The Fairbanks Ice Dogs have announced that defenseman Josh Nelson has committed to Minnesota State-Mankato (WCHA) for next season.
He’s the sixth player who competed in January’s Sherwood/NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division I school after the event.
“I really felt that I got an extra boost from the NAHL's event in Ann Arbor (Michigan, site of the Top Prospects Tournament),” said Nelson. “There were a lot of schools that started to inquire about me after that event.”
After 50 games this season, the 20-year-old from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., has six goals for 29 points (tied for seventh among NAHL defensemen).
“Josh is a smooth-skating defenseman with incredible puck skills,” said Ice Dogs head coach Josh Hauge. “He has great poise with the puck and we’re excited for him to be moving on to college hockey.”
Nelson, who will join former Ice Dogs and current Mavericks freshman goaltender Phil Cook at Mankato, is the eighth player from this year’s Ice Dogs team to commit to a Division I program.
“I’d like to thank the Ice Dogs organization and fans for all their help and support during my time in Alaska,” Nelson added. “In my opinion, there’s no better place to play junior hockey."
The other Top Prospects players who have committed to Division I schools since the event are: Bismarck Bobcats forwards Ben Danford (Canisius College) and Casey Kleisinger (Air Force); Janesville Jets forward Rui Encarnacao (University of Connecticut): Owatonna Express defenseman Jake Sloat (Bowling Green State University); Wenatchee Wild forward Shawn Pauly (Air Force).
View the complete NAHL College List here.