Michigan Tech has picked up two commitments to bolster the Huskies blueline in the future. Walker Hyland (Alberni Valley-BCHL) and Chris Leibinger (Traverse City-NAHL) become the first defensmen committed to Tech and join a relatively short list of future Huskies including Jujhar Khaira, Reid Sturos, Tyler Heinonen, Jake Kauppila and Alex Petan.
Walker Hyland is a Minnesota native who played his high school hockey for the Woodbury Royals (9 Goals, 16 Assists in 27 games his senior year). His quest for a college scholarship started in Frisco, Texas and Fresno, California of the NAHL where he was featured in the 2011 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Hyland found a spot this season with Alberni Valley in the BCHL where he has 6 points (including 2 goals) in his first 6 games. The 5'11" defenseman will come in as a 20 year old freshman for the 2012-13 season and is expected compete for ice time right away.
Chris Leibinger is a Michigan native who played his high school hockey at Saginaw Heritage High School. Leibinger has turned some heads already with glowing reviews from scouts that were in attendance at the Hockey's Select 16 Player Development Camp. He joined the Traverse City North Stars (NAHL) as the youngest player on the team back in 2010 and has done well with adjusting to playing against older competition. It is likely that Coach Pearson noticed Leibinger while scouting the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) camp this summer where Pearson also found Jimmy Davis and Tyler Heinonen. The Jacks list the 5'10" Leibinger on their affiliate list and it is likely he will spend some time with in Muskegon before he heads to Houghton in either 2013 or 2014.
This appears to be the beginning of a string of commitments that should include a goalie to replace Josh Robinson and Tier 1 Forward from the Detroit area and probably others. Keep checking in as the Tech Hockey Guide keeps you up to date on all things Michigan Tech Hockey.