Departed Northeastern sophomore Szmatula transfers to Minnesota

Mike Szmatula will be eligible to play for Minnesota starting with the 2016-17 season (photo: Melissa Wade).

Minnesota announced Thursday that forward Mike Szmatula has joined the Gophers program.

Szmatula played two seasons at Northeastern, where he collected 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 73 career games before announcing his departure earlier this summer. He was a Hockey East All-Rookie Team honoree in 2013-14 after ranking second in the nation in rookie scoring (1.05 points per game) and rookie points (39).

Per NCAA transfer rules, Szmatula will sit out the 2015-16 season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2016-17.


  1. Good snag by the gophers, but kinda a shady by Northeastern not letting him transfer to the school he wanted (Denver). It will make next year an easier transition if the gophers lose any major contributors. Only two more months till pucks drop!!!

    • I don’t understand. A school has to approve where a player is going? That makes no sense in the realm of fair play. If a player is leaving – for whatever reason – they should be able to go wherever they want to.

  2. Stupid transfer rule, wish he could start this year. What’s the difference from this and the kind where a player can start at the halfway point of the season?

    • Sometimes kids who start in the middle of the season do so because of academic ineligibility problems. Kids who transfer without sitting out at all usually need a full release from the team they are leaving. Many arcane rules.

    • Sometimes a player starts in the middle of the season, or after the break, because the player left his program after the first-half or the first semester of school.

  3. Szmatula is a terrific D-1 college hockey player and a great person on campus and in the community. Big skates to fill at NU, but they have a strong incoming class. I wish him much luck and success at Minnesota. Gopher fans will love watching him on that big sheet of ice.


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