Ohio State hasn't gotten off to the best start on the ice this season, but Steve Rohlik's Buckeyes are picking up steam on the recruiting trail.
Today, the Buckeyes got a commitment from 18-year old center Austin Pooley. Pooley is the son of former Buckeye Perry and the nephew of another, Paul. Paul is currently an assistant coach for Notre Dame. Per Austin Pooley himself:
Proud to announce that I have committed to play hockey at The Ohio State University. Thanks to everyone who has helped me get here. #GoBucks— Austin pooley (@Pooleybro2) October 29, 2014
Pooley stands at 6'1, 192 lbs, according to his EliteProspects profile. He might still have a little weight to gain, but seems fairly filled out for an 18 year old, which you can't say for a number of hockey prospects, including a few already committed to the Buckeyes.
He spent his first year in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers but was traded to the Fargo Force prior to the 2014-15 season. After only putting up 8 points in 46 games with Omaha last year, he's put up 4 goals and 2 assists in nine games so far for Fargo. His shooting percentage is all the way up at 26.7% though, and he's only tied for 8th on the team in shots, so I'd expect a little regression. Regardless, he's almost already reached his 2013-14 totals, so there looks like there could be more room to reach before his ceiling.
As for Austin himself, he seems like a normal hockey player, i.e. not that interesting. He plays something called sewer ball though and says that if ESPN did a feature on him they'd talk about the storied trade from Omaha to Fargo. Like the Gretzky trade only one thousand times bigger. I expect a 30-for-30 next go around.
He also is very reflective:
But he's a red blooded male deep down:
With a softer side:
All this drama in Gossip Girl right now is giving me a migraine. #Didthatreallyjusthappen?— Austin pooley (@Pooleybro2) June 2, 2014
All in all, Pooley seems like a strong pickup with a high ceiling, something you can't get enough of in hockey. We'll keep tabs on his shot total and shooting percentage, but if he can keep up his current production, he could be a good under the radar pickup for Coach Rohlik.