Jets' Hoglund signs with Minnesota
When the University of Minnesota hockey program calls, you listen.
Janesville Jets winger Robin Hoglund didn't make a trip to the Twin Cities for a college visit, but that didn't stop him from committing to play for the Gophers next season.
Hoglund made his commitment last week after standing out amongst the North American Hockey League's best at the league's Top Prospects Tournament in Michigan.
“I guess they liked what they saw,” Hoglund said. “It's different for everybody. Some guys talk to schools for a long time and some don't. I've got a golden opportunity, and I really appreciate it.”
Jets coach Joe Dibble said he knew when the season began that Hoglund would likely be a Division I prospect. But it would have been hard to predict that the 19-year-old would make what is now the biggest college signing in the Jets' five-year history.
They have had seven players make college commitments this season.
Minnesota, which plays with Wisconsin in the Big Ten, has won five NCAA Division I championships.
“It's the biggest school that any kid from the Jets has ever committed to, so it's pretty cool,” Dibble said. “Any time a school like the Gophers comes knocking, it's tough to say no to.”
The Swedish-born Hoglund ranks second on the Jets with 35 points in 45 games. Janesville hosts Springfield in a pivotal NAHL North series on Friday and Saturday night.
Hoglund made his mark quickly last week in Troy, Mich., representing the North Division. He had two assists in a 3-0 North victory on Feb. 17.
“He had a very good two days, and there was a lot of attention around him,” Dibble said. “The explanation I've used is just a man amongst boys. He was so much stronger, and the way he shoots the puck, there's not another kid in the league that shoots like him.
“He looked like a pro out there against a bunch of kids. That's where I think he caught the attention.”
It doesn't hurt that Hoglund stands 6-foot-3 and weighs more than 200 pounds.
“They need some size for next year,” he said. “I think it's the best school out there. Every player that gets in there, they're top-notch players, and they really excel when they're over there.
“At the same time, I'm trying to focus on my season right now.”
The Jets trail fourth-place Springfield by just two points in the North standings entering the weekend. The top four teams make the NAHL playoffs at the end of the year.
“It's important for us to make it to the playoffs, and I think we're in a good way,” Hoglund said. “This is a huge weekend for us. We're excited about it and feel like we've been playing well.
“I'm going to focus on that and do that well, and we'll go from there.”
Lemirande signs with Miami
Janesville native and former Janesville Jets captain Conor Lemirande is headed to play Division I hockey, as well.
Lemirande has committed to play for the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Lemirande played two years with the Jets but has spent this season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He has 14 points in 44 games this season.
“(Miami) was a great place; the staff was awesome,” Lemirande said in a Phantoms press release. “The guys there are unbelievable; they have great facilities.”