Top defender of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs commits to Lake Superior State
Jacob Conrad, a native of Wisconsin, leads all defenseman on his team in scoring. He recently announced his commitment to play Division I at LSSU.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Wisconsin native Jacob Conrad has spent three years playing for Fairbanks of the North American Hockey League. In his final season of junior hockey, Conrad leads all defensemen on his team in points and has earned a commitment to play Division I at Lake Superior State University.
The 20-year-old grew up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. His father, Monte Conrad , played Division III hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Jacob started skating around the age of 3 and has been playing the sport ever since.
The Conrad family eventually moved to the Green Bay area and Jacob then started skating for Notre Dame Academy, where he played four seasons of high school hockey.
During his senior season, Conrad and the Tritons advanced to the Wisconsin high school hockey state tournament. The team unfortunately lost the championship game in overtime. Conrad, who captained the squad, was given the Hobey Baker High School Character Award for his team after displaying exemplary character and sportsmanship that season.
After high school, Conrad was drafted by the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL and also signed a tender for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the NAHL.
The 5-foot-11 defender started his first season of junior hockey in Sioux Falls, but only played in four games for the Stampede before heading to Fairbanks.
"Playing against kids that were two or three years older than me, it was definitely a big step, and it took me a while to get used to," said Conrad on his first year in the NAHL.
The defenseman had a solid first season for the Ice Dogs, posting 14 points in 43 games, but had an even more impressive season the next year by almost doubling his point production.
Collegiate programs started to reach out to him at the end of the 2021-22 season. Talks started to pick up last fall after the NAHL showcase.
In early January, the 20-year-old announced his commitment to play Division I hockey at Lake Superior State University.
"It's close to home and it's a great program with really rich history and a great coaching staff that I believe in," said Conrad, who called the decision a 'no brainer'.
LSSU is a public university located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It is about a five hour car ride from Green Bay.
The Lakers earn a commitment from the versatile defenseman who currently has 23 points in 36 games so far in 2022-23, which is the third most on his team and the most for a defender. Of those points, 12 have come on the power play.
"I'm a good skater, I can use my feet really well and see the ice really well," said Conrad on his strengths. "Using those things combined I can add some offense to the game. I'm an all-around defenseman that takes care of all parts of the ice."
Fairbanks is currently at the top of the Midwest Division of the NAHL with 36 points.
"We're looking to have a strong second-half to wrap up a good year," said the 5-foot-11 defender, who also happens to be captain of the team.
The 20-year-old will finish the season in Fairbanks and will head to Lake Superior State in the fall.