Jim Madigan, Jerry Keefe, and Jason Smith have secured a verbal commitment from ’97 forward Eetu Selanne, who currently plays for the Madison Capitols in the United States Hockey League. Selanne is a late ’97 (born in November), so while we expect him to matriculate next season into Northeastern, there exists the possibility that the staff may delay him until 2018-19. Given Northeastern’s center position is filled with three seniors and one potential early departure (Adam Gaudette), I expect Selanne on campus next season to fill in the spaces voided in the lineup by the mass exodus.
The son of NHL legend Teemu Selanne, Eetu is crafting his own path in the hockey world. Hailing from Coto de Caza, California (the same hometown as current goaltender Ryan Ruck), the right handed centerman stands 5 foot 10, and weighs in at 170 lbs. He won a California state championship as well as a US National Championship while at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. He played in the Los Angeles Junior Kings system before heading to the USHL in 2015. Selanne also has international experience, having competed with the Finnish U18 international team in 2014-15. In his first year in the USHL, Selanne put up 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points in 48 games, and currently as 1 goal and 1 assist in the 2016-17 season (8 games so far). Interestingly, Selanne had a shooting percentage last year just under the one posted by current Husky Matt Filipe (Selanne’s 15.8% to Filipe’s 16.5%), but 77 fewer shots. That shooting percentage was also higher than current freshman Grant Jozefek’s last season (Jozefek shot 14.9% with 141 shots taken). So the potential exists that the goal scoring can come, should more shots come off of Selanne’s stick.
Northeastern fans expecting Teemu 2.0 to walk through the doors of Matthews Arena should check their expectations, as Eetu is his own type of player. Scouting reports of him are scant on the internet, but speaking with scouts and researching what I could, the following quips have been made about Eetu:
“Limited offensive upside, good hockey IQ, PK guy” (Jeff Cox, SB Nation);
“well-rounded forward with late-bloomer potential” (Mark Bilotta, NeutralZone);
“He knows how to play. A good feed, a good shot, and good vision….ice skating is not as smoothy, perhaps blocky” (Juha Hiitellä, NHL Correspondent)
In short, Eetu will be a serviceable player for the Huskies who will likely embody a role similar to assistant captain Brendan Collier; middle-to-bottom six forward, critical role on the penalty kill, chipping in some offense. Every team needs players like that, they are the “glue guys” that hold a team together. 4 year players are critical to the sustained success to hockey programs, and Eetu Selanne projects to be one that Northeastern fans will enjoy watching for his four seasons on Huntington Avenue.
Congratulations to Eetu and the rest of the Selanne family! Welcome to the Northeastern Hockey family! You can follow Eetu on Twitter at @eetu_selanne, and follow up for up-to-the-minute NU Hockey news @NUHockeyBlog. As always, Go Huskies!
To view our Northeastern Hockey roster projection, including Selanne next year, click here.