The University of Maine men’s hockey team has landed another transfer.
Center Michael Mancinelli, who spent two years playing for NCAA Division I independent Arizona State, will be the fifth transfer added by head coach Ben Barr.
He will join forwards Didrik Henbrant (Alaska-Fairbanks), Justin Michaelian (Ferris State) and Cole Hanson (Colgate) and goalie Jacob Mucitelli from Clarkson.
Mancinelli played in 30 games for the Sun Devils this past season and registered two goals and 10 assists. He had six goals and four assists in 26 games his freshman year.
Barr, who just finished his first season at the helm, is bringing in at least 10 freshmen to go with the five transfers as he attempts to rebuild a once prominent program that hasn’t even reached the Hockey East semifinals since the 2011-12 season .
UMaine went 7-22-4 this past season, 5-17-2 in Hockey East and finished last in the 11-team league. The Black Bears were ousted from the playoffs in the first round by Merrimack, 6-2.
UMaine has won two NCAA championships, reached 11 Frozen Fours and played in 18 NCAA Tournaments.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Mancinelli, a native of Northville, Michigan, spent three seasons in the United States Hockey League prior to going to ASU and racked up 46 goals and 45 assists in 160 games.
He had 16 goals and 10 assists in 45 games for Des Moines during the 2019-20 season.
Mancinelli said he felt a “real good connection” with the UMaine coaching staff.
“It’s also a storied hockey program and they have crazy fans and a crazy [game-night] environment,” added Mancinell, who will turn 21 later this month. “It’s a great fit for me.”
Mancinelli said he is looking forward to being part of the rebuild.
“They’re building a new culture and trying to get the program back to how it used to be,” said Mancinelli. “I’m excited to build it with the guys and the coaches.”
He is certainly battle tested.
The Sun Devils, who went 17-17-1 this past season, played 15 games against nationally ranked teams, including four against NCAA champion Denver. The previous year, Arizona State went 7-16-3 with 18 games against nationally ranked teams and ASU played all of its games on the road.
He said coming into a program with so many new players is a positive situation, and he described himself as a “blue collar player” who plays in all three zones.
“I pride myself on being a good defensive player, and I also try to put the puck in the net as much as I can,” said Mancinelli, who can play wing as well as centre.
Mancinelli is currently working out to add strength and to improve his conditioning.
He will come to Maine in late July and is looking forward to meeting his new teammates.
“And I’m excited to see what Maine is all about,” he said, referring to the state as well as the university.
Mancinelli coming to Maine is dependent upon him being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.