Penticton Vees (BCHL) goaltender Mat Robson verbally committed Friday to the University of Minnesota for the 2017-18 season.
A Toronto native, Robson would be only the third Canadian to suit up for the Gophers during Don Lucia’s 18 years leading Minnesota’s Pride on Ice. There hasn’t been one on the roster since Kris Chucko and Peter Kennedy left in 2006.
“I felt really comfortable on my visit, as the coaches were great to me and I fell in love with the city; being a Toronto kid, I wanted to go to a big school,” Robson said in a team press release. The program speaks for itself and they’re always contending for a national championship, and I want to be a catalyst to help them achieve that.”
The 20 year-old currently leads the BCHL in both save percentage (.927%) and goals against average (1.90) for the league-best 23-5-0 Vees. Originally a Clarkson commit, Robson sat out 2015-16 due to the NCAA ruling him ineligible for playing three CHL exhibition games with the Peterborough Petes. He left the Golden Knights after the season and would have 2.5-3 years of eligibility remaining.
Robson takes the spot of Ryan Edquist, who was scheduled to come in 2017-18. Edquist flipped his commitment to Boston College in May in order to go play college hockey this season. If everyone stays Minnesota would have four goaltenders on its roster between Robson, Eric Schierhorn, Brock Kautz (juniors) and Nick Lehr (senior).
Prior to Robson, all three Reilly brothers (Mike, Ryan and Connor) and Jack Ramsey played junior hockey at Penticton. Gopher commit Sam Rossini was scheduled to play with the Vees this season before getting injured.
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate