Senior center Biagio Lerario has signed his first professional contract, signing an entry-level contract with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Moose are the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, and Manitoba features multiple other Hockey East alumni on their roster that Lerario played against, including Derek Lodermeier (Vermont) and Johnathan Kovacevic (Merrimack).
In his four seasons on Huntington Avenue, Lerario played a style of hockey that endeared him to fans and made him a thorn in the side of opponents on a nightly basis. His physical, aggressive, and passionate approach to the game proved him to be the consummate teammate, never backing down from opponents and always willing to jump to the defense of his teammates. This aggressive streak at times got the best of Lerario, resulting in seven game misconducts over his Huskies career, including four as a senior.
He was not just a physical specimen, however. When recruited, Coach Madigan said that Lerario would remind older fans of Rico Rossi, having the ability to meld that physical game with a scoring touch, which he showed in steady fashion over his four years at Northeastern, totaling 29 points in 122 games, including 12 goals. He scored his first career goal against Boston University as a freshman, his first game-winning point with an assist against Providence as a freshman, and he had multiple game-winning goals in his career, including his first against Vermont as a sophomore and his last one against Union as a senior. He recorded two multi-point performances in his career, both against New Hampshire.
He was a fixture at center during his four years, and that experience will be incredibly difficult to replace. A two-year captain in the USHL, Lerario was voted by his peers to be an assistant captain during his senior season. On a personal note, he was one of my favorite players during his time at Northeastern. The physicality that he played with was a welcome addition to an era of hockey predicated so much on speed, and Lerario was an ace-in-the-hole counter move for Northeastern every time he jumped onto the ice. At this past season’s jersey sale, I purchased a black #26 jersey from the 2017-18 season, Lerario’s sophomore year, and I will proudly wear that #26 at every game going forward because of what Lerario meant to me as a fan and to the program as a player.
Lerario was a part of a senior class that continued to change the culture of Northeastern hockey, and leaves the University and the program in a better state than it was when he arrived. Arriving in the wake of 2016 Hockey East Champions, Lerario and his classmates forged a path to history for the program, which would include the program’s first-ever Beanpot threepeat, a third Hockey East Championship, and their first international championship winning the Friendship Four in 2019. The class partook in two NCAA Tournaments as well.
Graduating with a degree in business, we wish Biagio the absolute best in his professional career. He will have a legion of fans supporting him spanning from Chicago to Lincoln to Boston, and we firmly believe his passion and style of play will help him acclimate well to the professional ranks. Congratulations Biagio!