EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State hockey head coach Tom Anastos announced Tuesday, November 17th,  the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent.  Mitch Eliot (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Muskegon Lumberjacks), Ty Farmer (O’Fallon, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms), John Lethemon (Northville, Mich./Chicago Steel), Taro Hirose (Calgary, Alberta/Salmon Arm Silverbacks) and Sam Saliba (Lake Forest, Ill./Green Bay Gamblers) will be joining the Spartan hockey program in the 2016-17 season.

 

“We are really excited about this group as they bring skill, intelligence, toughness and a Spartan work ethic to our program,” said Anastos. “They have considerable experience and know what it takes to compete for championships. They have also provided leadership to their teams during the past several seasons.”

 

Mitch Eliot

Mitch Elliott (courtesy Muskegon Lumberjacks)

Mitch Elliott (courtesy Muskegon Lumberjacks)

 

Grosse Pointe, Mich. · Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) · D · 6-0, 190 · DOB: 2/6/1998

NHL Entry Draft Eligible

 

Scouting Report: Tough, physical defenseman who makes good outlet passes and gets pucks through to the net from the blue line … His mobility and physical play make him tough to play against in all three zones of the ice … Has been a member and leader on several championship teams in his development years and is ready to bring that winning experience to the college level.

 

Has one goal and one assist in 12 games with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks this season … Named to NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List, a compilation of top prospects from all the major leagues throughout North America and Europe … Played in 58 games with the Lumberjacks in 2014-15 and helped the team reach the USHL’s Clark Cup final … Captained the USA U18 team at the 2015 Hlinka Memorial tournament … Spent time with the Honeybaked U16 and U18 teams, producing six points in 25 total games in 2013-14 … Also played for Honeybaked Bantam Minor and Major teams, totaling 23 points in two seasons … Son of former NHL goaltender Darren Eliot.

 

Ty Farmer

Ty Farmer (courtesy Youngstown Phantoms)

Ty Farmer (courtesy Youngstown Phantoms)

O’Fallon, Mo. · Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) · D · 5-11, 174 · DOB: 1/6/1998

NHL Entry Draft Eligible

 

Scouting Report: Mobile, puck-moving defenseman … His ability to skate makes him hard to play against on the defensive side of the puck and hard to defend offensively … His experience in the USHL, plus his international experience with USA Hockey have developed his game to a high level.

 

Currently in his second season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL … Is plus-2 through 13 games this season … Tallied five points in 39 games with Youngstown in 2014-15, helping the Phantoms finish with the best record in the USHL … Member of the USA’s 2015 Hlinka Memorial team, where he scored once … Also featured at the USA Hockey Selects U16 and U17 camps … Played for the St. Louis AAA Blues U16 program, adding seven points in 36 games in 2013-14.

 

John Lethemon

John Lethomen (courtesy Chicago Steel)

John Lethomen (courtesy Chicago Steel)

Northville, Mich. · Chicago Steel (USHL) · G · 6-2, 194 · DOB: 8/16/1996

NHL Entry Draft Eligible

 

Scouting Report: Big, athletic goalie … His ability to fill the net and move make him tough to beat … Is very detailed and is constantly working to improve on all parts of his game … His experience winning a Michigan high school state championship and his USHL experience have prepared him well for his jump to college hockey.

 

The 19-year-old goalie is in his second season with the USHL’s Chicago Steel, posting a .904 save percentage and 2.78 goals-against average in nine games in 2015 … Played in 15 games last season with the Steel and had a 3.51 goals against average to go along with a .892 save percentage … Drafted No. 6 overall by the Steel in the 2014 USHL Entry Draft … Played two seasons at Farmington High School, his best coming in 2013-14, where he had a 1.99 GAA and .938 save percentage … Product of the Victory Honda AAA system.

 

Taro Hirose

Taro Hirose (courtesy Salmon Arms Silverbacks)

Taro Hirose (courtesy Salmon Arms Silverbacks)

Calgary, Alberta · Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) · F · 5-10, 150 · DOB: 6/30/1996

NHL Entry Draft Eligible

 

Scouting Report: Highly-skilled offensive forward … His stick skills and ability to see the ice make him very dangerous … His high hockey IQ and ability to anticipate make him effective defensively to start quick transition game back to offense … BCHL experience has brought his game to a level that has him ready to compete at the college level.

 

In his second season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL where he ranks second on the team with 25 points (4g, 21a) in 23 games … Finished up his first season with the Silverbacks in 2014-15 as nearly a point per game player, posting 50 points (18g, 32a) in 58 games … Made the jump to the BCHL after three seasons at the prestigious Edge School in Calgary, where he had 163 points in 109 games across various leagues … Product of the Calgary North Star Sabres AAA program … Had five points in five games at the 2010-11 Alberta Cup.

 

Sam Saliba

Sam Saliba (courtesy Green Bay Gamblers)

Sam Saliba (courtesy Green Bay Gamblers)

Lake Forest, Ill. · Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) · F · 5-11, 172 · DOB: 10/9/1995

 

Scouting Report: High-energy player with strong work habits … With his junior experience, he has developed into a very well-rounded player who has impact on both the offensive and defensive ends of the rink … Comfortable playing in any situation … Speed, compete and skill make him a very welcome addition to the Spartan hockey program.

 

Has a team-leading 13 points (5g, 8a) in 13 games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers this season … Totaled 33 points in his second USHL season last year, splitting time between Green Bay and the Sioux City Musketeers after being traded mid-season … Made his USHL debut in 2013-14, posting 12 points in 30 games … Captained his Chicago Mission U18 team in 2013-14 and finished as more than a point per game player … Also played for the Lake Forest Academy, CYA Bantam Major AAA, and Team Illinois growing up.

A transplant from California to Michigan as a teen in 1980, Gregg fell in love with hockey as soon as he watched his first live game between the University of Michigan and Michigan Tech. Gregg is a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, and Michigan State University. The #1 item on his bucket list - to see at least one live NHL game in every arena in the league.

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