Northeast forward Sato makes NCAA DI commitment
April 5, 2017
NA3HL to NAHL to NCAA: Kohei Sato is another great example of a player who developed at a rapid pace and used the developmental ladder to make his NCAA Division I commitment.
The Northeast Generals, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that forward Kohei Sato has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of New Hampshire, a member of Hockey East.
Sato, 20, is a true ladder of development story. A year ago at this time, he was leading the North Iowa Bulls to the Silver Cup Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The native of Nishitokio, Japan, began this season with the Bulls in the NA3HL, but after 15 points in his first seven games for the Bulls, he was quickly called up to the NAHL to play for the Generals, where he made an immediate impact with his speed and work ethic.
Over 48 games this season with the Generals in the NAHL, Sato (6’1/185) had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) and electrified the crowd at the New England Sports Village and finished second in team scoring. Sato was also selected to and played in the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the East Division team, where he had a goal in two games. New Hampshire was in attendance at the event.
"Kohei is such a great kid and hard worker. We are so excited for him to be rewarded for all he has done on and off the ice to get to this level. It's pretty great to go from the NA3HL to the NAHL to the NCAA Division I level in Hockey East within such a short period. It's a real testament to just how hard he worked and the developmental process. He came to a team that was in its first expansion season that struggled for wins, but he was always upbeat and never quit." said Generals General Manager Bryan Erikson.
"The North Iowa Bulls couldn’t be prouder of Kohei and his accomplishments,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “We appreciate his commitment to our program for his development. Kohei is an extremely dynamic player. This is a big deal for us and the league."
Sato played parts of the last three years in the NA3HL for the North Iowa Bulls. Last season, he had 42 points in helping the Bulls to the Silver Cup Championship. He began playing his junior hockey in the NA3HL with the Bulls during the 2014-15 season. Overall in 71 career NA3HL games with North Iowa, Sato has recorded 73 points.
Sato is extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity. “I couldn't have done it without my family, all of the coaches and especially my teammates. It has been my dream since I came to the United States three years ago and I couldn't be any happier to commit to the University of New Hampshire to play NCAA Division I hockey,” said Sato.