The Dubuque Fighting Saints have announced that forward T.J. Schlueter has committed to play collegiate hockey at Ferris State University.
It is the second USHL season for the St. Louis native and a breakout year offensively as Schlueter is fourth on the Saints with 15 goals and has collected 26 points (15g, 11a) in 50 games while serving as the captain for the expansion club. The 19-year-old played 33 games in the USHL last season for the Tri-City Storm and scored one goal. He also added a goal in the playoffs for the Storm.
"This year has meant everything to my career," Schlueter told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. "I can't say enough about (Dubuque coaches) Monty and Coombsy. They've put me in a position where I could get exposure and show what I can do. They have made my hockey career, and for that I thank them."
Five other current USHL players are also committed to Ferris State University: Dominic Panetta (Indiana Ice), Ken Babinski (Omaha Lancers), Jason Binkley (Tri-City Storm), Simon Denis (Tri-City Storm) and C.J. Motte (Waterloo Black Hawks).
The Bulldogs are a member the CCHA and had 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).
"He's helped us win in so many different ways this year, but it's mostly been because he's worked so hard and put his teammates first," Saints head coach/GM Jim Montgomery said to the Telegraph Herald. "I'm going to be sad to see him go, but this is one of those times where you really feel good about being a coach. You get an opportunity to help an outstanding young man reach one of his dreams in hockey."
Photo by Jim Naprstek