Ten new players will be joining Miami for the 2021-22 season, and six are transfers from other Division I programs.
Five forwards, three defensemen and two goalies will make their RedHawks debuts this fall, according to the roster posted on the team website.
Eight of 28 players will not return from 2020-21, and with 10 newbies, that pushes the RedHawks’ roster to 30 players.
VFG takes a first look at the newest RedHawks:
DOB: 9/3/1999. Height: 6-2. Weight: 200. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Rochester Hills, Mich.
Outlook: Daskas is transferring from Air Force, where we logged 14 games and scored three goals, dishing for four assists. Prior to that, he played two seasons in the NAHL, going 19-29-48 with Lone Star in 2019-20. Although it’s a small sample size, Daskas’ half-point-per-game pace with Air Force is encouraging, he’s 6-feet-2, he plays center and he still has four years of eligibility remaining.
DOB: 7/12/2001. Height: 6-2. Weight: 185. Shoots: L. Birthplace: Dana Point, Calif.
Outlook: After playing 30 games for Quinnipiac and registering six assists as a freshman in 2019-20, Fletcher entered the transfer portal and went to the USHL last season, where he scored 16 goals and notched 18 helpers in 44 games. Another bigger forward who was able to find the net regularly in 2020-21 will be a valuable asset on a Miami team that averaged fewer than two goals per game.
DOB: 8/13/1998. Height: 6-1. Weight: 205. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Powell, Ohio.
Outlook: A transfer from Merrimack, Gresock dressed for 78 games and racked up 54 points in three seasons with the Warriors, recording at least 10 goals and 20 points in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He finished with eight points in the shortened 16-game 2020-21 season. Gresock adds much-needed experience up front for the RedHawks and is a near shoo-in to jump into the lineup immediately, if not the top six.
DOB: 5/15/2003. Height: 5-11. Weight: 185. Shoots: L. Birthplace: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Outlook: Savage was the first incoming Miami freshman to be drafted in five years, as he was taken by Detroit in the fourth round. The Red Wings had plenty of opportunity to scout Savage, who played for the U.S. National Development team in nearby Plymouth, Mich., last season. Red is the third Savage to choose Oxford for Division I hockey. Savage’s father, Brian, is in the top 10 among all-time goal scorers in RedHawks history, and his 192 NHL goals are tops among any former Miamian. Red’s older brother, Ryan, is a junior-to-be and has 19 points in 43 career games.
Scouts have raved about Savage’s defense and hockey IQ, and his offense has been a secondary attribute. But he recorded 42 points in 46 games for the Under-18 team and went 10-10-20 in 22 games for the USNTDP.
Savage is the top recruit of this season’s class, but he’s a true freshman (he turned 18 in May), so hopefully he makes a smooth transition into the best college hockey league on the planet as one of its youngest skaters.
DOB: 9/12/1998. Height: 6-1. Weight: 200. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Surrey, B.C.
Outlook: Another transfer with a history of finding the net in Division I. Regush played two seasons at Cornell, but CU chose to not to compete in 2020-21 due to COVID concerns, so he did not play at all last season. Regush notched 23 goals in 65 games with the Big Red and added 10 assists. He has scored at every level and there’s no reason to believe he won’t reach double-digits in goals again in 2021-22.
DOB: 7/24/1996. Height: 6-0. Weight: 185. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Pelham Manor, N.Y.
Outlook: The RedHawks needed another two-way defenseman, and they got it. Cullen played for Coach Chris Bergeron at Bowling Green, so there should be minimal adjustment to Bergeron’s system. Cullen, who played the last three seasons with the Falcons, was named all WCHA in 2020-21, going 6-19-25 in 28 games. That points pace is a big increase over this first two years at BG, when he averaged 0.44 PPG. He should be a major help on the power play alongside Derek Daschke. Cullen should be an immediate top four D-man.
DOB: 7/27/2002. Height: 6-0. Weight: 190. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Lake Forest, Ill.
Outlook: Known as a solid stay-at-home defenseman, Donato has logged 94 USHL games before turning 19 late last month. He went 1-15-16 over those two seasons with Tri-City and had a positive plus-minus rating each campaign. Donato should ultimately be a solid starter in Oxford, but he faces tons of competition for starting slots this season, as the RedHawks are carrying 11 D-men.
DOB: 3/17/2000. Height: 5-11. Weight: 183. Shoots: R. Birthplace: Glenview, Ill.
Outlook: Murray has played the past three seasons in the NAHL, and he broke out offensively with Lone Star, going 6-16-22 in 54 games after recording 19 points in 94 prior contests in that league. He also faces depth chart issues on a team loaded with blueliners entering his freshman campaign.
DOB: 2/1/2000. Height: 6-3. Weight: 175. Shoots: L. Birthplace: Bloomfield, Mich.
Outlook: Laursen has played for NAHL New Mexico the past two seasons, and the Ice Wolves have won just 34 games in that span. So his win-loss and goals-against average haven’t been pretty, but his save percentages – the goaltender stat that matters most – were .905 in 2019-20 and .896 last season. Far from great, but certainly not sieve-like. Ludvig Persson is expected to start most games for Miami this season, so Laursen and transfer Logan Neaton will likely battle for the backup role.
DOB: 4/7/1999. Height: 6-4. Weight: 200. Shoots: L. Birthplace: Brighton, Mich.
Outlook: Neaton went a ridiculous 16-1 with a 1.46 goals-against avergage and a .940 save percentage in the 2019 BCHL playoffs as he led Prince George to a league championship. That postseason run followed a 32-win regular season in which he posted a 1.94 GAA that is the eighth-best average in league history. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets that summer on the heels of that amazing campaign. But in the two seasons at UMass-Lowell since, he has logged just 224 minutes with a save percentage below 87. It’s tough to stay sharp with that little playing time, so hopefully a change of scenary and a chance at more minutes in net will help Neaton return to his 2019 form.