The Fairbanks Ice Dogs have announced that second-year defenseman Drew Darwitz has committed to the University of Alaska-Anchorage (WCHA) for the 2009-10 season.
He is the 27th player who competed in January’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division I program following the event.
“We’re excited for Drew and his decision to attend UAA,” said Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge. “He has worked hard and has excelled over his two seasons with the Ice Dogs and will be a great asset to the Seawolves. Drew is an offensive-defenseman who will be very successful in the college game.”
Darwitz, a 20-year-old from Cottage Grove, Minn., was named the NAHL Defenseman of the Year this past season after leading all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 39 points (37 assists) in 55 regular-season games.
"I went to Fairbanks with the aspirations of playing Division I hockey, and I’m very thankful for my teammates the last two seasons, the people in the community who supported me and the team, and for Coach Hauge and (Ice Dogs) Coach (Rob) Proffitt for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play for such a great organization,” said Darwitz.
The 26 other NAHL players to commit to a Division I school after the Top Prospects Tournament are: Alaska Avalanche defenseman Jason Cohen (American International College); Alexandria Blizzard forward Jerry Freismuth (Bowling Green State University); Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Matt Grogan (University of Connecticut); Fairbanks Ice Dogs forwards Paul Kirtland (Ohio State University) and Eric Kraft (Lake Superior State University); defenseman Brandon Martell (Ohio State) and goaltender Phil Cook (Minnesota State-Mankato); Mahoning Valley Phantoms defensemen Carl Nielsen (Michigan Tech University) and Cullen Lundholm (Robert Morris University); Marquette Rangers forward Chad Pietila (Northern Michigan University) and Reed Rushing (Bowling Green); Motor City Machine forward Ryan Misiak (Mercyhurst College); North Iowa Outlaws forwards Brandon Brodhag (Merrimack College), Alex Carlson (Ohio State) and Ryan Peltoma (Bowling Green); Owatonna Express defenseman Tim Smith; Springfield Jr. Blues forward Trent Frey (Mercyhurst); St. Louis Bandits forward Brendan Sheehan (Niagara University) defenseman Tyler Elbrecht (Minnesota State-Mankato) and goaltender Keith Kinkaid (Union); Topeka RoadRunners goaltender Bryce Merriam (RPI) and forward Steve Shafer (Canisius College); Traverse City North Stars forward Kyle Bonis (Ferris State University); and Wenatchee Wild forwards Ducan McKellar (Bemidji State University) and Mitch Torrel (Air Force) and goaltender Mathieu Dugas (Bemidji State).
View the complete NAHL college list here.