One of the Northland’s great college hockey recruiting mysteries came to a close Friday when Hermantown senior forward Ryan Sandelin announced he has verbally committed to play for Minnesota State-Mankato.
Sandelin’s decision of where he’d play college hockey garnered more attention than most because he is the son of Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin.
“Excited to say that I’ve committed to play college hockey at Minnesota State Mankato!” Ryan Sandelin tweeted. “Thanks to everyone who’s helped me along the way.”
Ryan Sandelin posted 20 goals and 25 assists for the Minnesota Class A state champion Hawks last season. He’s the third member of that title team to verbally commit to play NCAA Division I hockey, but the two previous commitments - Cole Koepke and Dylan Samberg - both went to Ryan Sandelin’s father and the Bulldogs.
Koepke graduated last spring and is playing for the Sioux City Musketeers in the United States Hockey League. Ryan Sandelin (Sioux City) and Samberg (Waterloo) both attended USHL camps this fall, but are back in Hermantown for their senior seasons. The Hawks begin their title defense Dec. 2 against defending Class AA champion Wayzata at the Plymouth Ice Center, followed by their home opener Dec. 3 against Lakeville South.
The Mavericks are coached by Mike Hastings, who like Scott Sandelin, was once an assistant coach under Dean Blais. Scott Sandelin worked under Blais for six seasons at North Dakota while Hastings was an assistant for Blais for three seasons at Nebraska-Omaha.