UPDATED: MSU Hockey 2016 NLI Tracker

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It is that time of year again. The time when young hockey players sign their NLI* thus making their college choice official. We here at Impact Sports present this page which will be updated as MSU Hockey NLI’s become known to us via social media and other trusted sources. Tom Izzo is not the only one who is looking to add a nice class this year.

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John Lethemon

Northville, MI (6-foot-2, 195 lbs)

Goalie, Chicago Steel (USHL)

Lethemon was the first to tweet out his NLI signing via the Steel’s twitter page. Lethemon has been splitting time with Daniel Vladar (a third round Boston pick)  down in Chicago this year. Lethemon boasts a 2.71 GAA and a .904 SV percent in only seven games played so far this year. He has some more development to do for sure, but the Spartans are not in any rush for a top-tier goaltender. Lethemon will likely be Ed Minney’s backup for a few years which should benefit his development greatly.

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Mitch Elliot

Grosse Pointe, MI  (6-foot, 190 lbs)

Defenseman, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Elliot was the second signee that we heard about on Wednesday night. This kid is a solid defenseman, no bones about. Elliot was rated as a ‘C’ skater in NHL’s Central Scouting players to watch so it’s obvious this kid is on the radar. He has currently played 10 games this season with the Lumberjacks and currently has one goal and one assist. Do not let the numbers alarm you, Muskegon is having a down year (last in the USHL East) and at one point Elliot led the team in scoring!

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Sam Saliba

Lake Forest, IL (5-foot-11, 181 lbs)

Forward, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)  

Saliba is one of the offensive highlights of this class. He has been a steady workhorse for Green Bay netting 12 points (five goals, seven assists) which lead the team. Based on the information I have gathered this kid has been a factor in nearly every game this season for the Gamblers. Currently, his is ranked 15th in total points according to USHL.com. This is a huge pick up for Tom Anastos and Michigan State (Saliba only just committed in late August) as Saliba will likely be an impact player on arrival in East Lansing.  

Taro Hirose

Calgary, AB (5-foot-10, 160 lbs)

Forward, Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL)

Along with Saliba, Hirose is an offensive dynamo. Coach Anastos said that Hirose is a style of player that Michigan State hasn’t had in awhile. Hirose’s numbers certainly back up that claim. During his first year in the BCHL, he managed 18 goals and 38 assists and was the Silverbacks’ leading scorer. This year he has continued to be a vital component for Salmon Arm, with four goals and 21 assists in only 25 games. Part of Hirose’s skillset is his high hockey IQ and his ability to get the puck to the right spot at the right time. Hirose is another huge coup for Anastos and the recruiting staff, as Hirose has the skill the be a tour de force for the green and white.

Ty Farmer

O’Fallon, MO (5-foot-9, 173 lbs)

Defenseman, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

Farmer is a very solid defenseman who skates well and is tough to play against. While he hasn’t played on the power play in Youngstown this season, Anastos believes that Farmer could have a future on the power play unit in the future. Look for Farmer to play a key role on the defensive corps next year with the graduation of Travis Walsh and John Draeger.

Thoughts On The Class

This class is hands down the most skilled and talented class that Tom Anastos has brought to Michigan State. One of the keys to rebuilding Spartan hockey was to upgrade the recruiting class and he has done just that. Michigan State will add two highly-skilled forwards, as well as two solid defensemen.

These four skaters will probably be asked to make an impact at some point in their freshman season. That being said, they have the skill to be impact freshmen. 2016 seems to be the year of the Spartans. Between football’s #DreamTeam and basketball’s #TheClass, hockey has built an impressive roster of young talent coming to East Lansing. Like football and basketball, hockey will have high expectations in 2016.