The Topeka RoadRunners have announced that defenseman Jacob Poe has committed to the University of Connecticut (Atlantic Hockey) for next season.
He’s the second player who competed in the season’s first North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament, which was held in Massachusetts in December, to commit to a Division I school following the event.
Poe, from Arlington, Texas, turned down an offer to play college hockey this year, instead choosing to return to Topeka for one more run at the Robertson Cup.
“I feel like the gamble has definitely paid off,” said Poe, 20. “I can't imagine not being with this team and with this group of guys.
“I think this year’s team has a great chance to win the Robertson Cup because we always seem to find a way to win,” he added. “Our roster is solid all the way through. There's not a weakness we have to make up for.”
After visiting UConn last month, Poe, who has two goals and 21 assists after 45 games this season, was sold on the program.
“I really liked the campus and had a good time with the some of the guys on the team,” he said. “Everything about it feels like a perfect fit.”
Poe was named an alternate captain this season, and he’s grateful for the opportunities the RoadRunners have provided him as he readies for Division I hockey.
“The organization gave me every opportunity to further my career as a hockey player,” he said. “If it wasn't for owner Don Stone and coaches Scott Langer and R.J. Enga, I wouldn't be in the position I’m in going to UConn.”
Poe’s family has also provided him with plenty of support.
“Most of all, I’d like to thank my parents for always doing whatever it takes to help me with my hockey, but especially I'd like to thank my brother, Jared. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn't have ever started playing or continued playing because I looked up to him so much.”
View the complete NAHL College Commitment List here.