Recruiting Powerhouse: Attracting High School Talent to Northern Michigan Wildcats

College Hockey

The Northern Michigan Wildcats, a Division I NCAA hockey team, have made a name for themselves as a top recruiting powerhouse in the world of college hockey. With a history of success and a passionate fan base, the Wildcats have become a highly sought-after destination for top high school hockey talent. But what is it about this program that attracts such talented players? Let’s take a closer look.

At the heart of the Northern Michigan Wildcats’ success is their coaching staff, led by coach Grant Potulny. A former standout player for the University of Minnesota and a Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche, Potulny brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program. His passion for the game and commitment to developing players has made him a respected figure in the hockey community.

One of Potulny’s key strategies in recruiting is building strong relationships with high school coaches and players. He and his staff attend numerous tournaments and showcases throughout the year, giving them the opportunity to personally watch and evaluate potential recruits. This hands-on approach allows the team to get a better sense of a player’s skills, character, and potential fit within the program.

In addition to on-ice skills, the Wildcats also value academic success and character when considering potential recruits. The program has a strong academic support system in place and takes pride in developing well-rounded individuals both on and off the ice. This has helped to attract top high school players who are not only skilled on the ice but also excel in the classroom and demonstrate strong character.

One thing that sets the Northern Michigan Wildcats apart from other programs is their commitment to developing players. The coaching staff puts a strong emphasis on player development, providing individualized attention and personalized training plans for each player. They also place an importance on teamwork and developing a strong team culture. This has resulted in players who not only excel individually but also work well together on the ice.

The Wildcats also have a state-of-the-art facility and training amenities, including a brand new $16 million hockey arena, the Berry Events Center. This facility has helped give the team a competitive edge in recruiting, as players are attracted to top-notch facilities and the ability to play in a professional environment.

In addition to these factors, the Wildcats’ success on the ice is also a major draw for high school players. The program has a rich history, including three NCAA championship appearances, and has produced numerous NHL players. This track record of success and the opportunity to potentially play at the next level is a major selling point for recruits.

But it’s not just about attracting top high school talent, the Northern Michigan Wildcats also focus on retaining their players. The team has a strong culture and sense of family, which has resulted in a high level of player loyalty. This not only speaks to the success of the program but also creates a positive atmosphere for players to thrive in.

Recruiting is a year-round process and programs must constantly be innovating and finding ways to stand out. The Northern Michigan Wildcats have shown that by focusing on player development, building relationships, and creating a strong culture, a program can become a top recruiting powerhouse.


College Hockey,


Player Development