UML Star Goransson Turning Pro
LOWELL -- How Swede it’s not.
UMass Lowell standout defenseman Mattias Goransson will not return for his senior season, head coach Norm Bazin confirmed Tuesday.
Goransson, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound skater, will turn professional and play in his native Sweden.
“He wants to play professional hockey,” Bazin said from Canada, where’s he on a recruiting trip. “It’s an avenue he wants to take. He’s promised me that he’s going to graduate and I’ll hold him to that.”
He is the second junior star from UMass Lowell to turn pro since the end of the season, joining forward Ryan Lohin, who signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the franchise that drafted him.
Unlike Lohin, Goransson was a free agent who was not drafted by an NHL team.
Goransson was UML’s top-scoring defenseman this past season with 20 points.
In three seasons, Goransson tallied 13 goals and 56 points in 109 games.
Bazin said in his experience, players increase their professional value by producing strong senior seasons, listing Joe Gambardella and Michael Kapla as recent examples.
Goransson made an instant impact as a freshman, netting 23 points and helping the River Hawks to within a goal of making the Frozen Four.
Also, Bazin said sophomore forward Cole Paskus has decided to transfer. Paskus, a native of Madison, Wisc., only played in two games this season after collecting two points in nine games as a freshman.
“We wish him the best of luck,” Bazin said.
Following the season, Bazin said next season’s freshman class would consist of at least five players, and the departures of Lohin, Goransson and Paskus will likely mean the class grows by at least two players, part of the reason Bazin and his assistant coaches have been scouting players since the season ended.
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