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ASU Hockey: Brett Gruber commits for 2016-17 season

Brett Gruber will return to his junior team next year, then join the Sun Devils in 2016-17.

Michelle Hekle/Hekle Photo Images

ASU hockey coach Greg Powers' trip to Western Canada continues to be a fruitful one, and one of the biggest prizes may have committed Saturday morning in the form of center Brett Gruber.

Gruber, like many recruits, took notice of ASU right from the NCAA announcement. Originally from Green Bay, Wis., he liked the idea of coming to the warm weather to play hockey. He compared ASU to Penn State, saying he watched the Nittany Lions' transition and wanted to join something similar.

"It's pretty hard to beat warm weather and it seems like a pretty good school," Gruber said. "I just wanted to be apart of that and help build the program."

Gruber is young for the league, as he was born in 1996. That hasn't stopped him from being in the top 20 in the BCHL in points, registering an even 18 goals and 18 assists in 33 games.

Gruber has a chance to win the BCHL Rookie of the Year award with the Victoria Grizzlies, meaning ASU wasn't the only team clamoring for his services. He said he had interest from a few other big-name programs, but ultimately chose the desert. That ASU is competing with the big boys of college hockey already bodes well for future recruiting.

Gruber's recruitment is for 2016-17, meaning he wont join the Sun Devils next season. He will return to Victoria next year for another year of development.

ASU grabbing his commitment now means he essentially becomes advertising for the program. Each accomplishment of his comes with the Sun Devil stamp attached to it, especially if we was to win the Rookie of the Year or put up a monster year next season. Other recruits will take notice.

He described his game as such: "I'm a smaller forward who is quick and shifty. I'm pretty good offensively and seem to find the back of the net. I just try to get open and try to shoot the puck a lot."