Nick Schilkey and David Gust graduating, along with a few other potential forward departures, could leave Ohio State hockey thin upfront next year. But they look to have added another reinforcement for next season today, as Quinn Preston has committed to Ohio State’s mens hockey team.
Preston will be a 20 year old forward when he officially joins Ohio State this fall, and has put up 31 points in 47 games in his first USHL season for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. OSU already has three other Fighting Saints on their roster currently, Wyatt Ege, Christian Frey and Sasha Larocque, so it looks like the Buckeyes are further strengthening a pipeline that’s brought them a number of current contributors.
Prior to his time in Dubuque, Preston put up 34 points in 59 games in the NAHL, and 128 in 85 games in the USHS system. He seems to have finally blossomed at a later age for Dubuque, as he currently ranks fifth on his team in scoring and is shooting only 13.5%, lower than all but one player who has scored more points on the Fighting Saints, leading one to believe his production isn’t a fluke.
He checks in at only 5’11, 170lbs according to EliteProspects, so there’s still some room to grow for Preston. He doesn’t have NHL size or anything close to it currently, and doesn’t seem to have the skill to make up for that lack of size fully, but what Ohio State might have here is a late bloomer who is unheralded and comes into college more physically strong than younger players even with a slighter frame.
It’s worked for the Mason Jobst and Luke Storks of the world, and Quinn is no smaller than either of them. There will be ample forward opportunities next season in Columbus with two top six forwards graduating, so there’s no reason someone who’s shown the late scoring blossoming of Preston can’t come in and be an overage middle six contributor and potential top six forward by the time he graduates from OSU.
The Trenton, Michigan native won’t be far from home, and I’m sure he’s going to love sticking it to Michigan and Michigan State and make them wonder why they didn’t go after him.