The MSOE hockey team will have a decidedly new look entering the 2018-19 season with a new head coach and a decidedly different look on offense.
Graham Johnson is in his first season leading the program after the retirement of Mark Ostapina over the summer. Johnson's arrival means a new direction for Raiders hockey, though he will have some new faces leading the way.
Defensively, the roster should be rock solid with three of the top six defensemen back in the fold, providing leadership and steady production from the blueliners.
Newly-installed senior captain Matthew Romund leads the group, which also returns juniors Nick Redmon and Zack Davis who each have been mainstays in the lineup for the last two season. Sophomore Adam Ostrowski played in 16 games as a rookie and sophomore Adem Arifi is back in the mix after a season off the ice.
The lineup has strong experience together, with lines of Romund and Redmon, as well as Davis with Ostrowski returning intact. Davis played in all 27 games last season while Redmon played in 26 and Romund 24.
The defense has traditionally been an asset for the Red & White and last season was no different, as MSOE was a top-25 defense with a goals against average of just 2.44 with a pair of shutouts. The penalty kill unit was also ranked 19th in the nation.
Arifi's return will be an added boost as he had an impressive debut in 2016-17 when he played in 24 games.
Junior Mack Stevens also rounds out the returners in the group. He has two years in the program under his belt and has impressed the new staff in the preseason. He hopes to crack the one of the top three lines after playing in four games last season.
Behind the defense is a new-look goaltending group, headed by sophomore Rock Boynton. He's the only one of the trio of netminders with collegiate experience, making six starts last season. He was impressive, posting a 3-2-1 record with a 2.28 GAA and .920 save percentage. Boynton allowed just one goal in three of his appearances.
Sophomore Harry Vangellow is back after splitting time as the No. 3 option in his first season. He dressed for a pair of games and will vie with newcomer freshman Simo Huhtanen for minutes this season.
Offensively, the Raiders could feature a new look as just under 40 percent of the team's goals last season return. Sophomore Garrett Gintoli is the leading returning scorer after a five-goal, 16-point debut last season. Unfortunately, the top four goal-scorers have graduated.
Gintoli looked good out of the gates and will lead a new look offensive unit into action. Meanwhile, sophomore Will Gauthier outperformed his numbers with his play on the ice, despite cracking double-digits in points with 11 on four goals and seven assists.
Seniors Eric Tien and Michael Romund will bring leadership and demonstrated goal-scoring abilities to the fold. The pair lit the lamp two times each last season but are the top active scorers on the team. Tien had a combined 32 points over his first two seasons, and has 13 career scores, while Romund has notched 12 goals with three game-winners in his career.
Junior Evan Kearns and Michael Romund will assume leadership roles this season as assistant captains. Kearns brings a wealth of experience to the role as he enters his third season. He's played in 25 games in each of his first two seasons.
The attack remains young this season with sophomores Nate Rogers, Stian Owens, Jaff Makowski, and David Marabella getting significant playing time as rookies. The coaching staff believes the unit has just scratched the surface of its potential and could take big leaps forward with a year of college hockey under its belt.
The defensive group could also chip in on the offensive end, as Redmon is tied for the second-leading goal-scoring honors among returners with four last season. Matthew Romund has ample experience quarterbacking the offense on the power play, finding the back of the net with the man advantage three times as a sophomore.
Rounding out the returners are junior Kevin Shand and sophomore Chandler Watson. Shand was limited to eight games last season after scoring a pair of goals and seven points as a freshman. Meanwhile, Watson made four appearances in his first season and registered an assist.