Courtesy of Paul Shaheen, Research On Ice
Though he hasn't made his official visit to the University of Michigan - that's still the plan, probably in the next two weeks - Sioux City Musketeers forward Travis Turnbull made the Wolverines quite happy over the weekend when the 18-year-old from suburban St. Louis committed to Ann Arbor for next fall.
He also considered Ferris State, Bowling Green and Michigan State.
"I was making my other visits because I did want to see what other schools had to offer, but Michigan is somewhere I've always wanted to go," said Turnbull. "They have such great tradition there, and I know Red Berenson is a great coach."
Like father like son on that score. Turnbull's father, Perry Turnbull, was coached by Berenson in the early 80's when both were with the St. Louis Blues.
"He's 18 years old now, and I told Travis this would have to be his decision, but for me, not knowing much about any of the schools, Red for me was the guy," said the elder Turnbull, whom ROI caught up with Sunday afternoon while he and several other members of the St. Louis Blues alumni were traveling back from a charity match in Peoria, Illinois.
"Red was my favorite coach," Turnbull added, "he had us prepared in ways that back then were ahead of their time."
Travis Turnbull can now be counted among the growing number of current (and former) collegians not only raised and bred in the St. Louis area, but also reared by NHL experienced fathers. Former Notre Dame skaters Conner Dunlop and Neil Komadoski had fathers Blake and Neil Sr. to look up to, while freshman Denver forward Paul Stastny was helped along by father (and NHL Hall of Famer) Peter Stastny. All four families still reside in the St. Louis area.
The AAA St. Louis Junior Blues, for whom Turnbull and many of the aforementioned once played, has been a rapidly improving program over the last few years. A number of the organization's coaches are former NHLers as well, such as Basil McRae and Jeff Brown.
Here's Michigan's recruiting list up to the minute:
W Jason Bailey ( USNTDP)
C Zach MacVoy (USNTDP)
D Jack Johnson (USNTDP)
C Andrew Cogliano (St. Mike's, OPJHL)
D Mark Mitera (USNTDP)
G Billy Sauer (Chicago, USHL)
F Tim Miller (Omaha, USHL)
F Dan Fardig (USNTDP)
F Brandon Naurato (Omaha, USHL)
F Tyler Swystun (Camrose, AJHL)
F Travis Turnbull (Sioux City, USHL)
D Steve Kampfer (Sioux City, USHL)
D Chris Summers (USNTDP)
G Steve Jakiel (Lincoln, USHL)
F Tristin Llewellyn (Indiana, USHL)