From Head Coach/GM Todd Sanden:
The North Iowa Bulls are happy to announce that Joe Kleven, Sam Naegele, and Dylan Zins have all made their NCAA selection. The University of Wisconsin-Stout will benefit from landing three of North Iowa's top producers from the 2014-15 National Championship season. The University of Wisconsin-Stout is an NCAA Division 3 hockey program that plays in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC).
Joe Kleven from Prior Lake, Minnesota was the "Defenseman of the Year" in the NA3HL this year. Also, a 2015 NA3HL Top Prospects participant where he scored one goal and added a pair of assists for 3 points in two games. In 74 regular season and playoff games for the Bulls Joe contributed 55 points on 10 goals and 45 assists and was +63. Three of Joe's 10 goals were game winners, proving his value of being an impact player in the NA3HL and for the Bulls. "As one of our captains Joe provided consistent effort and production that others could look up to. We will surely miss Joe on our special teams play as he logged major minutes on our power play and was a regular on the penalty kill unit as well." "My goal in coming back to North Iowa was to win a national championship, then find the school that fit me best for the next part of my academic and hockey development. I am very excited to finish the season the way we did and move on to UW-Stout" added Kleven.
Sam Naegele from Coon Rapids, Minnesota represented the North Iowa Bulls at the 2015 Top Prospects Tournament where he notched 2 assists in the 2 games. In 99 NA3HL regular season and playoff contests for the Bulls Sam tallied 12 goals and 41 assists for 53 total points as a defenseman. By playing in two USA Hockey Tier III junior national tournaments, where he has reached the championship game both times, Sam has played over 100 games for the North Iowa Bulls in his two years of development. Naegele said "Winning the national championship was unbelievable and a great way to end my junior career in North Iowa. After my visit to UW-Stout I just felt it was the right school and hockey program for me and I am excited to become a Blue Devil." "Sam was one of our most consistent performers and was placed in all situations during his time with us. We leaned on Sam for offensive production while maintaining his defensive responsibilities. Being +96 in his career showed that Sam bought into our expectations."
North Iowa Bulls forward Dylan Zins has made the decision to join team mates Kleven and Naegele at UW-Stout. Also from Prior Lake, Minnesota, Zins was a 2015 Top Prospects Tournament participant. In 2 Prospects games Dylan scored 2 goals and 3 assists and was +4 for the West Division Prospects champions. "Dylan brings an aggressive style of play every night and has the skill and speed to contribute at the next level. Whether it be a big hit or a timely goal, Zins is going to make an impression on the games he plays in." In 73 NA3HL regular season and playoff games Dylan racked up 28 goals and 32 assists for 60 points in his Bulls career. Four of Zins' goals were game winners and he was +30. "I had the time of my life playing in Mason City for the Bulls. I can't imagine what it's going to be like not going into the barn next year and playing. Winning nationals was a goal for myself and my team mates and to accomplish it with that group of guys was amazing. My choice to attend UW-Stout was an easy one. After my visit and communication with coach Watkins, I was really comfortable with the campus and the guys that they have in their program. I am looking forward to playing hockey at the NCAA level and hopefully contributing at UW-Stout."
Terry Watkins on incoming Bulls recruits, "When you are going to have players for 4 years it is important make sure that you are bringing in good people. I have had success with previous players that have played for coach Sanden and look for these guys to bring the same level of character, compete, and personal discipline that has allowed them to achieve great things in their junior careers. Bringing in players who have won is also an important aspect of getting our program where we want it to be. We are happy that Dylan, Joe, and Sam are on board and hope they bring the same success level to our program that they have to the Bulls."
Kleven, Naegele, and Zins mark the seventh players that have made their college commitments from the 2014-15 team. The North Iowa Bulls organization wish to thank Dylan, Joe, and Sam for their efforts while with the Bulls and extend them the best of luck at UW-Stout.