It's become a bizarre annual tradition for Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos to open up his preseason press conference by announcing an off-season surgery for one of his defensemen. On Tuesday, during his season opening press conference at Michigan State, Anastos announced that freshman defenseman Jerad Rosburg had an off-season surgery that will keep him out for the duration of the season. Rosburg struggled through a knee injury from his USHL career and after rest, immobilization, and stem cell treatments didn't work, it was decided that Rosburg would have a season-ending surgery to correct the problem.
The Spartans started the season with just seven defensemen on the roster, so the loss of Rosburg leaves them perilously thin on the blue line. Michigan State added club player Joel Arsenault to their roster as a bit of insurance, but will likely have to rely on just their six recruited defensemen for the entire season. It should still be a strong group for Michigan State with four regulars from last season returning in senior John Draeger and Travis Walsh, redshirt junior Rhett Holland and sophomore Carson Gatt. The Spartans also add a talented puck-moving defenseman in Zach Osburn. The biggest question mark is junior defenseman Chris Knudsen who has only played in 17 games through his first two seasons at Michigan State and is recovering from off-season knee surgery of his own. But that's assuming a best case scenario where one or more players aren't forced to miss time due to injury.