The Topeka RoadRunners have announced that fourth-year defenseman Aaron Gens has committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
This season, Gens, from Baudette, Minn., leads the RoadRunners in scoring with nine goals for 32 points after 28 games. He is also a plus-12.
“He’s always been solid defensively,” said RoadRunners coach-GM Scott Langer. “He just needed to get a little confidence and start shooting the puck more and once he did, he took off.”
Gens, 20, has always been a fan favorite, not only for his reliability on the ice, but for his likeability and community involvement off it. He has always been active in “Learn To Skate” programs, Big Brothers, “Read With The RoadRunners” and other events.
“Playing junior hockey isn’t just about the games,” said Gens. “The whole experience is unbelievable. I love doing the extra activities and being involved with the kids. It’s very rewarding and satisfying on a personal level.”
Gens, who has been honored twice this season as the South Division Player of the Week, is excited about the opportunity ahead with Fairbanks, which skates in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
“Playing for Smack (Langer) has given me the direction and the confidence I need to make the jump to Division I hockey,” he said. “It’s been my dream, and now that dream is coming true.
“I also want to thank my assistant coach, Mike Aikens. He worked hard to help this deal get done.”
Aikens feels confident in Gens' ability to make an impact with the Nanooks.
"He has the physical tools, and he’s been strengthening his game mentally,” said Aikens. “This is a guy who will just continue to improve.
“Aaron is one of those guys who just fits in everywhere. He's instantly likeable, and I'm sure he'll do well in Alaska."