HOUGHTON, Mich. ?? The Michigan Tech hockey team has signed two more players to National Letters of Intent to join the Huskies' program. Brent Baltus (Nanaimo, B.C.) and Shane Hanna (Salmon Arm, B.C.) will join four other student-athletes who will begin their careers this fall.
Baltus is a six foot one inch , 185-pound forward who played the last two seasons with Trail of the British Columbia Hockey League and was recently named most valuable player of the BCHL's Interior Conference. He led the Smoke Eaters in scoring this past season with 24 goals and 52 total points.
Hanna is a five foot eleven inch, 190-pound defenseman who has played for his hometown Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL for the last two seasons. He posted 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 total points in 2012-13, making him the highest-scoring defenseman in the league.Baltus and Hanna will join Tyler Heinonen (Delano, Minn.), Chris Leibinger (Saginaw, Mich.), Michael Neville (Woodbridge, Ont.) and Reid Sturos (South Lyon, Mich.) to round out the Huskies' 2013-14 freshman class.Heinonen is a six foot, 185-pound forward who tallied 48 total points in 65 games in the USHL in 2012-13. He opened the year with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, posting 15-16=31 in 40 games before skating with the Chicago Steel the final 24 games (8-9=17).Leibinger is a five foot nine inch, 170-pound defenseman who currently is playing in the playoffs with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks. He tallied four goals and 10 total points in 32 games with Muskegon before being traded to Waterloo.
Neville is a six foot, 190-pound forward who recently hoisted the Buckland Cup as Ontario Junior Hockey League Champions with the St. Michael's Buzzers. The team captain registered 16 goals and 51 total points in 44 regular season games in 2012-13.
Sturos, a six foot two inch, 175-pound forward has played 56 regular season games with the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL in 2012-13. He averaged a point per game with 57 on 25 goals and 32 assists.
Four others who have signed hockey NLIs to Michigan Tech will likely defer enrollment until 2014-15. They are: defenseman Mark Auk (Grosse Point Park, Mich.), forward Jacob Jackson (Oakdale, Minn.), forward Joel L'Esperance (Brighton, Mich.) and forward Dylan Steman (Hanover, Minn.).Jackson was ranked No. 170 among North American skaters on the NHL's central scouting final rankings released April 23 and is a finalist for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey award.