First year head coach Danton Cole might have lost this year's captain to the NHL but he is not short of hands on deck ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Michigan State announced that they have added five student-athletes to the hockey recruiting class of 2017 to start play as freshman this season. The hockey class is now eight players deep when combined with the three players who signed NLIs back in November.

Those players are:

Tommy Apap, 21, was a captain of the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms who took the eventual champions of the league to a fifth and deciding game in the first round of the playoffs. Apap is a forward who has scored 22 goals in 167 games of US Junior League Hockey.

Gianluca Esteves, 20, is a native of Winnipeg and was part of the Aston Rebels in the NAHL (tier 2, USA) and was one win away from winning the Robertson Cup last season. Esteves put up 45 points (17-28-45) in 60 games during his one season in the NAHL. He also added nine points (5-4-9) in the NAHL playoffs.

Ausin Kamer, 21, was on the team that beat Esteves and the Rebels, the Lone Star Brahmas to win the NAHL championship this year. Kamer is a forward who hails from Grand Rapids and he put up similar numbers to Esteves in one year in the NAHL. Kamer's lines read 17-26-43 in 57 regular season games and 2-6-8 in 11 playoff games.

Jake Smith, 20, is an upstate New York native who played his most recent junior hockey all the way out in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) which is a Junior A Canadian League. Playing for the Chilliwack Chiefs, Smith was a point per game player last year in the regular season and led Chilliwack on a deep playoff run with 6 goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff games. Smith has played his last two seasons in the BCHL.

Brody Stevens, 20, more than likely has some rapport with Coach Cole already built up because Stevens is a four year veteran of the USHL including time with the US National Team Development Program where Cole previously was both an assistant and a head coach at different times. Stevens adds some grit to the Spartan lineup. In 56 games with Green Bay he racked up 134 penalty minutes including five fights.

All five players added are forwards and are coming into the same class as previously signed commits Tommy Miller, Mitch Lewandowski and David Keefer.