Michigan Press Release
Defenseman Mike Chiasson (Henderson, Nev.), defenseman Michael Szuma (Novi) and forward Andrew Sinelli (Dexter) will join the University of Michigan for the 2011-12 season, head coach Red Berenson announced on Thursday.
The trio increases U-M's freshman class to nine members: five forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.
Chiasson (5-11, 195 pounds) comes to Michigan after spending three seasons with the United States Hockey League's Omaha Lancers. In 2010-11, he captained the Lancers and earned the team's E.H. "Motto" McLean Leadership Award. On the ice, he accumulated four goals, 11 assists, 41 penalty minutes and a +10 plus/minus rating over 50 regular-season games. In 122 career games, he had a 7-20-27 line with 90 penalty minutes and a +23 rating. He appeared in 11 career playoff games. Mike is the son of Steve Chiasson, who played 13 seasons in the NHL.
"Chiasson is a defenseman that we were able to add late and we're pretty fortunate that he was available to us," said UM assistant coach Billy Powers. "He brings great experience from the premier development league for college hockey. He played on Omaha's top two defense corps. 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 (6-0, 195 pounds) arrives in Ann Arbor from the North American Hockey League's Michigan Warriors. In 2010-11, Szuma collected seven goals, 15 assists, 36 penalty minutes and a +13 rating in 56 regular-season games. He helped the Warriors win the North Division title and reach the Robertson Cup final. Previously, he played the 2009-10 season with the Eastern Junior Hockey League's Green Mountain Glades, for whom he appeared in 43 games and tallied a 4-5-9 line with 30 penalty minutes.
"Szuma is a kid that we tracked a year ago and he ended up playing in Flint in the North American Hockey League for a new franchise," said Powers. "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. He's another intelligent, high hockey IQ defenseman who's reliable. There is some offensive up-side; he played on the power play. He's a local Michigan kid who's really excited about putting on the Maize and Blue."
Sinelli (5-9, 168 pounds) spent the last two seasons in the United States Hockey League. Playing primarily for the Youngstown Phantoms in 2010-11, he posted five goals, three assists and 36 penalty minutes in 38 games. He also had a goal over seven games with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. In 50 games in 2009-10 with the Sioux City Musketeers, he had 6-11-17 totals and 60 PIM.
"Sinelli is a kid who was a premier player in his age group coming up through the Honeybaked organization," Powers said. "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. What I like about him is his game has evolved without the puck and he took on a penalty killer role with Youngstown and did a great job. He's a real good energy guy and he's going to come here and vie for a spot in our forward group."
Chiasson, Szuma and Sinelli join goaltender John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa.), defenseman Brennan Serville (Pickering, Ontario) and forwards Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario), Zach Hyman (Toronto, Ontario), Alex Guptill (Newmarket, Ontario) and Travis Lynch (White Lake) in the 2011 recruiting class.