YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio– They Youngstown Phantoms are proud to announce that defenseman Mike Gunn has committed to play hockey at Northeastern University beginning in the 2012-2013 season. The Livonia, Mich., native joins nine other Phantoms currently committed to play at the collegiate level and is the first player to commit this season.
The Phantoms acquired Gunn, 19, from the Chicago Steel this offseason just prior to the 2011 USHL Entry Draft. The three-year USHL veteran was voted one of the team’s assistant captains prior to the Phantoms’ home opener against Des Moines on Oct. 14.
“As a staff, we couldn’t be more proud of Mike,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “He’s a natural leader, he works hard and he’s as naturally talented a defenseman as we have. He has the size, the strength and the shot. When he’s healthy, I think he’s one of the best defenseman in the league.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound blue liner has one assist, eight penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating in four games this season. In 39 career USHL games, Gunn has one goal, five assists and 89 penalty minutes.
Last season Northeastern went 14-16-8 and finished sixth in the Hockey East conference with a 10-10-7 record. Through three games this season the Huskies are currently 1-1-1,good for second place in Hockey East.
“Northeastern really attracted me because they have such a great coaching staff and it’s right in the heart of Boston,” Gunn said. “When I visited out there I got to stay with some of the guys on the team in the dorms and I had a great experience. I just loved all of it.”
Gunn said that Assistant Coach Rob Rassey, who was a four-year letterman at Northeastern from 2005-2009 and then volunteered as an assistant coach from 2009-2011, encouraged him to consider the Huskies.
“Growing up in Detroit, I followed Michigan and Michigan State, but when [Coach Rassey] came here he opened my eyes a bit to Hockey East,” he said. “He gave me some of the ins and outs of what goes on at Northeastern and it was a huge help.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)