Ferrantino’s the Perfect Fit for Michigan State
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By Bob Miller CHP Managing Editor July 20, 2012
Record temperatures and heat may be sweeping across the Midwest sending air conditioning units into overtime mode, but signs of fall and winter are there for college hockey fans who need at least a little mental relief from the heat.
Across the college hockey world, aspiring freshman recruits are arriving in their new college homes preparing for their initial NCAA seasons.
Tom Anastos continues to have Michigan State’s program both on the ice and off the ice in the recruiting wars.
Spartan freshman have made their way to East Lansing in anticipation of the ’12-’13 school year and season. None epitomize the depth of a complete program more than Plymouth, Michigan native Michael Ferrantino who comes to Michigan State from the USHL’s Omaha Lancers and the Detroit Compuware minor system.
Omaha would have loved to have Ferrantino stick around for another season and fill the captain’s role for the Lancers, but Ferrantino was ready to bring his all-ice abilities to Munn Ice Arena for Anastos and the Spartans.
Ferrantino’s nine goals and 14 assists over 58 games for Omaha don’t tell the whole story of a player who plays both ends of the ice, fills special teams roles and provides strength in the locker room.
Anastos noted that when signing the 5-9, 175 center to a letter of intent last February, saying that “Michael is a relentless competitor who plays the game with great intensity. He is a very good face-off man, plays hard at both ends of the rink and has very good leadership qualities.”
Ferrantino talked with College Hockey PROSPECTive about several subjects prior to his move to East Lansing.
On the qualities he brings to the Spartan program:
“As a player, I’m a solid, two-way centerman. I really try and play a complete game. I can contribute offensively as well as play sound defensively in my own end. My strengths include my vision, work ethic and my speed. I’d compare myself to a player like Kris Draper or Darren Helm.”
On his preparation for college hockey while at Omaha:
” I worked on all aspects of my game to prepare for the college level. I really tried to get bigger and stronger off the ice. On the ice, I worked on making quicker decisions with the puck as well as moving to find open ice when I don’t have it.”
On the value of playing in the USHL for Omaha:
“Omaha helped me enormously in preparing for college hockey. The coaches and people are outstanding. Off the ice, I think you mature and grow up a lot when you move away to play junior. You live with a host family, but you have to do a lot of the little things on your own you take for granted when at home. On the ice, I don’t think there is a league that prepares you for college hockey like the USHL does. You play against many of the kids you will face at the college level. Playing against great players helps you realize what strengths you have as well as what you may need to work on to be successful in college.”
On what surprised him most in his USHL tenure:
“I was really surprised at how many quality players there are on every team. Throughout the line-ups, you never find a bad player or a weak link. You really have to be on your game because anyone can win on any given night.”
On his decision to pursue college hockey:
“I had a few other scholarship offers and I also considered the major junior route. I talked about it with my family and also with a few friends who have played both college and major junior hockey. It was clear that college hockey would be the best route for me to succeed and once I saw what MSU had to offer I knew it was the place I wanted to play and get an education.”
On his specific choice of Michigan State:
“I knew that I wanted to play college somewhere close to home. After talking with the MSU coaching staff, I felt as though my game fits right in with the style of hockey they like to play. After seeing the campus, facilities, and meeting with the staff, my decision became very easy.”
On his formative hockey years:
First and foremost, I need to thank my parents They gave me the opportunity to play hockey. My Mom and Dad have dedicated so much time and put forth so much effort into my hockey career. My Dad started me when I was little and taught me how to play the game. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person or the player that I am today. Coach Derek Szajner has to be the biggest on-ice influence. He was my coach from mites all the way through midgets and really helped me grow as both a person and a player. He always knew how to make the game fun and keep us motivated.”