HOUGHTON – Eleven former Michigan Tech hockey players are in NHL training camps starting this week. The NHL regular season begins October 7.
Trenton Place – Detroit Red Wings
Bliss signed an AHL contract with Grand Rapids Griffins in March and started his first professional team. He appeared in three games for the Griffins at the end of the 2021-22 season following the conclusion of the Tech season.
Bliss skated in 138 Michigan Tech games from 2018-22 and earned 107 career points with 42 goals and 65 assists. It ranks 56th in career points. Bliss was named to the second All-CCHA Team as a senior and the third to the WCHA as a rookie. He was captain as senior captain and alternate captain twice.
Phoenix Copley – Los Angeles Kings
Pheonix Copley is entering its ninth professional season. He signed a one-year contract with the L.A. Kings in July after spending six years with the Washington Capitals organization and two years with the St. Louis Blues. In 31 National Hockey League games for St. Louis and Washington, Copley is 16-9-3 with a 2.98 goal-to-average and 0.900 save percentage. He lifted the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018. Copley also appeared in 226 AHL games.
Copley played two seasons for Michigan Tech from 2012 to 2014, winning 18 games four times. He was twice named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week in 2013-14 and in 2012-13 he was named WCHA Rookie of the Week twice, WCHA Defensive Player of the Week once, and MVP of the Great Lakes Invitational after a close pair of strong-lifting Build to their first GLI title in 32 years.
Brian Halonen – New Jersey Devils
Halonen began his first full season of professional hockey after signing a two-year, two-way contract in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils in March as an unpolished free agent. He played 12 games for the Utica Comets in the AHL at the end of the 2021-22 season after the Tech season ended.
Halonen has played 139 games for the Husky from 2018-22 and is ranked 59th in his career points with a score of 105. He was named a Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist, 2nd Team All-American, and 1st All-CCHA Team after scoring a career 44 points in 37 games during the 2021-22 season. He was a member of the All-WCHA Junior Team in 2018-19.
Michael Carrow Dallas Stars
Carew signed AHL’s one-year contract with the Texas Stars in August. He began his professional career with 13 All-Star games at the end of the 2021-22 season following the conclusion of the Tech season.
Karow moved to Michigan Tech to play a fifth season and skated in all 37 Huskies games in 2021-22. He scored a career-high of 10 points with two goals and eight assists and was +13. Karow has helped solidify defense technology which is ranked third in the country in death penalty rate and fourth in defense scoring. He played four seasons at Boston College before coming to Houghton.
Tanner Kiro – Dallas Stars
Tanner Kerro entered the second year of a two-year extension with the Dallas Stars. He is entering his eighth season of professional hockey and has played in 134 NHL games for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. He scored 11 goals and 24 assists in the NHLer and appeared in 23 All-Star games last season.
While at Tech, Kero was All-American, WCHA MVP of 2014-2015, WCHA Sportsman of the Year Outstanding Athlete of the Year, WCHA First Team Choice, and WCHA title winner. In 153 appearances during his career at Zee Tech, he scored 111 points in 55 goals and 56 assists.
Johar Khair – Chicago Blackhawks
Johar Khaira is in the second year of a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. He entered his 10th season of professional hockey and appeared in 285 NHL games for Edmonton Oilers and Blackhawks. He scored 27 goals and 39 assists in the National Hockey League and scored three goals in 27 games last season with Chicago before injury at the end of the season.
Khaira scored six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in his only season with the Huskies in the 2012-13 season. He finished fourth with the team in scoring and played in all 37 games. He took home the WCHA Rookie of the Week title on November 20 after leading Tech to a pair of overtime wins at Bemidji State with two goals and an assist.
Joel Lesperance – Detroit Red Wings
Joel L’Esperance is entering his fifth season of professional hockey and signed a two-year contract with Grand Rapids Griffins in July. He has appeared in 33 National Hockey League games during his career and scored five goals – all with the Dallas Stars. In 183 AHL games, L’Esperance scored 80 goals and 56 assists.
L’Esperance played four seasons with the Huskies, appearing in 152 career games from 2014 to 2018. He was an alternate captain as a senior captain and finished with 98 career points, racking up over 25 career points in each of his last three seasons. In 20 playoffs during his career, he earned 23 points from 10 goals and 13 assists while finding the scoring sheet in all three NCAA games with two assists and a goal.
Jake Luchini – Ottawa Senators
Jake Lucchini signed a one-year NHL contract with the Ottawa Senators in July and will play his fourth pro season. He has appeared in 176 AHL games and had a break season with the Belleville Senators in 2021-22 with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 72 games. In his professional career, Lucchini has 84 points with 40 goals and 44 assists.
Lucchini has never missed a game in his career, skating in 164 competitions. He has led all active college players in this category and finished one game without setting a technology record. Lucchini was the 66th player in Tech history to reach 100 career points, finishing 104 points with 45 goals and 59 assists. As a senior, the Huskies captain shared and led the team in points with 26 goals to 11 goals and 15 assists. Lucchini was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
Mitch Reinke – Pittsburgh Penguins
Mitch Rink is entering his fifth season in professional hockey. He re-signed with the Wilkes Barr/Scranton penguins in July. Rinke appeared in two NHL career games for the St. Louis Blues and 203 AHL games. Rinke was the black ace of the Blues during the 2019 Stanley Cup playoff round and was on the ice to celebrate after winning Game 7. He was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2018-19.
Rink played two seasons with the Husky and appeared in 76 games. He was named to the third WCHA All-Rookie team as a sophomore and to the WCHA All-Rookie team as a freshman, scoring 44 career points with nine goals and 35 assists.
Matt Roy – Los Angeles Kings
Matt Roy entered his sixth season in professional hockey and appeared in 206 games for the Los Angeles Kings. Roy scored 55 points in the National Hockey League with 10 goals and 45 assists. Last season, he skated in 67 games and scored 2 goals and 19 assists. He was drafted by the Kings in the 2015 NHL Draft and spent his entire career with the organization, making his debut in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs last season.
Roy played 115 games over three seasons (2014-17) with the Huskies, scoring 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists before signing after his junior season on March 27, 2017. Roy was Tech’s assists captain with 21 juniors and earned On assisting the winning goal six times. He has been selected twice by the WCHA.
Colin Sawyer – Pittsburgh Penguins
Swoyer signed a one-year NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins in March as a non-written free agent. He started his career with five AHL games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the end of the 2021-22 season following the conclusion of the Tech season.
Swoyer made 141 appearances for the Huskies and earned 72 career points with 14 goals and 58 assists from 2018-22. He ranks 18th in all goals scored among Michigan Tech defenders. He was a two-time replacement captain and was named to the second All-CCHA team as a senior and to the second All-WCHA team as a rookie.