180. DOB: 11-6-2000. Shoots: Right. Home: Lake Bluff, Ill.

Scouting: A converted defenseman, Silver has already dressed for over 100 USHL games with Lincoln over the past three seasons.

He’s never been a big points producer because of his former role, but with experience on the blue line, hopefully Silver brings his defensive prowess to the forward corps, an area in which Miami has struggled the past few seasons.

Seven goals in 37 games last season shows there may be more to his game than defense.

Silver’s sister, Lexi Silver, plays for the RedHawks’ field hockey team and ran track this spring.

Bergeron comment: Brian’s a kid who’s a worker. He can kill penalties, I think he can play up and down your lineup. (We’re) trying to add a little harder-to-play-against up front, and Brian’s one of those guys like Michael Holland, that’s what we expect of him.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2013-14Chicago Mission 14U AAAHPHL1737108
2014-15Chicago Mission 14U AAAHPHL171348
2015-16Chicago Mission 16U AAAHPHL2103328
2016-17Chicago Mission 16U AAAHPHL20391244
2017-18Omaha AAA U18HPHL91346



Height: 6-1. Weight: 195. DOB: 2-13-2000. Shoots: Right. Home: Buffalo Grove, Ill.

Scouting: Drazner has spent the past two seasons with Nanaimo of the BCHL – a step between the NAHL and USHL – and he has rolled up 54 points in 115 games there.

More impressive is that his points total jumped from 20 to 34 between Years 1 and 2.

Drazner has good size, so hopefully the transition to the NCHC will go smoothly. He should fight for a starting job on the blue line right away.

Bergeron said Drazner turned down other opportunities to find the right fit, and he and the coaching staff believe Oxford is perfect for him.

Bergeron comment: He’s another fantastic kid – you spend five minutes with him and you want to spend five minutes more. He’s somebody we’re really excited for. He’s just scratching the surface of where he could be as a player. We think Robby has a good future with us.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2013-14CYA 13U AAAHPHL2001116
2014-15Team Illinois 14U AAAHPHL1611212
2015-16Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 15U AAAT1EHL8111294029
2016-17Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 16U AAAT1EHL313141716
2017-18Chicago Mission 18U AAAHPHL201898


Height: 6-0. Weight: 176. DOB: 4-24-2001. Shoots: Left. Home: Nolensville, Tenn.

Scouting: At 19, Moulton is a youngster by modern NCAA defenseman standards, but he has already played parts of two seasons with USHL Green Bay, and he went 5-9-14 in just 37 games with the Gamblers in 2019-20.

He was never a points producer through his early teens, but it’s encouraging to see such a spike in his points-per-game average as he heads enter college.

Moulton, who formerly committed to Bowling Green, followed Bergeron to Miami and joins fellow Nashville-area junior Andrew Sinard as another Tennessean on the blue line.

Bergeron comment: Extremely young, he was committed to us at Bowling Green, so he’s somebody that we’ve known. I think there’s a lot of upside there – it’s going to be difficult transition as a 2001 born. Hopefully he’s able to transition and contribute this year, but I know he’s someone who’s going to help our program over his time here.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2014-15TPH Thunder 13U AAAT1EHL150442
2015-16Ravenwood (Tenn.)USHS1329110
2015-16TPH Thunder 14U AAAT1EHL161344
2016-17TPH Thunder 16U AAAT1EHL3254910
2017-18Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 16 AAAHPHL8882836
2018-19Green BayUSHL3101-10
2019-20Green BayUSHL375914631


Height: 5-10. Weight: 185. DOB: 3-12-1999. Shoots: Right. Home: Goteborg, Sweden.

Scouting: Miami has landed very few European-born players in recent years, but Rydqvist and fellow Swede goalie Ludvig Persson committed to the RedHawks last season.

Granted it was the NAHL, but Rydqvist racked up 41 points in 52 games with Maryland in his first season in North America.

Sweden has been the envy of the world in terms of developing both forwards and defensemen who defend well, so hopefully Rydqvist brings that skill to Miami.

It will be weird seeing a RedHawks defenseman wear No. 16.

Bergeron comment: The forwards in this league are extremely good, and we’re hoping that (Hampus) can take his game to that level where his game will transition and he can make an impact for us next year.

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPts+ / –PIM
2013-14Frolunda U16Swe U1625561114
2014-15Frolunda U16Swe U162803322
2015-16Malmo J18Swe J1835257716
2016-17Malmo J18Swe J1837510151461
2016-17Malmo J20Superelit13000-40
2017-18Frolunda J20Superelit44268822
2018-19Frolunda J20Superelit4478152936



Height: 6-1. Weight: 184. DOB: 10-06-1999. Catches: Left. Home: Goteborg, Sweden.

Scouting: From the same Swedish hometown as Rydqvist, 2019-20 was Persson’s first in North America, and he absolutely dominated between the pipes.

Persson went 22-4 with seven shutouts, a 1.56 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage with Lone Star of the NAHL.

But that’s the NAHL. The NCHC is obviously a significant rung to climb from that league, so it will be interesting to see how his relatively-small juniors sample translates.

The starting goalie job appears up for grabs. Sophomore Ben Kraws played well at times in 2019-20 but didn’t establish himself as the favorite, and Grant Valentine was solid in a couple of starts last season but has logged just 226 minutes in three seasons.

Big skates to fill here, as Ryan Larkin averaged 30 games a year and finished with nearly 7,000 minutes played the past four seasons.

Bergeron said that both Persson and Rydqvist came to North America to earn a college scholarship, and both project as excellent students.

Bergeron comment: I feel like if there’s two kids that can tradition to (the NCHC), it’s those two – the two Swedes. (Ludvig) played on an unbelievable team in Lone Star if you look at their goals-against and team defense in general – they just were great. He’s a fantastic kid who’s got some talent, and we’ll see what he does, what will he do with his talent, what will he do with this opportunity?

SeasonTeamLeagueGPWLGAASV %SHO
2014-15Backen U16Swe U16123.880.891
2015-16Backen J18Swe J18122.340.902
2015-16Backen J20J20 D-1142.040.925
2016-17Frolunda J18Swe J18162.200.9260
2016-17Frolunda J20Superelit12.000.9090
2017-18Frolunda J20Superelit242.760.9084
2018-19Frolunda J20Superelit142.450.9141
2019-20Lone StarNAHL282241.560.9327

2 thoughts on “Analyzing the RedHawks’ rookies

  1. John–Just found your site. Terrific! thanks for your hard work and attention to detail. I look forward to the rebirth of the great Miami teams we have seen in the past. Stay well and safe. Love and Honor!


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