Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey movement round-up

Matt Mugno

Following the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team’s National Championship, a flurry of roster moves saw players depart and continue their hockey careers elsewhere, players return to the program, and a few with uncertain futures. 

Now that the chaos is over, where did all the champs end up?


TJ Friedmann: Signed with the American Hockey Leagues Utica Comets, a minor league affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. He has already dressed in two games and departed for professional hockey three days after the National Championship game.

Yaniv Perets: Rod Brind’Armour saw him play in the National Championship and wasted no time getting a contract done. Four days after winning it all, news broke of the Bobcat’s all-time goaltender’s inevitable exit.

 Finishing the school year out, the sophomore will be departing for the Carolina Hurricanes on a two-year entry-level deal. 

Hurricanes general manager Don Waddle stated in a press release, “He is a proven winner, and we look forward to seeing him develop in the crease.” The earnings are $775,000 in the NHL, in the AHL $82,500, and a $60,000 signing bonus.

Zach Metsa: Signed with the Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabers. He dressed as the extra defenseman in the team’s first game of the Calder Cup Playoffs.  

Mike Lombardi: Signed with the AHL Tucson Roadrunners associated with the Arizona Coyotes. In his first game with the team, he scored a goal. 

Jake Johnson: Signed with the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets, and in three games he has recorded two goals. One of those goals was an overtime winner.

Skylar Brind’Armour: Signed with the AHL Charlotte Checkers, has not played a game yet in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He signed a two-year extension on Tuesday. 

Ethan De Jong: According to a tweet from Mark Divver, De Jong has signed a two-year deal with AHL Bakersfield Condors of the AHL.


Jayden Lee:  The fifth-year returnee was named the Bobcats captain for the 2023-2024 season at the team Banquet on April 22nd. 

Sam Lipkin: On Friday, April.14, the most overlooked move in Bobcat’s history took place. 

According to an article by Craig Morgan, the Arizona Coyotes made a hard push and tempted Lipkin with an “impressive presentation.” 

The director of player development, former NHL player Lee Stempniak, has been the primary point of contact. Go pro and play for the Tucson Roadrunners? Or take another year to develop?

According to Morgan’s piece, Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong stated, “He’s going back to a great school in Quinnipiac/ They do a great job and he’s going to be one of the leaders…He reminds me a little bit of Michael Bunting in the way he plays and complements the skill…”

Whatever led to the decision. Lipkin’s return most likely enticed Collin Graf and Jacob Quillan to stay in some respects. 

It also sets the most important precedent for this next era of hockey in Hamden. Even drafted stars want to stay. This program doesn’t have assets that jump ship. 

Most important keep in the program’s history. 

Collin Graf: On April. 18, Graf announced he would return. It goes without saying that scouts were aloof in Tampa for the other two “York Hill Boys” line-mates. Lo and behold, a domino most thought would fall stood tall, and the two by his side didn’t sway. 

Graf-tricks galore inbound. 

Jacob “The Jet” Quillan: If it weren’t for Joe Dumais’ “The Jet” play, which had a success rate of 0 for 150 prior to the National Title winning goal, would all three of “The York Hill Boys” have left? Quillan announced his return on April. 18. 

With the King Ghidorah of college hockey back, the Bobcats have a convincing chance to the 2023 title.

CJ McGee: Announced his return on Tuesday. McGee will help bring experience to a back end that loses key players in Metsa and Johnson. 


Senior Joey Cipollone sent an application to the NCAA for a fifth year.  There has been no word on the future of graduate Desi Burgart. The fifth-year has not signed a contract which may be related to the injuries he has suffered. That is an uninformed guess. 

The Bobcats have players that quickly transitioned from college hockey to professional hockey, players that have returned despite a National Hockey League intrigue, and a few that may have played in their last hockey games. 

Bob Segar’s mellow tune echoes out of the halls of M&T Bank Arena, “Turn the Page.”