Jake Flynn, Harrison Rees returning for fifth seasons
The two defensemen will use their COVID year in Storrs.
Senior defensemen Jake Flynn and Harrison Rees will use their COVID year to return to UConn men’s hockey for a fifth season, a source told the UConn Hockey Hub.
The two have proven to be crucial members of the Huskies’ defensive corps since arriving in Storrs as part of the 2019 recruiting class. Rees has developed into a reliable defensive defenseman, leading the team with 101 in blocked shots over the past two seasons while playing in 126 of 128 possible games.
Meanwhile, Flynn was arguably UConn’s best player wire-to-wire this past year. He had four goals and 10 assists while leading the team with a +18 — +4 better than the next best player. Flynn joined the Huskies straight out of prep school instead of playing juniors and has progressed into one of the best two-way defensemen in Hockey East.
With Flynn and Rees returning, UConn will only lose one defensemen from last season: Captain Roman Kinal, who received an amateur tryout with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda, affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. The Huskies will likely fill that spot with Owen Simpson, an ‘03 prospect who currently plays in the BCHL with the Penticton Vees.
Simpson, sophomore Jack Pascucci and junior Aidan Metcalfe will compete for the final spot on the defensive pairings alongside the returners — Flynn, Rees, rising seniors Andrew Lucas and John Spetz, as well as rising sophomore Tom Messineo.
Fellow fifth-year Justin Pearson will also head to the AHL after signing a two-year contract with the Cleveland Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ farm team. UConn’s other departures include forward Ty Amonte (graduation), goaltender Ryan Keane (graduation) and forward Ryan Tverberg, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.