There’s really only one storyline for the Johnnies this season and it’s the loss of goaltender Adam Hanna. In three seasons, Hanna posted a 51-13-5 record with a .929 save percentage and 1.75 goals against average.
“(Hanna is) one of those guys that comes around once in a coaching career,” coach John Harrington said. “I would like to say we’re replacing him but we’ll have to find that out.”
St. John’s has three new goaltenders vying for the starting spot in sophomores Andy Cook and Vince Wheeler and freshmen Jason Paul and Stu Van Ess. Cook is a transfer from Colby College and Wheeler is a transfer from Lake Superior State while Paul and Van Ess are fresh out of high school.
“It doesn’t matter what you have, if you don’t have good goaltending, you’re not going to be very good,” Harrington said.
The Johnnies are also going to be without two of their top three scorers from a year ago as forward Scott Bjorklund (11-16-27) and defenseman Darryl Smoleroff (7-16-23) both graduated. Junior forward Tom Freeman will likely shoulder much of the scoring responsibility this season. He was St. John’s second-leading scorer (15-8-23) last season.
“We were fortunate to have (Bjorklund and Smoleroff) for four years, Harrington said. “From the time they arrived they were just outstanding contributors and certainly contributed to the best four-year period that we’ve ever had here.”