It was worth the wait for Bloomington Thunder defenseman Matt Foley. The '95 right-shot blue liner from Longmeadow, Mass. verbally committed to play college hockey at Yale University on Tuesday.
The 2013 graduate of Springfield Cathedral did a post-graduate year at Phillips Exeter before playing the 2014-15 season with the Merritt Centennials in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Foley, the son of long-time Springfield Cathedral coach Brian Foley, is a solid stay-at-home defenseman who rarely makes a mistake. He doesn't have the prettiest stride, but he's mobile and can help move the puck in transition. He has a good stick, good gap control and does a good job containing opposing forwards.
He's a confident player who exudes poise on the blue line. He's battled injuries over the past few seasons, but coaches rave about his work ethic and determination.
Foley had a goal and eight assists in 38 games with Merritt last season. He is on the 23-man roster for the Thunder and will presumably take on a considerable role patrolling the Thunder blue line this winter. He had his work cut out in camp, fighting for a spot on the roster with 13 other defensemen.
The six-foot-two Foley will matriculate to Yale for the 2016-17 season.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.