Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cullen Munson commits to Minnesota

Janesville Jets (NAHL) forward and Edina, MN native Cullen Munson verbally committed to Minnesota. Munson announced his decision via Twitter and The Gopher Hockey Blog confirmed.

Munson had previously verbally committed to Army in 2014. The 21 year-old used up his junior eligibility this past season, meaning he will be playing for the Gophers in 2017-18.

“It’s a dream come true for a kid from Minnesota,” Munson told the Jets' website. “It’s amazing.”

High school teammates at Edina (MN-HS) with current Gophers Ryan Zuhlsdorf and Tyler Nanne, where they won a Class AA state championship, he spent the past three seasons in Janesville. Munson finished 2016-17 tied for second in points with 55 (20G-35A) in 56 games and third on the Jets in goals. Janesville won the NAHL's Midwest Division regular season title. The team continued its run in the postseason, advancing to the four-team Robertson Cup championship.

Listed at 5'11", 190 lbs, Munson is a speedy, two-way player. He comes to Minnesota next season filling a hole as the team's 15th forward. It allows Sam Huff to not be rushed to college, like Luke Notermann was in 2016-17 coming directly out of high school, and develop with time in juniors.

Huff is just finishing his senior year of high school and could use a year in the USHL with Waterloo, the team which drafted him in the USHL Phase 2 Draft's opening round rather than struggle for playing time.

Another option for that spot would be another onetime Edina forward, and Munson high school teammate, Garrett Wait, who signed a letter of intent to play at Minnesota in November 2015. The expectation is that Wait also spends another year in the USHL with Waterloo, however. Wait can do so since as a 1998-born he has junior eligibility remaining.

With Munson coming in, and if Wait and Huff go to juniors, Minnesota's 2017-18 freshman class consists of four forwards - Munson, Brannon McManus, Casey Mittelstadt and Scott Reedy - to replace five graduating seniors. The Gophers had 16 forwards on the 2016-17 roster.

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