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White Bear Lake puck star Hambly commits to UMD

UMD's new coaching staff pulled off its biggest recruiting coup so far when White Bear Lake defenseman Tim Hambly committed to coming to UMD next fall.

UMD's new coaching staff pulled off its biggest recruiting coup so far when White Bear Lake defenseman Tim Hambly committed to coming to UMD next fall.
"I decided last night," Hambly said Thursday. "There was a lot of talk about maybe I'd have to go and play junior hockey, but UMD had shown interest in me all the way, and I'm excited. This is the best opportunity I had, big time."
Hambly, who is 6-feet and 175 pounds, has room to fill out but is lean and shifty, and plays a style similar to Elk River's Paul Martin, last year's Mr. Hockey, who is now a freshman at Minnesota. Hambly handles the puck extremely well and makes excellent outlet passes, while rarely getting beat defensively. The senior will head for Waterloo of the USHL immediately after White Bear Lake's season ends to skate out the rest of the USHL schedule before beginning preparations to come to UMD in the fall.
"Tim has a real bright future and could be a dominant player in college hockey in a couple of years," said Bill Butters, a former North Star defenseman, Hambly's coach at White Bear Lake, and a noted coach of young defenseman from his decade as defensive coach at the University of Minnesota.
"He's a coach's dream," Butters continued. "He's a great student as well as a great athlete, and he has tremendous character. As a college coach, you wish you could have a whole team of guys like him. He'll bring some real great things to that program, and he'll fit in well with that coaching staff."
Butters joked about some mixed feelings, because there is a chance he could wind up as the top assistant coach with Mike Sertich at Michigan Tech next season, and if that happened, he would like to have been able to take Hambly with him.
Hambly's father, Scott Hambly, grew up in Cloquet and went away to college, then settled in the Twin Cities. While growing up in the White Bear Lake system, Hambly said he grew up knowing UMD's new assistant coaches, Mark Strobel and Steve Rohlik.
"My dad coached with Jeff Whisler at Mahtomedi, and Mark Strobel is Whisler's brother-in-law, so I've known him for a long time," said Hambly. "And I've known Rohlik from living in that area. I know both assistants well, and while I've just met Scott Sandelin, he seems like a great guy. I know it's a really good coaching staff, and I'm really looking forward to going there.
"It's really a load off my mind to have made the decision. Now I can concentrate on the rest of this season."
The Bears are ranked No. 6 in the state, with a 13-3-1 record, having beaten Bloomington Jefferson 4-1, and losing only to Greenway of Coleraine, Elk River, and Duluth East, and tying Holy Angels.

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