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Franko Backs Out on Bemidji

(Side note: First Bemidji news item since they joined the WCHA? You've made it, baby, in the smallest possible way.)

For the past couple of days, I was watching with raised eyebrows as Bemidji recruit Zach Franko was in attendance at the Kelowna Rockets tryout camp. Franko, a speedy forward out of Winnipeg, was a second round draft choice of the Rockets two years ago, and at one point, was gung-ho on playing for the Rockets, until he realized that at a generously-listed 5'10", he was probably better off getting a college education before taking his shot at pro hockey and committed to Bemidji State. But apparently in the past week, Kelowna has convinced Franko, who was reportedly very impressive at the camp, that size is nothing but a number, despite strong statistical evidence pointing otherwise, and Franko has committed to play in the WHL.

Franko was scheduled to play in the USHL this next year for Cedar Rapids, who selected him with a first round pick this past spring. It's a tough loss for Bemidji to lose one of the first big-time recruits they pulled in since being admitted to the WCHA, and it will be interesting to follow Franko's progress over the next couple of years in the WHL.