International Falls senior defenseman Willie Corrin likes the idea of staying close to home and joining a program that has produced some top-level defensemen in recent years. That led him to making a commitment to Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, likely for the 2012-13 school year.
Corrin, 18, who is 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, had 22 goals and 34 assists for 57 points in 28 games this season for the Broncos. He's expected to play two years with the Fargo (N.D.) Force of the U.S. Hockey League before joining UMD.
"I've always wanted to go to UMD, the coaching staff there is very good in working with defensemen, and there's a good chance of playing on a national-caliber team there," Corrin said Tuesday.
International Falls coach John Prettyman said Corrin is a raw talent with skill. Corrin has been on the varsity for three seasons and was a tri-captain in 2009-10 (he's also the baseball captain).
"He's got a great shot and great feet, he's run our power play the last two years and he's extremely competitive," said Prettyman.
Corrin was a three-time Minnesota Associated Press All-State honorable mention pick, and was on the 2010 News Tribune All-Area second team. He had a goal and an assist in the Ted Brill Great 8 tournament which finished Sunday in South St. Paul.
Recent UMD defensemen include Matt Niskanen of the Dallas Stars and Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers, Josh Meyers with Abbotsford (British Columbia)in the American Hockey League and Evan Oberg with Manitoba of the AHL.
Corrin said he had scholarship offers from Northern Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha, where his uncle, Dean Blais, is head coach.