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Michael Szmatula will play for Northeastern after all

Jim Madigan will have the services of star recruit Michael Szmatula when the Huskies begin play in October.

Joshua Kummins

After much debate and second-guessing, Michael Szmatula will be a Northeastern University Huskies hockey player after all. The former Dubuque Fighting Saints leading scorer will honor his national letter of intent (NLOI) and play for Jim Madigan at NU starting this fall.

Earlier this summer, reports surfaced that Szmatula had asked to be released from his NLOI. Northeastern denied his request. The two sides eventually met in Boston before Szmatula decided to re-commit to the Huskies.

The Commerce, Mich. native scored 44 goals and 44 assists for 88 points in 74 USHL games this season including the playoffs. He had spent the two previous seasons playing for the Traverse City North Stars in the North American Hockey League and the Summerside Western Capitals in the Maritime Hockey League.

His stock rose exponentially this season, as he was a major component in Dubuque capturing the USHL Clark Cup. Speculation centered on Szmatula wanting to join his junior coach, Jim Montgomery, at University of Denver.

Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow Jeff on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.