Max Ellis signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs

SOUTH BEND – Next season when you attend Notre Dame hockey games, prepare to pick up a roster when you walk into the Compton Family Ice Arena. There will be many new faces skating for the Fighting Irish.

Since coach Jeff Jackson’s No. 8 Fighting Irish wrapped up a 28-12-0 season with a March 26 1-0 loss to No. 1 Minnesota State in the regional championship game NCAA Albany (New York), four Irish players have signed professional contracts. and at least two others have entered the transfer portal hoping to pursue their college careers elsewhere.

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Notre Dame players on the move

The latest is a great player: junior right winger Max Ellis, the team’s top scorer. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Ellis, who has a team-high 16 goals and 28 points, has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Friday. National Hockey League. Ellis will join the Toronto Marlies on a professional tryout for the remainder of the American Hockey League season and the upcoming Calder Cup playoffs before his 2022-23 contract begins.

Late Thursday night, the World-Herald of Omaha, Nebraska reported that Notre Dame’s Jake Pivonka senior, one of three captains of the 2021-22 squad and center line that included Ellis and left winger junior Solag Bakich, would continue his college career as a graduate transfer with the Omaha Mavericks of the highly competitive National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Mavericks, who were sometimes ranked among the top 20 teams nationally, trailed off with a 21-17 record.

Longtime hockey writer Brad Elliott Schlossmann, who writes for the Grand Forks (North Dakota) Herald and follows hockey website “The Rink Live” transfer portal based in North Dakota and Minnesota, Also reported Thursday night that Notre Dame senior Cam Burke, a native of Boxborough, Mass., will be a graduate transfer to Hockey East member Boston College.

Notre Dame's Jake Pivonka missed the first 15 games of the season recovering from summer surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Pivonka, who missed the first 15 games of the season recovering from summer surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, scored eight points in 25 games for the Irish after returning. His only goal of the season was the game and series winner in Notre Dame’s 4-2 win over Wisconsin on March 6 to wrap up the Big Ten tournament’s best-of-three opening series.

Pivonka, a fourth-round pick (103rd overall pick) of the New York Islanders in the 2018 NHL Draft, finished his career at Notre Dame with nine goals and 38 points in 129 career games. Burke, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound center, hit career highs in goals (eight), assists (11) and points (19) for the Irish last season and finished with 15 goals and 30 points in 120 games. Pivonka (.591) and Burke (.586) also finished one-two in game winning percentage for Notre Dame.

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Schlossmann and other websites report that Notre Dame’s 2022-23 roster would include two 6-foot-3 transfers — future graduate left-winger Chayse Primeau, who had nine goals and 23 points for Omaha last season, and junior to be defenseman Drew Bavaro, who led Bentley of the Atlantic Hockey Association 14-20-2 with nine goals and 27 points. Primeau, 24, who scored 29 goals and 72 points in 117 games with the Mavericks, is the son of former NHL player Keith Primeau. Bavaro, 21, from Bradenton, Fla., is not related to former Notre Dame and New York Giants tight end Mark Bavaro.

Senior center Graham Slaggert, senior defenders Spencer Stastney and graduate defender Adam Karashik have all signed professional contracts since the end of the Irish season.

Notre Dame's Graham Slaggert skates for the puck during the Wisconsin-Notre Dame Big Ten Hockey Tournament game on Sunday March 06, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana.

Slaggert, the son of Irish associate head coach Andy and a native of South Bend, signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Marlies for 2022-23 and ends the Marlies season on an amateur tryout contract. Stastney, a fifth-round pick (131st overall) of the Nashville Predators in the 2018 NHL Draft, signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Predators on March 31. On April 1, Karashik signed a one-year, 2022-23 contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, an AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, and is playing with them under a professional tryout contract.

Nick Leivermann, a senior defenseman who finished second behind Ellis in scoring, announced earlier this week that he would return for a graduate season at Notre Dame.