The Michigan State Spartans added a pair of forwards and a defenseman during the 2005 fall signing period.
Forwards Andrew Rowe (pictured right) and Jay Sprague will immediately add size and strength to the Spartan offense, while defenseman Michael Ratchuck brings upper-level offensive skills to the MSU blueline.
"What we tried to do was to compliment the type of kids we have brought in the last couple of seasons," said MSU head coach Rick Comley. "We picked up four kids (one, forward Ryan Turek, signed last year, but deferred to 2006) who can play an up-tempo game, who think the game and who will mesh very well with the returning players."
Rowe, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound left wing, comes to Michigan State after playing for the Sioux City of the United States Hockey League. A native of Muskegon, Rowe has netted three goals and four assists in 16 games this season for the Musketeers. A 1988 birthday, Rowe played with current Spartan Justin Abdelkader at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon.
"Andrew had a great high school career," said Comley. "He is a versatile player who can play on the wing or at center. He gets up and down the ice very well and his style of play is a great fit with this team."
Sprague currently skates for the Indiana Ice of the USHL and has posted a scoring line of 5-5-10 in 13 games. Sprague is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward from Georgetown, Ont., who is a right-shot winger with a 1986 birthday.
"Jay Sprague will be a very good player for us," Comley said. "He is a very well-rounded player and is a very consistent player. He's got great size and should be able to play in all situations."
Ratchuk is playing the 2005-06 season for the U.S. NTDP team. A 5-foot-11, 171-pound puck-moving defenseman, the Buffalo, N.Y., native has posted a 3-3-6 line in 13 games thus far for the Under-18 national team including three assists against NCAA Division I opponents. Ratchuk made his Munn Ice Arena debut in an Oct. 25 exhibition contest against Michigan State.
"Ratchuk is a special player," said Comley. "I am thrilled that he is coming here. He's got fantastic offensive skills and he presents an ingredient that we don't have in our program right now, one that every team needs to reach the highest level of play."
All three recruits exhibit the ability and smarts to play immediately for the Spartans. The well-rounded class will be called upon to help replace departing seniors David Booth, Colton Fretter, Chad Hontvet, Jared Nightingale and Corey Potter.