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White Bear Lake's leading scorer makes tough decision not to follow his brother to BSU, commits to SCSU

Nolan Roed led the Bears with 40 points last season as a sophomore. His older brother, Lleyton, is a freshman forward for Bemidji State this fall.

Nolan Roed 2.jpg
Nolan Roed (9) carries the puck for White Bear Lake High School last season. Roed led the Bears in assists (21) and points (40) and tied for the team lead in goals (19) in 27 games last season as a sophomore.

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — Nolan Roed took his time and he admits that family ties made the decision a difficult one.

But Roed has verbally committed to play for the St. Cloud State men's hockey team. Roed will be a junior this fall for White Bear Lake High School after leading the Bears in assists (21) and points (40) and tying for the team lead in goals with 19 in 27 games last season.

Roed's older brother, Lleyton, is a freshman forward for Bemidji State and Nolan was also being heavily recruited by the Beavers.

"Probably the hardest decision I've ever made," Roed said. "I had to do something for myself I thought St. Cloud was the right fit for me."

While Lleyton may have been a bit disappointed, he showed his support for his brother in a Tweet of his own.


"He totally got it," Nolan said.

Roed said that he took his time before deciding to play for the Huskies.

"I took an unofficial visit about a month ago," he said. "I loved the place. I've been to the rink before and I've always loved playing there and going there and watching games.

"About a week after my visit, they offered me and then they gave me — not really a timeline, but some time to think about it. I thought about it long and hard for about 2-3 weeks and made my decision to go there."

He said that a there were a number of reasons why he finally decided to commit to the Huskies.

"I thought the campus was great, right on the Mississippi (River) and the rink is awesome. They just got new sound boards and new video boards, new sound system," Roed said. "The locker room is sweet. The new (workout area) is pretty unbelievable and has everything that I want.

"The campus is not huge, it's not too small. It's a good fit. Obviously, the coaching staff is unbelievable. Great people, good guys. They don't just take anyone to coach at the Olympics. That's a pretty good coach."

Roed is referring to Huskies head coach Brett Larson, who was an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Larson has also been an assistant coach for Team USA for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships and was the NCHC Coach of the Year in 2019.


The skill set, SCSU connection

What the St. Cloud State coaching staff has seen in Roed is a play-making center with a high motor. Tim Sager, a former University of Wisconsin wing, has coached a number of Division I players since first becoming White Bear Lake High School's head coach in 2002.

"Very unselfish player, a player that just works extremely hard and one of those guys who is a follow-my-lead type of deal," Sager said. "He's not a noisy type of locker room guy, rah-rah guy. His work ethic speaks on a daily basis of what he wants to get done and accomplished.

"He's really worked hard on his craft. He really worked hard in the offseason this summer with his brother, Lleyton. We're expecting a lot of things out of him. He had a really nice sophomore year and learned a lot. A lot of those sophomores came in and played a lot of minutes. He played a lot of minutes and we took some lumps early, but he was our go-to guy and did a tremendous job."

Nolan Roed 1.jpg
Nolan Roed (9) carries the puck in a game during the 2021-22 season for the White Bear Lake High School boys hockey team.

White Bear Lake started 5-5, but ended up reaching the Section 4AA championship game before losing to Hill-Murray, which went on to take third at the state tournament.

During the offseason, Roed said that he has put on 10 pounds and is now 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds.

"The (high school) physicality is a lot different than bantams," Roed said. "You're going to get blown up or hit sometimes. I tried to get stronger over the summer.

"I wasn't the most physical (player) last year. I'm trying to work on finishing hits and finishing checks."


He said that the increased weight and strength that he has gained has made a noticeable difference while he has been playing in the Upper Midwest High School Hockey Elite League.

"It's made it a little bit easier, I'm stronger on the puck and don't fall as much," he said. "When I do hit people, they feel more than they used to."

With some more physical play, that should help round out his game, which includes a good set of skills.

"He's a phenomenal skater," Sager said. "Both (Roed) boys are tremendous skaters and they see the ice well. They can get from Point A to Point B at the next level. The panic button doesn't go off very fast.

"We ran the power play through (Nolan) and that's a tribute to him being able to see the ice ... A little bit like Cretin did a few years ago with (Colorado College forward Matt) Gleason. Gleason was on the top where Nolan was on the side. But everything basically on the one power play ran through him.

"He's one of those guys where, not only does he want to kill penalties, but he wants to score. He's got that ability."

There is also a St. Cloud State connection on the White Bear Lake coaching staff. Chris Anderson, who played defense for the Huskies from 2004-08, is an assistant coach for the Bears.

"He said it was the best time of his life and he loved it there," Roed said of Anderson speaking of his time at SCSU. "It's one of the best hockey colleges in the nation."


Nolan Roed elite league.jpg
Nolan Roed has four goals and an assist in eight games playing for MPLS ST. PAUL Magazine in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League this fall. Roed, who will be a junior this winter for the White Bear Lake High School boys team, has recently verbally committed to play for St. Cloud State.

Dad played professionally

Roed is from a hockey family. Besides Lleyton, his father, Peter, played major junior hockey for the Prince George Cougars in the Western Hockey League before playing professionally in the ECHL, AHL and in Germany until he retired in 2003.

"He's pretty much coached me all the way up, not as the head coach, but he's always been on the ice or on the bench on every team through my youth career," Roed said of his dad. "He's always coaching at home, telling me stuff.

"It's been really good. He's not a crazy hockey dad. He gets it. He used to play and he knows his stuff and it's awesome learning from him."

Roed also has a younger brother, Nash, who is a seventh-grader and also plays hockey.

Hockey is not Roed's lone sport. He played on the White Bear Lake golf team and helped the Bears take third in the Section 4AA meet last spring.

"My short game is probably my best because I have soft hands," Roed said.

And those hands are another strong suit in his hockey game.


"Great hands, great around the net, an ability to score big goals in big games," Sager said. "He missed a tying goal on a breakaway against Hill (-Murray, on Dec. 23) in the last 30 seconds and he was way down on himself. It's like, 'Hey, you're a sophomore and you're not even driving a car yet.'"

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Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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