Oklahoma defenseman Rickey makes NCAA DI Commitment | North American Hockey League | NAHL
North American Hockey League logo North American Hockey League
The League of Opportunity NAHL Combines NA3HL USA Hockey T1ER NAPHL
Download on the App Store
Download on Google Play
Take Your Next Shift as a NAHL Official

Oklahoma defenseman Rickey makes NCAA DI Commitment

April 16, 2024
by oklahomawarriors.com

Oklahoma Warriors defenseman Nathan Rickey has committed to play Division I hockey at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The 20-year-old from New Lenox, Ill. joined the Warriors for his final season of junior hockey. Rickey recorded eight goals and 35 points while playing all 60 games, Oklahoma’s points leader among defensemen. His seven power play goals are the most of any defenseman in the North American Hockey League.

For Rickey and Alaska Fairbanks, the process went by quickly. The Nanooks coaching staff initially made contact in January, not long before Rickey played at the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament. After reaching back out with an offer last week, Nathan jumped on board.

“They checked all the boxes,” Rickey said. “I told schools I am looking for the best fit academically and athletically. I want to be a mechanical engineer. Oil is big up there. They have a great (academic) program and they are on the rise with hockey as well, so I am looking forward to helping make them a better program.”

Hockey-wise, the Nanooks have notched back-to-back winning seasons in 2022-23 and 2023-24. Despite returning to an independent schedule in 2021, Fairbanks’ opponents this season included quality competition such as North Dakota, Denver, and St. Cloud State, along with fellow independents Arizona State and LIU.

“Nathan has done a great job for us all season long,” Garrett Roth, Warriors’ head coach and general manager, said. “His vision and poise with the puck has allowed him to be a game changer for us from the offensive blue line. His willingness to compete and the edge he has played with as the season has progressed are what will drive his continued development.”

Fairbanks, Alaska is a long ways from any other destination in college hockey and over 3,000 miles from Rickey’s hometown in suburban Chicago. However, Rickey did not have to go far to seek out opinions on the town and the school itself. Former Warriors captain and all-time leading scorer William Lawson-Body, a freshman forward with the Nanooks, met Rickey over the weekend at Blazers Ice Centre.

“I have heard a lot about (Fairbanks),” Rickey said. “Two guys who I went to high school with lived there, too, so I know it is cold. Being up in Grande Prairie (Alberta, Canada) is close, but not that far north, so it will be an experience.”

Rickey’s decision was very academically motivated, and he plans on joining the College of Engineering and Mines at UAF. His intelligence has shown in his habits on and off the ice.

“Nathan is a high character young man that understands the importance of education and his decision was a great balance of what is best for his career goals as well,” Roth said.

With his goal of reaching the Division I level achieved, Rickey can now focus on his last ride at the junior hockey level: a playoff run with the Oklahoma Warriors. Nathan’s hockey career has taken him far and wide since the age of 15. After three years at Gentry Academy in St. Paul, Minn., Rickey played in Grande Prairie, Alberta last season before heading south to Oklahoma City.

“The path I have taken has been a crazy one,” Rickey said. “I have been to Canada, up north to Minnesota, stopped at a lot of places. Finally being able to reach that Division I goal is definitely a highlight moment for the career.”

Rickey is the eleventh current Division I commit on the Warriors’ roster. He will enroll at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall.

Click here for an updated NAHL to NCAA commitment list


Bauer True Temper Hockey USA Hockey
USPA Hockeyak Warroad Howies Hockey Tape Lettermen Sports DASH Digital Auction Showdown K1 Sportswear Official Game Puck
HockeyWolf Bethel University Avis Car Rental Budget Car Rental Ace Rent A Car
Neutral Zone CaptainU NSC Super Rink Source One Digital
Let's Play Hockey Let's Play Hockey USA Hockey Magazine MYHockey Rankings

Terms of Use