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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Michigan State signs four to NLIs

Michigan State announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent to join the Spartans program in 2009-10.

Joining the Spartan roster will be forwards Zach Golembiewski (St. Clair) and Derek Grant (Abbotsford, British Columbia) and defensemen Matt Grassi (Burnaby, British Columbia) and Zack Josepher (Wantagh, NY).

Golembiewski, the lone Michigan native so far in this class, is currently rostered in Indianapolis with the Ice of the USHL after spending last season with the US National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. He has played 14 games with the Ice this season, with a 3-5-8 scoring line (+3). He ranks third on the team in both power play goals (2) and assists. Last year, he helped the US earn silver medals in the Four Nations Cup and the World U-17 hockey challenge. In domestic play for the U-17 team a year ago, he ranked fourth on the team in scoring with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points.

Grant is currently leading the Langley Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League in scoring, averaging a league-best in points per game with a 16-25-41 scoring line in 21 games. He ranks seventh in the BCHL in both points and assists, and is 13th in goals. A year ago, he finished with 63 points in 57 games (24g, 39a) for the Chiefs and currently has career totals of 40 goals and 64 assists in 78 career games. Grant was also a fourth-round pick (119th overall) of the Ottawa Senators at last summer's NHL Entry Draft.

Both defensive recruits are currently playing in the BCHL as well. Josepher is currently in his second season playing for the Penticton Vees, where he was a teammate last season of MSU freshman Trevor Nill. He is the Vees top scoring defenseman and ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 27 games. He is currently second on the team in assists, and has racked up 31 penalty minutes.

Grassi is a right shot currently patrolling the blueline for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and recently won a silver medal for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, Alberta. Grassi is a three-year player in Salmon Arm and his current statistics have already bettered his single-season highs through just 22 games. He currently boasts a 4-21-25 scoring line as the team's top scoring defenseman and ranks fourth on the team overall in points. A year ago, he played 53 games and registered three goals and 20 assists. In his first season, he appeared in 37 games and recorded 10 assists.

"We're pleased that these four players will be joining the Michigan State program," noted MSU head coach Rick Comley. "We've added some size, obviously, and we feel that all four have tremendous talent that they will bring to our roster.

"Golembiewski is a solid, complete player who can play on either the wing or as a center, and Grant is a highly-skilled player with outstanding offensive skills. As for the defensemen, we think both will be good all-around players for us - Josepher has great puck skills and brings toughness with his talent, while Grassi has a big, strong body and can put points on the board.

"We think that all four will be excellent additions to our program and we look forward to their contributions."

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