A day after Huskies’ Head Coach Jim Madigan sparked speculation at the team’s year end banquet when he announced that only six defensemen will be returning to the team next year, Jeff Cox broke the news on twitter today that two Northeastern defensemen, freshman Nick Fiorentino and sophomore Jon Barry, will be transferring from the program.
Freshman D Nick Fiorentino and sophomore D Jon Barry are both leaving Northeastern to pursue Division III options.
— Jeff Cox (@JeffCoxSports) April 14, 2017
Nick Fiorentino entered Northeastern as part of the 2016 freshman class along with fellow blue liners Ryan Shea and Jeremy Davies. While he was praised over the summer, including being named NU’s top undrafted freshman in September, Fiorentino never found his way up the experience-laden defensive depth chart after the exhibition game and will leave Huntington Ave without officially playing in a game for the Huskies.
Jon Barry joined the Huskies in the fall of 2015 and was widely regarded as a big pickup for Northeastern, as the coaching staff swayed him to accept a hockey scholarship to NU and to back out of his plans to play lacrosse on scholarship at Providence. He was widely expected to immediately take a place in the Huskies’ top six defenseman, and played in two regular season games against Minnesota before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. We assumed that after recovering Barry entered this season healthy, but was only listed on the line chart for one regular season game, where he was scratched before puck drop.
If Fiorentino and Barry both transfer to Division III schools as reported, they would be eligible to play immediately without having to sit out a year due to NCAA rules. We certainly hope they find a home and an abundance of playing time wherever they end up, and thank them both for their contributions to Northeastern Hockey over their combined three seasons.
Looking at the future roster, our projection now leaves Northeastern with just 7 defensemen on tap for next year’s team, with 6 returnees and incoming freshman Ryan Solomon. It is unlikely that the staff has a new defenseman ready to commit and come to play this fall, so one of the projected 2018 defensemen will likely get bumped up. At this point in time any of Colin Murphy, A.J. Villella, or Darren Rizzolo, each of whom were born in 1998, may be called upon to fill out the roster as the eighth and final member of this fall’s incoming crop of Huskies.