It is appropriate that I mentioned in my last post the importance of getting the local elite players to attend UAA because it appears that one of the two elite players among 87/88 birthdays has made North Dakota his choice of University beginning the 07-08 season. It's difficult to know why a kid chooses to go outside rather than stay home and play for UAA. In some cases it probably boils down to the educational offerings. In some cases it would be because the kid is choosing a school based on its hockey program. Perhaps even a combination of those two things. In Trupp's case your guess would be as good as mine. The kid is tearing up the BCHL scoring-wise and initial reports had him selecting between UAA and three schools (Wisconsin, UND and New Hampshire) that have both superior educational programs and traditionally better performing hockey programs. It's a catch-22 for UAA's hockey problem as their path to consistent success includes landing kids like Trupp. Get the Felde's and Trupp's of Anchorage to come to UAA and the hockey program will benefit. Lose guys like that and they build success on the ice for other programs a la Matt Carle and Brian Swanson (and countless other talent that went outside).
I suppose all Coach Shyiak and Co. can do is make their best pitch to these kids and then cross their fingers. Kids and their parents are going to make the decision that they think is best for them. I guess I'd just like people in that position to realize that success on the ice individually (i.e ... chances to turn professional) no longer is the exclusive domain of outside Universities. The UAA program is in the best league in the country and a talented player is going to get noticed regardless of who he plays for. Over the next couple of years we'll see if Trupp truly made the right choice. Naturally I have to wish him the best of luck in his hockey career but that doesn't mean it won't sadden this long time hardcore UAA fan.