When it comes to hockey, 15 isn’t too young to choose a college

What were you doing at age 15? We’re guessing you weren’t committing to attend a particular college.

Garrett Pinoniemi has. He hasn’t played a high school hockey game yet, the St. Cloud Times reports, and he’s already verbally committed to playing for St. Cloud State University.

He turned 15 last month.

“They showed me around the rink and the campus in general and they’re doing a nice job of upgrading a lot of stuff at the rink,” Pinoniemi said of his visit to the university. “It’s the right time, I guess. Just to know where I’m going to go to school, I can just play hockey and keep getting better. I don’t have to worry about it.”

He can’t officially sign a letter of intent to play for the school until his senior year in high school, but that doesn’t stop schools from recruiting potential players for ahead of time.

Is this a good thing?

The Times notes that a Lakeville star Ryan Poehling also verbally committed to the Huskies when he was just 15. He’s giving up his last year of high school this fall to play for the university as a 17-year old.

“It is kind of surreal that somebody at 15 years old is thinking about their college career,” Tim Pinoniemi, Garrett’s father, acknowledged to the Times. “Coach (Bob) Motzko told us he doesn’t do this unless it’s somebody he really likes. And he said it’s not only the hockey part, but the part about what type of person he is.”

  • BReynolds33

    And… how does one know what type of person a 15 year old will be three years later?

    • ec99

      Not sure it matters to coaches, who have no idea what kind of student they are recruiting, because they aren’t looking for students. Hell, the NHL is drafting high school kids as juniors.

  • Al

    Not an uncommon sight at my high school, actually–though kids usually waited at least until they were sophomores. Big hockey school.