HOUGHTON, Mich. – Four former Michigan Tech hockey players inked new contracts and one was traded over the last month.
Dane Birks was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Arizona Coyotes on June 29. Birks, Phil Kessel, and a 2021 fourth-round draft pick were swapped for Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Birks played 65 games for the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL in 2018-19 with a goal and 14 assists. He also played one game for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.
Birk, a native of Merritt, British Columbia, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Penguins in 2013 and played 117 games for Michigan Tech from 2014-18. He tallied seven goals and 23 assists for the Huskies. He signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh in March 2018.
Tanner Kero signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Dallas Stars on July 1. He enters his fifth season of pro hockey and has played 72 career NHL games with eight goals and 14 assists—all with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hancock, Michigan native also has appeared in 197 career AHL games, including 67 last year with Utica. He tallied a career-high 57 points with the Comets on 24 goals and 33 assists.
While at Tech, Kero was an All-American, the 2014-15 WCHA Player of the Year, the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, an All-WCHA First Team selection, and won the WCHA scoring title. In 153 career games in a Tech uniform, he racked up 111 points on 55 goals and 56 assists.
Jujhar Khaira signed a two-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers on July 1. He enters his seventh season of pro hockey with 154 career NHL games under his belt with the Oilers. He has 42 career NHL points on 15 goals and 27 points. Khaira had 18 points on three goals and a career-high 15 assists in 60 games last year.
Khaira, a native of Surrey, British Columbia, tallied six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in his only season with the Huskies in 2012-13. He finished tied for fourth on the team in scoring and played in all 37 games. He was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week on November 20 after leading Tech to a pair of overtime wins at Bemidji State with two goals and an assist.
Blake Pietila signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks on July 2 after playing the last four seasons in the New Jersey Devils organization who drafted him in 2011. He has appeared in 38 career NHL games with a goal and three assists. Pietila has also played 217 career AHL games with 59 goals and 59 assists. In 2018-19, he set career highs in goals (20) and assists (26) as the alternate captain of the Binghamton Devils in the AHL. He also appeared in 19 games at the NHL level in 2018-19.
Pietila, a native of Brighton, Michigan, played 153 games for Michigan Tech from 2011-15 and was a two-time captain. He had 106 career points on 46 goals and 60 assists, leading Huskies to the best start in program history in 2014-15, and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 34 years later that season.
Mitch Reinke signed a one-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues on July 13. He played in all 76 games in 2018-19 for the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. He was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team after setting franchise rookie records for goals (12), assists (33), points (45), and power play goals (9). He was also the first Rampage rookie to play in every game of the season and led AHL rookie defensemen with 45 points. Reinke was a Black Ace for the Blues during the Stanley Cup Playoff run and was on the ice for the celebration after the Game 7 win.
Reinke, a native of Stillwater, Minnesota played two seasons for the Huskies, appearing in 76 games. He was named to the All-WCHA Third Team as a sophomore and to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman, tallying 44 career points on nine goals and 35 assists. Reinke was originally signed by the Blues as a free agent on March 26, 2018 and made his NHL debut on March 31, 2018.
Matt Roy received a qualifying from the Los Angeles Kings in June but has yet to sign an extension as a restricted free agent. He made his NHL debut in 2018-19, appearing in 25 games for the team that drafted him in 2015. Roy scored two goals and added four assists after skating in 45 games for the Ontario Reign in the AHL. He has played 102 career games for Ontario with 12 goals and 35 assists.
Roy, a native of Canton, Michigan played 115 games over three seasons (2014-17) with the Huskies, recording 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists before signing after his junior season on March 27, 2017. Roy was Tech's team leader in assists with 21 as a junior and had the assist on the game-winning goal six times. He was a two-time All-WCHA selection.