The Tri-City Storm have announced that defenseman Jason Binkley has committed to play collegiate hockey at Ferris State University.
"Ferris is a perfect size school – not too big or too small – and has reputable coaches and a solid hockey program," said Binkley. "They play in a great hockey conference in college hockey and will really help me become a better overall defenseman."
Binkley is second among Storm defensemen in scoring with 12 points (2g, 10a) in 42 games this season. It is the first USHL season for the 18-year-old native of Powell, Ohio, who has collected four assists over his last five games. He was selected by the Storm in the 2009 USHL Entry Draft.
"Coming to the USHL has better prepared me mentally and physically on and off the ice for the collegiate level," said Binkley who plans to major in business at Ferris State. "Playing for the Storm has made me a better skating defenseman and expanded certain skills that have enabled me to earn a scholarship."
Binkley will be joined at Ferris State by fellow Storm defenseman Simon Denis, who has also committed to the school. Three other current USHL players are also committed to Ferris State: Dominic Panetta (Indiana Ice), Ken Babinski (Omaha Lancers) and C.J. Motte (Waterloo Black Hawks).
The Bulldogs are a member the CCHA and have 10 USHL alumni on the roster this season: Eric Alexander (Lincoln Stars/Chicago Steel), Chad Billins (Waterloo Black Hawks), Kyle Bonis (Indiana Ice), Scott Czarnowczan (Green Bay Gamblers), Justin DeMartino (Waterloo Black Hawks), Mike Embach (Indiana Ice/Chicago Steel), Zach Redmond (Sioux Falls Stampede), Aaron Schmit (Chicago Steel), Scott Wietecha (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) and Brett Wysopal (Tri-City Storm).
In addition, Bulldogs assistant coach Mark Kaufman is a former head coach in the USHL (Sioux Falls Stampede 2003-05, Rochester Mustangs 1988-92).
"We are happy for Jason, who has played well for us this season," said Storm head coach-GM Drew Schoneck. "We look forward to the rest of the year with him and wish him all the best with the Bulldogs next season."
Photo courtesy Tri-City Storm