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Thursday, August 24, 2006

It wouldn't be Michigan hockey without a mid-August departure.

Rivals is reporting that sophomore Tyler Swystun has left to join a WHL team. Michigan is not devastated if Mel Pearson's quote is any indication:

"I don’t think he was ready for the strength and the speed of the college game, but we were counting on him for an improved year," assistant coach Mel Pearson said.
Improved but still on the fourth line. Swystun was a huge disappointment a year ago, clearly the team's worst player, and had a long way to go to do anything in college. No doubt he'll rack up a PPG in the WHL.

If Trevor Lewis had shown up on campus Swystun's departure would have been a blip, but now Michigan is down to 11 forwards. Unless a walkon steps up they'll have to convert a defenseman. Pearson throws Jack Johnson's name out as a possibility, but my money is on David Rohlfs. He's has bounced back and forth from forward to D already and has the size to be a grinding defensive winger. Moving Summers or Kampfer is a bad idea since both will be relied upon to soak up minutes next year, when Michigan figures to have defensemen leave en masse. Johnson is needed on the blueline.