Former Pistons Defender Carlson Commits to University of Wisconsin Superior

Former Steinbach Pistons defender Ryan Carlson is continuing his hockey career and education, as he announced he will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Superior this upcoming fall.

For Carlson, it’s a great opportunity to do something he hasn’t done in a while and that’s play close to home. “It’s terrific. My parents have already talked about road games they want to go to and how they’ll be at every home game. Plus, my uncle is really excited. He’s already been talking about getting season tickets. It’s great that I’ll be able to live at home, that really is great for me.”

Off the ice, Carlson will continue his education. “I will be going for a degree in physical education and a minor in health. Furthering my education was a huge part of deciding on this program, in Division 3.”

The University of Wisconsin-Superior won the National Championship in 2002 but have since struggled at times. Carlson is looking forward to being a part of getting the program back to where it should be. “They have had a bit of a lull, but hopefully, this recruiting class can bring back the rich hockey tradition. With the new coach Richard McKenna, I think we can be successful and we can bring it back. They have a great hockey heritage at UWS.”

For Coach McKenna, heading into his second year as head bench boss of the Yellowjackets, he know’s adding a player like Ryan Carlson is a good step in the right direction. “His size and his skating ability make him a unique player. That’s the first thing that caught my eye.”

It wasn’t just on ice things that impressed the coach. “An American kid wearing a letter for a Canadian junior team shows he has leadership ability. After speaking with him I realized why he had that letter and we’re looking forward to having him for the next four years.”

Carlson credits both his hometown of Hermantown, Minnesota and Steinbach for developing him into the person that he is today, as well as a former Pistons teammate. “Talking with Cole Smith, he said that Steinbach and my old high school Hermantown, had such winning traditions, and with winning, it becomes a habit. When you win like that, you learn to lead by example and try to become a humble person. Continuing to learn and being humble about it, makes a good leader.”

From his point of view, Coach McKenna thinks Carlson will have a bright future, even beyond the next four years. “I don’t think he’s hit his ceiling yet. I think he will grow in our program and even have the chance to play beyond the college level. Getting players from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and other Canadian Junior Leagues, mixed in with the American guys, will help us. With this recruiting class, it could fast track us to where we want to be.”

Carlson is also looking down the road and knows McKenna will play a major factor. “I want to get into coaching. I know I can learn from him and continuing my educational career will help me do that. I hope he can provide some helpful hints in the near future when it comes to coaching.”

He’s not looking too far in the future though, as he’s already made some personal goals he’s looking to accomplish. “Just walking into the locker room, the first trophy you see is that National Championship. I just smiled looking at it. Getting to hoist that over the next four years is the ultimate goal.”