As we looked over the projected roster for Northeastern for the 2023-24 season, the one spot on the roster that felt like it could use an addition was the left side of the defense. On Friday night, Northeastern got their man, as news broke that defenseman Matt Staudacher would be transferring from the University of Minnesota to Northeastern for the upcoming season.
Staudacher, a 6-foot-1, 200 pound left shot, reportedly will be graduating Minnesota after three years with a degree in finance. He redshirted this past season after rehabbing an injury, so he will arrive in Boston with two years of eligibility left. He played 96 games for the Gophers, a stalwart in their lineup since his freshman year. He usually played either on the second or third pairing. He has 16 career points, one career goal, and his career high is six points in a season, which he did twice. He originally was a Clarkson commit back in 2017, and played in Muskegon in the USHL for two years before Minnesota. At Minnesota he also was an Academic All Big Ten Team.
Once described as a “gritty, lunch pail” type of player, Staudacher brings a physical, tenacious, and a shutdown style of play to the Huskies. A tough defenseman with a edge and presence, Staudacher may not rack up points in bunches but he also has the ability to break out the puck and send reliable outlet passes up to his teammates to start transition. He can skate decently well but makes his living as being hard to play against below the dots in his own zone; in his own words, “being a jerk in the defensive zone.”
At this point we project that Staudacher will be the third left defenseman in the Huskies’ top six, behind Hunter McDonald and Jackson Dorrington. His experience, both in terms of sheer number of collegiate games played as well as experience at a successful program like Minnesota, will be instrumental in helping the growth of the young players expected to shoulder large shares of minutes for Northeastern like McDonald, Dorrington, Vinny Borgesi, and incoming freshman Michael Fisher. In fact, I would not be shocked if the coaches pair Staudacher with Fisher to start the year, giving the freshman a reliable, steady partner as he acclimates to the college game coming off his own injury.
Welcome Matt to the Northeastern program and family. We look forward to watching you play next season. As always, go Huskies!