The Steinbach Pistons are pleased to announce that 20 year-old goaltender Nick Deery has committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs of the NCAA’s Division 1.
“It was a surreal moment after I got off the phone,” said Deery about hearing the news earlier this week. “I didn’t know what to do with myself. I made sure I called my parents right away.”
Deery’s accomplishment is the Pistons second NCAA Division 1 commitment in as many years. Justin Baudry’s commitment to Bemidji State University early last season was Steinbach’s first. The organization couldn’t be more pleased.
“We are very excited for Nick and proud of his accomplishment,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck about his starting net-minder. “He’s been a very good fit here. Not just in our dressing room, but also with his involvement in the community.”
As a 14 year-old, Deery set his sights on a Division 1 commitment. After having a rough go in the North American Hockey League with the Odessa Jackalopes, Deery decided to shift his focus to Canada and the MJHL.
“I looked at Steinbach as a new opportunity, with a new organisation that really wanted me,” said the LaCrosse, Wisconsin product. “When I got up here I absolutely loved it and enjoyed it. It didn’t take long and I knew that I wanted to finish my junior career here.”
Deery’s goal of playing Division 1 hockey could have come true last season, but he turned down an offer from a different school. The goaltender wasn’t only looking out for his best interests on the ice, he also wanted the best opportunity in the classroom.
“It wasn’t just about the hockey, academics mean a lot to him,” said Dyck about Deery turning down his 1st Division 1 offer because it didn’t have the engineering program that he was looking for. “Last year when that opportunity came we as an organization were selfishly wondering why he was passing up the opportunity.
“It’s really a testament to his maturity,” Dyck added. “He processed it thoroughly and didn’t jump at the first opportunity just because it was there for him. He wanted to do what was best for him long term.”
Now that Deery has his future under wraps, he says it’s time to focus on the task at hand and that is winning A MJHL Championship and then moving on to the RBC Cup. So far so good for number 35, immediately after Deery was told the good news he made 37 saves in a shutout performance against the Neepawa Natives.
In under a year’s time Deery will be wearing the same Bulldogs jersey that has been worn by quite a few NHLers. That list includes Brett Hull, Curt Giles, Norm Maciver, Justin Falk, Jason Garrison, Matt Niskanen, Mason Raymond and Tim Stapleton to name a few.
Picture Courtesy of actionplusphoto.com