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UConn men’s hockey lands two traded forwards

UConn Men’s Hockey dive into the transfer portal is in progress. According to a source, the Huskies added two forwards on Saturday: Justin Pearson from Yale and Adam Dawe from Maine.

Both players were down years (six goals, five assists, 11 points for Dawe; three goals, eight assists, 11 points for Pearson), but they each played on teams ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in Pairwise. Both proved they were productive earlier in their careers – Dawe led Maine in scoring (five goals, nine assists, 11 points); Pearson was Yale’s second-leading scorer and point scorer in 2019-20 (14 goals, 10 assists, 24 points) — and the Huskies are counting on them to get back to that form.

Dawe is described as a passer who would thrive on a line with goalscorers. He’s also “fiery,” the source said, and he’s here to prove that last season was an anomaly. As for Pearson, he played under former UConn forward Kevin O’Neil during the 2019-20 season with Yale and had better numbers than him.

The Bulldogs did not play during the COVID-tainted 2020-21 campaign and much of the roster is gone. Like Dawe, the Huskies expect Pearson’s numbers to rebound with a stronger surrounding cast.

Going forward, UConn is expected to lose at least nine forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender due to graduation, pros and the transfer portal. While the Huskies will bring in goaltender Arsenii Sergeev to compete with rising sophomore Logan Terness for the starting job between the pipes next season, most of their other high-profile additions will come through the portal of transfer.

In addition to Dawe and Pearson, UConn is also closing in on one of the best offensive defenders in the portal and also plans to add two more impact forwards from the transfer market. The Huskies will also bring in one of their top prospects a year ahead of schedule, along with five or six additional first-year forwards.

Until last season, UConn had rarely added transfers, instead preferring to bring in freshmen and develop them over four seasons. But with the easing of NCAA transfer rules, the influx of fifth-year seniors using their bonus COVID seasons, and the Huskies’ heavy losses, their philosophy is changing — at least for this offseason.