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Hill-Murray forward Ben Miller commits to Northeastern

The 6-foot-1 forward from Woodbury put up 16 points in 29 games for the Pioneers last season as a sophomore and helped lead the team to a third-place finish in Class AA.

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Hill-Murray goaltender Jack Erickson (33) blocks a shot by Andover forward Logan Gravink (22) during the first period Friday, March 11, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

WOODBURY, Minn. — With Aug. 1 as the first day that rising juniors could receive Division I offers and begin to make their commitments, high school hockey players have been busy announcing their college picks.

Hill-Murray forward Ben Miller was one of many who announced their commitment to play hockey at the next level. The Woodbury native will be heading to Boston to play for Northeastern.

"I am proud and honored to announce my commitment to play division one hockey and further my education at Northeastern University," said Miller on his social media pages Saturday. "I would like to thank God, family, coaches, teammates, and friends along the way."

Northeastern typically hasn't had many Minnesotan players on their roster over the years. The last Minnesotan to play for the Huskies was Drew Blackmun of Minneapolis, who played three games over two seasons (2017-2019) before transferring to Union College. Prior to Blackmun, the last Minnesotans on the team were Matt Lipinski (Faribault) and Chris Student (Edina) in 2009-10.

Miller originally was inspired to try hockey after his father introduced him to the sport. He went on to play youth hockey for Woodbury, and now for Hill-Murray High School.

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The 6-foot-1 forward put up 16 points in 29 games for the Pioneers last season as a sophomore and helped lead the team to a third-place finish in Class AA.

"I'm a big, heavy power forward that can play a two-way game and is smart," said Miller about his playing style.

Northeastern stuck out to Miller for a few different reasons.

"First and foremost it's a great school on top of hockey. I really like the coaching staff ... what they have going there and their culture — it's something really special that I wanted to be a part of."

Miller is also excited to be on Northeastern's campus and looks forward to the ease of the Hockey East travel schedule, with most opposing schools only a short bus ride away. Six of the 11 Hockey East schools are located in Massachusetts.

"It's a really cool spot to kind of be in the heart of Boston ... but you don't really feel like you're in the middle of the city."

Miller will also have the opportunity to eventually play in the Beanpot, the storied annual tournament between Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University and Harvard that is held at the TD Garden.

Northeastern also got another commit from Joe Connor of Amherst, New Hampshire. Although Miller has never met Connor, he watched him play in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup this past week.

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With his commitment out of the way, Miller is focused on helping Hill-Murray get back to the state tournament, maintaining a good GPA in school, having fun and getting better every single day.

Hill-Murray lost in the Class AA semifinal to eventual state champions Andover last season, and both Ben and the team are excited and hungry for another chance.

"I have a little sour taste in my mouth from what happened last year. We're looking to come back ... we think we can make another run at it."

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Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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