The Transfer Portal and the Bobcats: Status Report


Courtesy: Kaylyn Terry | QBSN

Matthew Mugno, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey

Amidst the ECAC Hockey Tournament this, and the NCAA tournament that, let’s take a breather and reflect on the Bobcat transfers since its inception in 2018-19.

The transfer portal has changed the geography of college athletics. Student-athletes can enter the transfer portal to seek athletic and scholarly opportunities at different institutions as they wish, regardless of when they so choose.

The process has undergone changes. No longer does an athlete require permission from a coach, program, or academic institution, they simply need to submit their name into the portal.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats have seen players come and go over the last few seasons and look to continue utilizing the transfer portal to bolster head coach Rand Pecknold’s pack. How have players that have left the program faired? What transfers stand out, and who could arrive in the future?



Ty Smilanic: (QU 2020-2022 to Wisconsin Badgers 2022-2023)

The hype seemed to be the prequel for the highest-drafted Bobcat skater in program history.

Speed demon, scoring touch, uber skill. I talk about his time at QU here.


The buzz was Smilanic didn’t see eye to eye with Pecknold. There are no sources to confirm this. Another article from College Hockey News suggests differently.

No matter what the driving factor for Smilanic’s departure, it seemed that he couldn’t recover from a strange lower-body injury during the 2021 WJC, recording two points during the second half of the ECAC Hockey season.

In the 14 games he’s played in for the Wisconsin Badgers, he has recorded 2 points.


Liam McLinsky: (QU 2021-2022 to Holy Cross Crusaders 2022-2023)

The first-year only skated in two games last year as a Bobcat before transferring to Holy Cross of the AHA conference. He simply did not want to stick it out in Hamden behind a crowded upper-classman lineup where consistent playing time didn’t seem to be on the horizon.

He’s enjoyed a season of success, recording 20 goals, six of those markers game-winners. He leads the Crusaders in goals and is second on the team in points. He recently scored an overtime goal in the AHA quarter-final series against RIT.


Ethan Leyh: (QU 2019-2022 to Bentley 2022-2023)

As a first-year, Leyh enjoyed success as the skater tied for fourth in goals among ECAC Hockey rookies. After a seven-goal campaign, Leyh’s production plateaued at 3 goals and 10 points, talk about number symmetry.

Leyh transferred to Bentley University and has not played a game this season. No information was available on Bentley’s player profile or news pages.


PJ Fletcher: (QU 2019-20 to USHL to Miami University)

Fletcher and Leyh looked promising during their rookie seasons in gold and navy. Fletcher recorded 6 assists and returned to the USHL a season later where the California native recorded 34 points. He then returned to play for the University of Miami Ohio in the NCHC conference, recording 39 points in 70 games played.


Nick Bochen: (QU 2020-2022 to Bentley)

Bochen only recorded 7 points in 33 games as a Bobcat, transferred to Bentley, and unlike Leyh, has performed with a solid 5 goals, 15 assists, 20-point stat line in 34 games played. That’s good for second on the team in points.


Logan Britt: (QU 2019-2021 to Sacred Heart University 2021-2023)

Logan Britt skated in 57 games as a Bobcat before transferring to Sacred Heart University. Britt shared a nice warmup catch-up with former teammate Jayden Lee in the Connecticut Ice Tournament matchup, where he played his former program.

Britt is 13th on SHU in scoring this season with 12 points in 37 GP, and 40 blocked shots good for third on the team.


Dylan St. Cyr: (QU 2021-2022 to Michigan State University 2022-2023)

Q30 Television’s Bobcat Breakdown featured heated debates about who would start the 2021-2022 season in the crease for the Bobcats following former goaltender Keith Petruzzelli’s exit. It looks better every day in retrospect that Yaniv Perets seized the blue paint over St. Cyr, for his play is truly elite.

As for St. Cyr, his narrative played around who his mother was in Manon Rheaume, the first female NHL skater. Playing 13 games for the Bobcats he posted immaculate numbers with a .936 save percentage and a 1.16 GAA.

This season for MSU, he has continued his success with a .917 save percentage and a 2.74 GAA in 36 games played.



Who’s Arrived, Who’s on the Radar?

Griffin Mendel: (Graduate transfer from Denver/ QU 2021-2022)

Mendel played fantastic defense for the Bobcats coming over from the Denver Pioneers. As a Pioneer, 134 games, 5 goals, and 15 assists. As a Bobcat, 42 games, 5 goals, 10 assists. That’s a valuable addition. Steady defense, points from the blue line.

Mendel skated in a pre-season game for the Carolina Hurricanes this season.


Brendan Less: (Graduate transfer from Dartmouth College / QU 2021-2022)

Brendan Less can be defined as the same player as Mendel. Different styles of play but an addition that blossomed as a Bobcat. Less earned 16 points in three seasons at Dartmouth and 20 points in 39 games in gold.

The New Jersey native currently plays for the ECHL Iowa Heartlanders, in 22 games, he has 4 assists.


Oliver Chau: (Grad transfer from UMASS. / QU 2021-2022)

Chau was a crucial top-six addition for the Bobcats, his experience as a National Champion integral to the pedigree of the 2021-2022 Hamden Heavyweights. Chau recorded 13 goals as a Bobcat and his offensive output helped the team succeed when Wyatt Bongiovanni and Smilanic hit turbulence.

Chau now skates for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. He has recorded a goal in the professional league as a loan from the ECHL Florida Everglades.


Jake Johnson: (Transfer from RPI/ QU 2022-2023)

The Bobcats needed an experienced skater to fill the whole Mendel left. Usher in Jake Johnson, who has been a top-three defenseman for the Bobcats this season next to Metsa and Lee. His season was high: scoring the game-winning goal over No. 12 UCONN in the CT Ice Championship game.

The transfer came from within the conference, an RPI Engineer for four seasons prior to transferring as a graduate.


Collin Graf: (Transfer from Union/ QU 2022-2023)

Boy could the Union Dutchmen use Graf. He recorded 22 points last season as a first year.

As a Bobcat, he surpassed the 50-point mark and is the first Bobcat since Sam Anas in 2015-2016 to reach that total.

Graf leads the offense in all stat categories this season blowing away the narrative that the Bobcats couldn’t replace Bongiovanni, Smilanic, and Chau.

In fact, he’s had a better single season as a Bobcat than any of the aforementioned.


Joey Cipollone: (Transfer from Vermont/ QU 2020-2023)

The Italian Stallion played two seasons at Vermont from 2018-2020, recording 20 points. He was fourth on the Catamount in points.

As a Bobcat, Cippolone has provided a physical brand of hard-nosed hockey with a scoring touch for the middle six, putting up career highs in 2021-2022.


Jacob Nordqvist: (Transfer from Lake Superior State/ QU 2022-2023)

A mobile quick puck-moving defenseman arrived at Quinnipiac this season and has enjoyed success as a third-pairing option for the gold and navy. The swede recorded 62 points in 138 games played for Lake Superior State in the CCHA conference. For Quinnipiac, 11 assists in 34 games played. Maybe not be the biggest transfer for the Bobcats, but far from a failed campaign.


Luke Krys: (Brown University/ Currently in transfer portal)

Luke Krys is the best to lace ’em up for the Brown Bears this season. The team captain has posted 29 points in the last two seasons, logging huge minutes with his partner James Crossman. On the defensive side of the puck, he utilizes his reach and wingspan to nullify zone entrances and carries the puck as a true quarterback.

The captain has entered the transfer portal. Why would QU be a choice for Krys? He’s from Ridgefield CT, 58 minutes from M&T Bank Arena. Additionally, the Bobcats lose Metsa, Johnson, and McGee to graduation. Plug and play the former Brown captain?


James Crossman: (Brown University/ Currently in transfer portal)

Cannon of a slapshot, massive frame (6’3, 200lbs.), wingspan, and logged the minutes just as Krys had. Certainly not as sturdy as Krys, but Crossman’s offensive upside is loaded with potential. The Colorado native registered 6 powerplay goals, a shorthanded goal, and a sum of 9 in 29 games played.

If Krys ships to Hamden, does Crossman follow his partner? The Bobcats will have massive holes on defense losing the graduates on the blue line. Additionally, Lee may not return for a fifth year. Pecknold could lose his top three defensemen in one off-season.

Power and Campbell, from all accounts and their exhibition showings, look promising. The rise of the Graf, Jacob Quillan, and Sam Lipkin line has jettisoned QU from a building team to a contender.

Adding Crossman keeps the team in the upper echelon of college hockey.


The transfer portal has made for an exciting new world in college sports. The Bobcats have lost players to the portal, gained game-changers, and could add two major pieces in the 2023 off-season.