Michigan Tech's list of recruits just keeps growing. This time the Huskies picked up a commitment from the captain and leading defenseman for Phil Housley's Stillwater Ponies, Mitch Reinke. The blueliner will be a senior next year and was named a captain for the second time in his time by his teammates. The 5'9" defenseman has been a regular on Chris Dilks' lists of best Minnesota high school players by class since December 2011. Over the Boards, which will feature Michigan Tech's recruits later this summer, described him as a skilled, smart defenseman with an offensive penchant and a lot of character. Reinke has also been popular in junior hockey drafts. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders took the blueliner in the 6th round of the 2012 USHL futures draft and after a great camp with Cedar Rapids this year, Reinke also found himself taken in the NAHL Entry Draft, seventh overall by the Aberdeen Wings. It's still not known where he'll play this coming season, but with head coach Phil Housley leaving for an assistant position in the NHL, it seems slightly more likely that Reinke would consider junior hockey and forego his senior year.
Reinke has been a part of the Ponies varsity squad for the last two seasons, racking up two goals and 14 points as a sophomore. He improved his numbers to three goals and 15 points as a junior captain last year. Before the 2012–13 season, Reinke was invited to the High School Elite League on Team Northeast where he tallied four helpers in 11 games playing on the same team as future Husky Jake Jackson.
Reinke has a decision to make about the upcoming season, but it's likely he's two to three years away from heading to Houghton. Tech Hockey Guide has him penciled in as the first recruit for the 2016–17. Depending on how things go with fellow '96 defensemen Travis Brown and Tristan Rostagno, that year could change. There is plenty of time for him to develop before he's expected to contribute with the Huskies, and he should grow into an offensive threat for Michigan Tech. Leadership, skill and character are all things that make this commitment look great for Coach Pearson and his staff. The Huskies are headed in the right direction and Mitch Reinke is the kind of player that will keep them moving up the standings. Below is Reinke's USHL prospect video:
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_UeR30Odzo[/youtube]
Stay tuned for more on other committed players that Tech Hockey Guide has yet to feature: defenseman Matthew Roy (Indiana-USHL), and goaltenders Angus Redmond (Salmon Arm-BCHL) and Matt Wintjes (Newmarket-OJHL).