The filled Michigan hockey list for men includes a native of Hingham and a Bruins draft pick

“He makes our team better the moment he walks in the door every day,” Pearson said of the Beniers. “Just his personality, positivity, the energy he brings.”

The Beniers were originally supposed to bring these qualities to Harvard, but when the Ivy League canceled the 2020-21 winter season due to the pandemic, he became available. Pearson credits Kris Mayotte, who was in his second season as assistant coach in Michigan, for helping bring the Beniers to Ann Arbor, Mich.

After serving as assistant to Nate Leaman at Providence from 2014-19, Mayotte had become familiar with Beniers and his family. (Mayotte left Michigan after last season to become head coach at Colorado College.)

Despite missing five games while playing for Team USA in the Olympics as well as the Junior World Championships, the Beniers still managed to score 20 goals and 23 assists in 36 games this season and were named Hobey Baker’s top 10 finalist.

The road has not been so smooth for Beecher the last two seasons. After appearing in 31 games in 2019-20 and being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, Beecher was limited to 16 games and underwent season-ending surgery for a torn labrum in his second season.

Bruins draft pick Johnny Beecher was named the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2019-20.Rick Osentoski / Associated Press

He missed more time this season with a broken thumb, but is back on track for the Wolverines with six goals and nine assists.

“We really did not get him back until the second half of the year, and that was when we made our push,” Pearson said. “The numbers may not be as high as you would like them to be, but he’s not playing on one of our power-play devices right now. I would not be too worried about the statistics.

“What he brings is speed, physicality. He’s a good size, he’s great on faceoffs. He’s taken a defensive role on the penalty shootout and has done a great job.

“His development is good. He continues to grow, not only as a player on the ice, but also off the ice. He is mature. You can see that now.”

The strikers are just two of seven (seven!) First-round picks skating for the Wolverines.

Four of the top five picks from the 2021 draft are on the list, including defender Owen Power, Buffalo’s No. 1 pick. The Beniers followed suit, then were joined by Luke Hughes at 4 for the Devils, and Kent Johnson at 5 for the Blue Jackets. Mackie Samoskevich was taken by the Panthers as a 24-year-old.

Five 2021 first-round picks (from left): Mackie Samoskevich, Kent Johnson, Owen Power, Luke Hughes and Matty Beniers.Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Expectations were understandably high, with Michigan ranked in the top five in preseason polls, and some predicting a national championship.

“You just have to make your way there,” Pearson said. “It doesn’t matter how many draft picks you have or what type of team you have. You just have to find a way to get it done.”

The Wolverines rolled to a record of 27-9-1 in the regular season to finish in second place after Minnesota in the Big Ten. However, they would not be denied in the conference tournament as they demanded revenge for four losses to Notre Dame with a 2-1 win over Fighting Irish in the semi-finals, after which they defeated Gophers, 4-3, in the title fight.

That would give Michigan a No. 1 seed in the Allentown Regional, where it defeated the AIC in the semifinals, 5-3, and then held a furious rally by Quinnipiac for a 7-4 victory to advance to TD Garden, the site of the Wolverines’ last national title win when they defeated Boston College in overtime in 1998, when the building was called the FleetCenter.

“It’s hard to win. It’s got very hard,” said Pearson, who was the assistant coach for the team in 1998. “We have not even thought about the past. We are not going to change the past, but we have something to say about the future. We have that opportunity this weekend. ”


Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.

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