By Jess Myers
MINNEAPOLIS — Greg May, head hockey coach at the Blake School, loses count when he considers the schools that reached out to him about forward Tristan Broz in the past few months. After conversations and visits with coaches at close to a dozen programs, Broz decided that there’s no place like home.
On Monday evening, Broz, who will be a junior at Blake next season, announced via Twitter that he’s chosen to be a Minnesota Gopher in a few years.
“It’s been a long process for me, but as time went on, it got harder and harder to say no to your home state,” Broz said on Tuesday, after his first on-ice summer workout at Blake. “Staying close to my family and having them come to my games was a big thing for me because they’ve done so much for me.”
May said that Boston College, Michigan and Minnesota were Broz’s three finalists, but coaches from at least five more schools had come calling, and Tristan had a myriad college options.
“He’s got some high-end skill for sure. He’s incredibly dynamic offensively and is very, very creative,” said May, after Broz averaged better than two points per game for the Bears as a sophomore. “In the offensive zone he’s always in the right spot and he’s elusive. He’s one of those guys who gets you out of your seat when he has the puck.”
Broz also skated in six games with the USHL’s Fargo Force in the spring, and is planning to do a “before and after” in Fargo, playing there in the fall and spring of his junior season of high school. His prep coach is in full support of the plan.
“My goal selfishly is that he brings a whole other leadership level and toughness back to us when he comes for our four-month run,” May said. “And hopefully we can prepare him and keep him going for a Fargo playoff run when he goes back in the spring.”
Board of Regents to tweak Motzko’s contract
More than 190 pages into the agenda of items that will be discussed by the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents this week is an item concerning the contract of Gophers’ hockey coach Bob Motzko. But you may put any fears about his job security to rest.
The 12-person panel will consider an amendment to the terms of Motzko’s contract and is expected to approve a proposal to move the conclusion of his employment back by one month. As Motzko’s contract — which runs for another four seasons — is currently written, it expires on March 31. Since the Gophers would still be playing hockey on March 31 if they qualify for the Frozen Four (which is held in early April), the proposal will move the expiration back to April 30.
Motzko signed a five-year contract worth $2.9 million in 2018 when he came to the U of M after 13 seasons at St. Cloud State.
Watts headed west
In the “rich get richer” in women’s hockey category, defending national champion Wisconsin is getting even deeper offensively in the off-season. According to published reports, Boston College star Daryl Watts, who became the first freshman to win the Patty Kazmaier Award as women’s college hockey’s top player in 2018, is leaving the Eagles and will be a Badger for her final two seasons on the college rink.
Watts, who is from Toronto, had 42 goals her first season with BC. She suffered a bit of a sophomore slump, but still led the Eagles with 22 goals last season. The Badgers, who beat the Gophers 2-0 in March in the NCAA title game, could use the offensive help, with top scorer Annie Pankowski and her 28 goals graduating.