Michael Rounds Commits to The Ohio State University
Tuesday, 4.5.2016 / 9:40 am CT
By Alex von Keudell
Wildcats defenseman Michael Rounds committed to play Division I NCAA hockey at The Ohio State University of the Big Ten Conference on Monday morning. He will begin his college hockey career at the start of the 2017-2018 season.
“I wanted to play for a school that really wanted me,” Rounds said. “Ohio State is a school that will develop me, not only as a player, but as a person. I was also really comfortable with their coaching staff; their coaches are amazing.”
Rounds became the fifth player in Wildcats history to commit to Ohio State and the first in over five years, following in the footsteps of Tyler Lundey, Jeff McNeil, Sean Juddy, and Cal Heeter, who played in the NHL briefly with the Philadelphia Flyers. R.J. Umberger, a current Flyer, was also a Buckeye, along with several other notable NHLers, like defenseman Matt Bartkowski and veteran center Ryan Kesler.
“We’re very excited for Michael in becoming a Buckeye,” Wildcats Head Coach John LaFontaine said. “His work ethic, character, and commitment are second to none. He has a very promising future with the Buckeyes program.”
At just 18, Rounds is the fourth youngest player on the Wildcats and the second youngest defenseman after Rourke Russell. He spent three seasons affiliated with the NAHL prior to moving to Wichita Falls, scoring 29 points in 63 games played with the Lansing Capitals of the NAPHL in his home state of Michigan. He will play one more season of junior hockey before becoming a Buckeye, prompting the possibility of a return to Wichita Falls.
Rounds advanced through the Wildcats’ ranks incredibly quickly to start this season, impressing the coaching staff as a very smooth-skating defenseman who has shown an aptitude for getting his shots through traffic from the blue line. The results have been indicative, as Rounds leads all rookie defensemen with seven goals this season. He is third among all Wildcat defensemen with 20 points on the campaign and boasts a +21 rating through 53 games played.