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Top-ranked recruit and Massachusetts native picks Gophers

A dozen years ago, Cole Eiserman was the odd Massachusetts kid cheering for the Minnesota Gophers. This week he picked a future in maroon and gold, committing to the U of M after spending the

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Playing for two years at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., forward Cole Eiserman notched 56 goals in 53 games as a 15-year-old during the 2021-22 season.
Sam Chalmers / Shattuck-St. Mary's

MINNEAPOLIS – It is close to impossible to find a good lobster roll in the State of Hockey, our chowder mostly comes from a can, and while there are a few Dunkin locations around the metro area, Minnesota remains solidly Caribou Coffee country. Despite all of that, highly-touted prospect Cole Eiserman has decided a few more Minnesota winters are in his future.

Eiserman, a native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, announced via Instagram on Wednesday afternoon that he is bound for the University of Minnesota, likely two years from now. He spent the last two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s and scored 56 goals in 53 games there last year. Eiserman, who turned 16 in August, is beginning his first season in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program this winter.

Cole Eiserman.jpg
Cole Eiserman
Contributed / USA Hockey

"There's a lot to like in Minnesota. I had some family ties there and a lot of good friends in Minnesota. It's a great spot," Eiserman told The Rink Live by phone from Michigan on Wednesday evening, a few hours after making his announcement.

While he admits to cheering for the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Bruins like any good Massachusetts kid, Eiserman also posted a picture of himself and twin brother Caden from a dozen years ago, all decked out in maroon and gold Gophers gear. Eiserman's cousin is married to former Gophers women's hockey player Kelly Olson, and they still have family ties in the St. Paul suburbs.

"I've known about Minnesota for a while, and I decided to go to Shattuck, so it's always been a school that I've kept tabs on," Eiserman said. "I've got that over some eastern kids who don't have the exposure there. I gladly did, and it's a great place."

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He is one of five boys in the Eiserman family. His father, Bill is a recently-retired Massachusetts state trooper who played some college hockey for UMass-Lowell. Other boys in the Eiserman family have played for UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire and Bentley.

Caden Cole Eiserman.jpg
Despite living on the East Coast, twin brothers Cole (left) and Caden Eiserman were Gophers fans thanks to family in Minnesota, in this 2010 photo. In 2022, Cole committed to play hockey for the Gophers.
Contributed / Eiserman family photo

On the ice, Eiserman had a breakout season for Shattuck and looks to transfer those skills to Team USA for the coming winter. He is quick to credit linemates for his success, but coaches rave about Eiserman's puck skills.

"He's the real deal. He's a puck lucky goal-scorer that's kind of like a Pat Micheletti who can really skate," said Shattuck coach Tom Ward, who noted that the Eiserman family in Massachusetts hockey circles is akin to the Brotens or the Michelettis in Minnesota, so this is a huge committment for the Gophers.

"He is going to get the people in Mariucci up out of their seats. He's an electric kind of player," Ward said, offering comparisons to former Gophers goal scorers like Tim Harrer and Thomas Vanek. "He's a flat-out goal-scoring machine."

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Known as a rink rat, Eiserman said the best part about going to Shattuck was finding a group of hockey-minded teammates willing and eager to play shinny at 6 a.m. on winter mornings. Asked about his adjustment to the often harsh winter weather in Minnesota, Eiserman brought it back to hockey again.

"It's a lot of pond hockey," he said. "It's a hockey state, so you take the cold weather as good. When winter is coming, you know it's hockey season."

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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