Notre Dame hockey adds four transfers for 2022-23 season
A lot has happened to the Notre Dame hockey roster in the last two months.
Since the Irish ended the 2021-22 season with a 1-0 loss to Minnesota State in the Albany Regional final of the NCAA Tournament, a slew of player departures and additions have shaken up the roster. In the past week, Notre Dame announced four transfer additions who have given the makeup of next season's roster a clearer outline.
The Irish added three graduate transfers: Minnesota defenseman Ben Brinkman, New Hampshire forward Jackson Pierson and Omaha forward Chayse Primeau. Notre Dame also received one undergraduate transfer from Bentley defenseman Drew Bavaro, who will enter his third season of NCAA eligibility.
Bavaro made quite the impact at Bentley in his first two seasons playing in the Atlantic Hockey Association. He finished his sophomore season with a team-high 27 points and 18 assists. His nine goals were the third-most on the team. The Bradenton, Fla., product was named to the All-Atlantic Hockey First Team.
Bavaro's stellar sophomore season followed Atlantic Hockey All-Rookie honors for two goals and 10 assists in 16 games as a freshman.
Prior to Bavaro's collegiate career, he played one season of junior hockey for the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League. He graduated in 2019 from Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass.
Brinkman scored two goals and added 21 assists while playing in 140 games over four seasons at Minnesota. The Edina, Minn., product was a sixth-round selection of the Dallas Stars in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Brinkman played in 37 games last season as the Gophers made a run to the Frozen Four. He totaled eight points on one goal and seven assists.
Brinkman graduated in 2018 from Edina High School where he was a two-time captain and a first-team all-state selection.
Pierson will return to his home state of Indiana after playing 115 games in four seasons at New Hampshire. He totaled 88 points on 31 goals and 57 assists in his career with the Wildcats.
Pierson registered a career-high 12 goals with 12 assists last season. The New Hampshire alternate captain was given the Hockey East Len Ceglarski Individual Sportsmanship Award as a senior. Pierson was a Second Team Hockey East All-Star as a junior with nine goals and 16 assists.
Pierson, who grew up in Zionsville, Ind., graduated in 2018 from Culver (Ind.) Military Academy as the school's all-time leader in career points with 150 after winning Team MVP honors in each of the last three seasons with the program.
Primeau played 117 games in four seasons at Omaha. He tallied nine goals and 14 assists in each of his last two seasons with the Mavericks to bring his career totals to 29 goals and 43 assists.
Primeau finished fifth on the team in scoring as a senior after leading the team in scoring as a junior. Three of his goals last season were game winners.
Primeau graduated in 2015 from Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken Township, N.J. He played three seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Lincoln Stars (2015-17) and Dubuque Fighting Saints (2017-18).
Primeau is the son of former NHL forward Keith Primeau, who played 15 professional seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers.
These transfers will help the Irish recover from a considerable talent drain from last season. Four Notre Dame players signed deals with professional teams: forwards Max Ellis (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Graham Slaggert (Toronto Marlies) and defensemen Spencer Stastney (Nashville Predators) and Adam Karashik (Lehigh Valley Phantoms). Starting goaltender Matthew Galajda exhausted his final season of NCAA eligibility. Two other contributors transferred out of Notre Dame: forwards Cam Burke (Boston College) and Jake Pivonka (Omaha).
The departures of Slaggert, Pivonka and Burke resulted in the Irish losing their top three centers from last season.
Three contributors announced they would return next season: defensemen Nick Leivermann and Chase Blackmun and forward Jack Adams. Leivermann led the Irish in assists last season with 21 and finished tied for second in points with 27.
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