Bismarck forward Spooner makes NCAA DI commitment
May 26, 2015
By Paul Teeple, Bismarck Bobcats
On the heels of one of the most successful rookie campaigns in recent memory, Bismarck Bobcats and NAHL forward Jared Spooner continued a great 2015 by committing to play NCAA Division I hockey at the Minnesota State University-Mankato in the WCHA.
“It’s very exciting to say that I’m going to be playing for the Mavericks,” expressed Spooner, who tallied nine goals and 34 assists in 58 games in his inaugural NAHL season. “Playing college hockey is the dream of any kid growing up around a rink in North Dakota.”
The Bismarck native’s 43 points stand as the most by any Bobcat rookie since Patrick Moore’s 46 in 2011-12, while his 34 helpers are the most since Sam Rendle contributed 37 amid the 2009-10 Robertson Cup run.
The start of his NAHL career, though, wasn’t exactly storybook: Spooner’s first 15 games saw just two goals and three assists, but as the calendar turned to November, the Bismarck High graduate exploded to 38 points in his next 43 appearances—including two different seven-game point streaks.
“I thought it was a bit of a learning curve from day one,” admitted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose squad’s overall success mirrored Spooner’s, submitting a 24-16-4 mark after holding a 6-10-0 record on Halloween, “but with hard work and dedication he has emerged as a great player and made his goal come true by committing to MSU. It is a pleasure to coach players who work that hard.”
A major turning point in the former Demon’s season came in February at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, where he contributed three assists in two games for an undefeated Team Central.
“At Top Prospects I got a few points, but what I was really trying to do was play a complete, 200-foot game,” recalled Spooner, whose three points were second on Team Central, to boot. “Being able to play in my own end, I think, is what got the attention of the [college] scouts.”
After being contacted by numerous schools, Spooner decided on the Mavericks, who finished the 2014-15 regular season as the top-ranked team in Division I.
“Visiting Mankato, it felt like home. I got to room with [2011-14 Bobcat goalie] Aaron Nelson on my visit and then talked with him again this past weekend while I was making my decision,” explained Spooner. “But more than anything I chose MSU because in talking with Coach [Mike] Hastings, I came to really believe in his system and the direction the program is heading.”
Spooner is the fourth 2014-15 Bobcat to commit to a Division I program, joining Evan Giesler (Air Force), Matt Perry (Air Force), Joe Tyran (Air Force, 2016-17) and J.M. Piotrowski (Yale); 2011-12 alum Cody Boyd signed on with Canisius during the season. Earlier this week, 2014-15 defenseman Cody Longie committed to Division III Northland College in Wisconsin.