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Three major UConn men's hockey players enter transfer portal

The Huskies lost their top scorer, top goaltender and their second-line center.

Photo: Ian Bethune

UConn men’s hockey lost three key players to the transfer portal on Monday: Forwards Matthew Wood and Samu Salminen as well as goaltender Arsenii Sergeev.

All three played major roles for the Huskies this past season. Wood — who became the highest pick in program history when the Nashville Predators took him 15th overall in the 2023 NHL Draft — led the team with 16 goals and 28 points, though he had an inconsistent season. After starting the year with six goals in his first 11 games, Wood scored just two goals over the next 19 games. The sophomore forward then caught fire and closed the campaign with eight goals in his final five contests.

Despite spending just two seasons in Storrs, Wood’s 27 goals and 62 points in his collegiate career both rank 10th in UConn’s Hockey East Era.

Salminen was a late addition to the Huskies’ 2022 recruiting class after dealing with admissions issues at Denver, where he initially committed. A third round pick of the New Jersey Devils, he provided a steady presence at center with 16 goals and 18 assists in 62 games. Salminen had the goal of the year when he scored a Michigan vs. Sacred Heart in CT Ice.

As for Sergeev, he’s started 28 games over the last two seasons with UConn — including every postseason contest — recoding a 2.90 goals against average and .909 save percentage in that time.

Like Wood, Sergeev had an inconsistent sophomore campaign. While he led off the Huskies’ goaltender rotation early on, he got pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots against Merrimack on Nov. 22 and didn’t play again for two months. When Sergeev finally returned, he earned his first career shutout against Maine then helped UConn steal a road win at UNH the weekend after.

Sergeev is a Calgary Flames prospect after being taken in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft.

UConn will hit the transfer market hard to replace the outgoing trio. The Huskies have already added Princeton defenseman Nick Carabin to bolster their blue line. They could also get Hudson Schandor back for a fifth season — these departures increase his odds of returning.