1999-born defenseman Nate Knoepke, formerly of Lakeville(MN) South High School, and playing for the NTDP U17 squad next season, announced that he has verbally committed to play his college hockey at Minnesota:
May 6, 2015
Knoepke is a bigger defenseman, listed at 6'3" with impressive skating ability for his size.
Jeff Cox ranked Knoepke as the 24th-best defenseman at last summer's Select 15 Festival, and his stock has only risen over the past season:
24. Nate Knoepke (#7 White) 6-2/178 Lakeville South High School - Big kid who was strong on his skates and was solid up ice. There's a lot of raw talent that can certainly continue to develop.
Chris Dilks echoed that report after this past fall's NAHL Showcase Tournament:
Nate Knoepke-D-Minnesota Blades-There's some rough edges that need to smoothed out, but he skates really well for a player of his size. He's the type of high-potential player the NTDP loves, especially on defense.
Knoepke is just finishing his sophomore year of high school this year, meaning he would likely join the Gophers for the 2017-2018 season. Knoepke will be teammates with fellow Minnesota commits Josh Maniscalco and Scott Reedy on next year's NTDP U17 team.