UND filled perhaps its biggest hole for next season in an unconventional way.
The Fighting Hawks are adding Colorado College’s Westin Michaud to the roster as a senior graduate transfer. He will be eligible immediately and have one year of eligibility remaining.
Michaud is a center capable of playing on the team’s top two lines, which was the team’s biggest question mark after losing Rhett Gardner and Nick Jones to graduation. Gardner and Jones were mainstays as the top two centers the past two seasons.
Michaud, of Cloquet, Minn., played top-six center in 27 of 41 games last season, including 17 of Colorado College’s last 18. He provided offense, finishing with 13 goals and 30 points -- both figures that would have led UND’s team.
Michaud also was a key power-play guy for the Tigers. He had seven power-play goals, tying for first among NCHC players.
UND’s power play converted just 14.2 percent of its chances last season, ranking dead last in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and 52nd of 60 teams in the nation.
"Westin is a competitor and we're happy to add that to our offensive group," UND coach Brad Berry said in a statement. "We were an attractive option for him to continue his career and our fans will like how he plays the game."
Michaud landed on the transfer portal soon after Colorado College’s season ended at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul.
Multiple college hockey sources said that Michaud took visits to UND, Boston University and Western Michigan.
Michaud, 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, spent four years at Colorado College, but missed his entire first year due to injury. He increased his production from eight points to 24 to 30 in his three seasons with the Tigers.
Colorado College coach Mike Haviland acknowledged at a press conference during the NCHC Frozen Faceoff that Michaud could graduate transfer but Haviland said he wanted him back.