Recruiting Powerhouse: How Minnesota Duluth Attracts Top High School Talent

University of Minnesota Duluth

The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey program has been a force to reckon with in the college hockey world for decades. Not only have they produced some of the most talented players in the NHL, but they have also consistently remained among the top teams in the country. This success is a result of the program’s dedication to attracting and developing top high school talent. From their coaching staff to their facilities, UMD has become a recruiting powerhouse that has garnered the attention and commitment of young hockey players across the country. In this article, we will explore the strategies and factors that have contributed to UMD’s success in attracting top high school talent.

The Coaching Staff’s Reputation and Expertise

One of the major factors that have contributed to UMD’s success in recruiting is their highly regarded coaching staff. Head coach Scott Sandelin has been at the helm of the program since 2000 and has amassed an impressive record of success. Under his leadership, UMD has won two NCAA championships and has produced countless NHL players, including current stars such as Alex Iafallo and Justin Faulk.

In addition to Sandelin’s expertise, his highly experienced and respected assistant coaches, Derek Plante and Jason Herter, bring a wealth of knowledge and connections to the table. Plante, a former NHL player and UMD alum, is the team’s primary recruiter and has a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed in college and beyond. Herter, who played for the Canadian national team and professionally in Europe, brings an international perspective to the team’s recruiting efforts.

Together, the coaching staff’s reputation and expertise make UMD an attractive destination for top high school talent. Young players know that they will receive top-notch coaching and guidance at UMD, increasing their chances of reaching their full potential and making it to the next level.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Another major factor that sets UMD apart from other college hockey programs is their state-of-the-art facilities. In 2010, the program opened the Amsoil Arena, a 6,800-seat arena, and the adjoining Athletics Academic Complex. This facility is not only one of the best in college hockey, but it also rivals many NHL arenas in terms of quality and technology.

The Amsoil Arena provides a world-class atmosphere for players to train and compete in. This, along with the Athletics Academic Complex, which features study areas, tutoring services, and academic advisors, creates an environment where players can excel both on and off the ice. It also sends a strong message to top high school talent that UMD is committed to providing them with the best resources and opportunities for their development.

Close Ties with Local NHL Teams

UMD also benefits from its close proximity to the NHL teams in Minnesota, particularly the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues. Many UMD players have gone on to play for these teams, providing a direct pipeline to the NHL for highly skilled high school players. The close relationship between these NHL teams and UMD is a major selling point for young players looking to make it to the next level.

Additionally, many UMD alumni who have gone on to play professionally maintain close ties to the program and often come back to skate with current players. This provides a unique opportunity for high school players to learn from NHL stars and get a taste of the level of play they can expect at UMD.

Success on the Ice

Ultimately, the success of UMD’s hockey program speaks for itself. The team has consistently been among the top teams in the country and has been a contender for the NCAA championship almost every year. This track record of success not only attracts top high school talent, but it also serves as motivation for players to work hard and strive for greatness.

In addition, UMD’s focus on player development and its ability to consistently produce NHL players make it a highly desirable destination for young players. Not only do they have a good chance of winning at the college level, but they also have a clear path to the professional ranks.

In Conclusion

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s men’s hockey program has achieved great success over the years, and a major part of that success can be attributed to their ability to attract top high school talent. From their highly regarded coaching staff to their top-of-the-line facilities and strong connections with the NHL, UMD has become a recruiting powerhouse that has consistently produced top players who go on to succeed at the college and professional levels. As the program continues to thrive, we can expect to see many more high school players choose UMD as their destination for hockey excellence.


University of Minnesota Duluth,

College Hockey,

Recruiting High School Talent