After being rumored for a few weeks, Bailey Johnson of The Michigan Daily is confirming that incoming freshman and potential 2021 first round NHL Draft pick Matthew Beniers has decommitted from Harvard and is now enrolled at the University of Michigan:
I can confirm that ‘02 forward Matt Beniers has decommitted from Harvard and enrolled at Michigan. He adds to an already loaded incoming class that includes players like Kent Johnson, Brendan Brisson and Owen Power— Bailey Johnson (@BaileyAJohnson_) August 11, 2020
Beniers played last season with the NTDP U18 team, though as a late-year birthdate, is not eligible for the NHL Draft until next season. Beniers was second on the NTDP U18s in scoring, tallying 41 points in 44 games, trailing only future Michigan teammate Thomas Bordeleau, who scored 46 points. Beniers is a good skater with excellent vision and offensive instincts. Early projections have him as a potential first round draft choice in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Beniers becomes the fifth player to bail on Harvard after the Ivy League’s decision to cancel all sports until at least January 1st. Though at this point, it remains unclear if the outlook will be any better at the University of Michigan. If current rumors of the fall football season being cancelled come to fruition, it’s difficult to imagine hockey being allowed to continue with a full season as well.
But if Michigan is able to take the ice this season, Beniers should be another excellent piece in what is shaping up to be an elite squad.