WALTHAM, Mass. - The Bentley University hockey team will welcome in 10 newcomers to the program for the 2018-19 season, head coach Ryan Soderquist has announced. The group consists of seven forwards, two defensemen and one goalie.
Two of the incoming student-athletes are college transfers, two each played juniors in the USHL and NAHL last season, and one each played in AJHL, OJHL, NCDC and the prep school ranks.
"We're extremely excited about the depth of this class, and feel each one of these student-athletes will be a great addition to the Bentley University community, both on and off the ice," said Soderquist, who is preparing for his 17th season behind the Bentley bench.
The forwards are Drew Best (University of Vermont), Will Garin (Brooks Bandits, AJHL), Sam Kauppila (St. Lawrence University) Jakov Novak (Janesville Jets, NAHL), Dylan Pitera (Culver Academy), Will Schlagenhauf (Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL) and Brendan Walkom (Madison Capitals, USHL).
The defensemen are Luke Orysiuk (Fairbanks Ice Dogs, NAHL) and Ethan Roswell (Junior Bruins, USPHL), and the goaltender is Fraser Kirk (Newmarket Hurricanes, OJHL).
Drew Best (F, Univ. of Vermont): Best is a graduate transfer from UVM who will be eligible this season. Prior to heading to Vermont, he played two seasons in the USHL with both Green Bay and Omaha, where he notched a combined scoring line of 14-33-47. Best also played a season with Surrey in the BCHL, where he was among the team's leading scorers with a 16-30-46 line and helped the team win the RBC Cup as the Canadian Junior national champions. He is from Plymouth, Michigan.
Will Garin (F, Brooks Bandits, AJHL): Helped lead Brooks to the 2017-18 AJHL playoffs with 15 goals and 17 assists in just 32 games. Continued to be productive in the postseason as he led the Bandits in scoring with six goals and six assists as the team made the conference finals. Prior to joining the Bandits, Garin spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons in the USHL. He is from Mound, Minnesota.
Sam Kauppila (F, St, Lawrence University): Kauppila transferred to Bentley after his freshman year at St. Lawrence in 2016-17, and will be eligible this season. He played his junior hockey in the USHL with both Green Bay and Lincoln, where he suited up in over 100 games over two seasons with those clubs. Sam is the younger brother of current Falcon Jake Kauppila and is from Gurnee, Illinois.
Fraser Kirk (G, Newmarket Hurricanes, OJHL): Kirk was voted the OJHL's 2017-18 Goalie of the Year and was a finalist for the Canadian Junior National Goalie of the Year award. He posted the league's second best goals against average (1.86) and second most wins (27). His play was just as strong in the postseason with a 1.84 GAA and .937 save percentage in 13 games to lead the league. That was his first full season for the Hurricanes after he joined them midway through the 2016-17 season. Kirk is from Burlington, Ontario.
Jakov Novak (F, Janesville Jets, NAHL): Novak had a monster 2017-18 for Janesville that saw him named the NAHL's Most Valuable Player and the Forward of the Year. The Riverside, Ontario native was also named first team All-NAHL, and both the Midwest Division's MVP and Forward of the Year. Novak led all NAHL players during the regular season in points (73), goals (32) and plus/minus (+41), while leading the Jets to the divisional playoffs where he tallied a further 4 goals and 6 assists to bring his season totals to 36-47-83. Novak was listed in the NHL Central Scouting's Final Draft Rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Luke Orysiuk (D, Janesville Jets, NAHL): Orysiuk was one of just two defensemen in the NAHL last season to earn first team All-NAHL honors after he racked up 13 goals and 26 points in 60 regular season games, in addition to being a +28. Fairbanks' team captain, he was also named the league's Midwest Division Defenseman of the Year and All-Midwest Division, while leading the Ice Dogs to a league high 45 regular season wins. Orysiuk is from Edmonton, Alberta.
Dylan Pitera (F, Culver Academy, Prep): Pitera led Culver to one of the best seasons in school history as they ended the year as the No. 1 ranked prep team by USA Hockey with a 43-4-1 record. He was the team's leading scorer with 44 goals and 33 assists for 77 points. The 44 goals broke the school's single-season record. He is from Culver, Indiana.
Ethan Roswell (D, Junior Bruins, NCDC): Played one season for the Junior Bruins in the NCDC and was team captain. Helped lead the squad to the league playoffs and totaled 6 goals and 14 assists combined in the regular and postseason. Played prep hockey at Cushing Academy. Roswell is from Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Will Schlagenhauf (F, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL): Played most of last season with Muskegon in the USHL where he had 10 points in 31 games. Began the season with Topeka in the NAHL, and had nine goals and 16 assists in 27 games before he made the jump to Muskegon. Also played for Topeka in 2016-17 and had an impressive year with 9 goals and 22 points as the team's 4th leading scorer. He is from Carmel, Indiana.
Brendan Walkom (F, Madison Capitals, USHL): Walkom suited up in 53 games for Madison in the USHL last season with four goals and 14 assists and played a pivotal role in all situations for the Capitals. The previous season he played for Amarillo in the NAHL and was the team's 3rd leading scorer with 20 goals and 14 assists for 34 in 58 games. He is from Moon Township, Pennsylvania.