Despite getting swept by the Miami University hockey team this season, Ohio State scored a victory on Monday afternoon over the RedHawks. Defenseman Matt Joyaux has committed to the Buckeyes after spending a season plus in Oxford.
Joyaux is a Bloomingdale, IL native who played in 32 games with the RedHawks in 2013-14 but just got into four games this past season before leaving the team. Prior to heading to Miami, Joyaux played in the British Columbia Hockey League for his age 18 season. Joyaux is 21 now and played with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL for the remainder of the 2014-15 season after leaving Miami, registering four goals and 12 assists in 31 games. In his freshman campaign at Miami, he put up two goals and five assists in 35 games.
Joyaux is a smaller defenseman, standing at just 5'7 and weighing 179 pounds, per his EliteProspects page. He hasn't exhibited much in the way of offensive production, never having put up over 17 points at any level. And he obviously isn't a particularly physical defenseman as he's too small, though he is compact with that weight at that height. He did generate a decent amount of shots on goal, however, putting up 54 in 31 games in Omaha. He did only put up two shots over four games at Miami this past season. You'd have to hope that he's improved enough in junior at the USHL level to have some of that offensive possession translate, even if his point numbers have never been that large.
Joyaux's brother, Chris, still plays defense for the RedHawks and is finishing his junior season for Miami where he is part of the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA hockey tournament.
Matt should be joining the Buckeyes for the 2015-16 season where he will try and help replace a defense losing seniors Clark Cristofoli, Justin DaSilva and Al McLean. There is also the possibility that Sam Jardine signs with the Blackhawks, who drafted him in 2011 in the sixth round of the NHL Draft, and doesn't return to Columbus.
The Buckeyes will add Joyaux to the returning members of a defense that improved considerably over the course of the season but could be losing those four major contributors, all of whom played in OSU's Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament games. Craig Dalrymple, Blake Doerring, Josh Healey, Drew Brevig, Victor Bjorkung and Janik Moser all should be returning to the Bucks' blueline in 2015-16, with Tommy Parran, Sasha Larocque, Gordi Myer, Tyler Nanne, Michael Davies and Bradley Johnson coming in on the backend as freshman reinforcements.