The Golden Gophers received a verbal commitment Friday from forward Sammy Walker.
Proud to announce my commitment to the University of Minnesota. Thanks to everyone that has helped me along the way. #Gophers— Sammy Walker (@walker_sammy10) August 21, 2015
A native of Edina, Minnesota, Walker joins a loaded group of 1999-born University of Minnesota commits. Walker, along with fellow Gopher commit Brannon McManus (Omaha Lancers - USHL), was in Switzerland last week for the U-17 5 Nations tournament. He got on the score sheet as the Americans took home gold.
Based on age and grade the earliest Walker would be expected on campus is 2018-19.
Listed at 5'9", 135 lbs, he is a speedy forward entering his sophomore season at Edina (MN-HS). Walker had 5 goals and 9 points in 30 games last season for the Hornets, whose attempt at a 3rd straight state Class AA title ended two games short. SB Nation College Hockey's #7 ranked freshman before the season, he was joined on that team by future Gopher Garrett Wait. (2016-17 commit Ryan Zuhlsdorf also previously played for the Hornets before heading to the USHL.)
In addition to his speed, Walker is an above average playmaker.
What makes it an intriguing commitment is that college hockey has so far not been the family path. Walker's older brothers Jack and Ben took the road less traveled in Minnesota hockey; forgoing their college eligibility for the WHL. Both played for the Victoria Royals. Sammy, meanwhile, is a 2014 7th round WHL Bantam pick by the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Walker joins 2000-born Grand Rapids (MN-HS) forward Blake McLaughlin in verbally committing to Minnesota this week. McLaughlin made his commitment public on Tuesday.
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