SOUTHFIELD — Size and physicality are two nice qualities to have for any defenseman in hockey.
Those two qualities are what Petoskey senior Nick Trombley hopes to bring to the Lawrence Technological University men’s hockey roster this fall.
Trombley, who last season collected seven points (one goal, six assists) on the blue line for the Northmen, has also been accepted into Lawrence Tech’s Master of Architectural and Design degree program, which is a five-year program.
“When I applied there I knew I wanted to study architecture, and I then found out they had a hockey program well,” Trombley said. “Their coach (Ken Gaffney) invited me to a prospects camp and a week after the prospects camp, he offered me.”
Trombley said close to 10 current players on the Blue Devils roster along with 30 prospects took part in the camp.
“Their coach (Gaffney) recognized me coming out of the locker room,” Trombley said. “I know my height caught their attention, they said I’m the big kid who likes to bang.”
Trombley, who played two years of travel hockey for the Grand Traverse Hockey Association prior to playing with the Northmen, will join a Blue Devils team which went 8-18 overall, 3-11 league last season.
Lawrence Tech competes in the Division III Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference, a league affiliated with the 100-plus member American Collegiate Hockey Association.
Lawrence Tech is in the MCHC Eastern Division along with the likes of Adrian College (Gold), University of Michigan (Flint), Saginaw Valley State University, Oakland University, Northwood University, University of Detroit Mercy and Kettering University.
Other MCHC programs include Davenport University, Michigan State (Club), Hope College, Grand Valley State University, Calvin College, Adrian College (Black), Aquinas College and Lansing Community College.
“I’ve always thought about playing college hockey and I’ve always considered it, but this just came out of nowhere,” Trombley said. “I really liked the rink there, it’s a busy rink with a classic feel and the campus is incredible. It’s a really modern place and all the professors are friendly.”
Gaffney said he is excited about adding Trombley to the roster.
“The coaching staff believes Nick will add value to the team right away and over the course of his college career become a force on the Blue Devil blue line.”
Gaffney added Trombley, who is a member of the National Honor Society at Petoskey High School, matches the LTU player profile nicely both in terms of academics and hockey.
“Our approach is to recruit players that will benefit and succeed from an LTU academic standpoint and have the ability to contribute on ice,” Gaffney added. “We feel Nick’s best hockey is in front of him and look forward to developing his skills so he can reach the potential we see.”
Gaffney also mentioned the Northern Michigan area has plenty of talented hockey players who could possibly help the Blue Devils program.
“We feel our recruiting efforts for that area of the state is beginning to show results,” Gaffney said. “We look forward to adding more Petoskey-Harbor Springs area players in the future.
“Nick will be challenged right away as our conference is the best in the country,” added Gaffney, as Adrian College (Gold) is the two-time defending ACHA Division III National Champions. “We feel Nick and incoming freshmen recruiting class will respond and perform in the positive.”
Trombley credited his high school coaches, Petoskey assistant coach Jim VanAntwerp and head coach Brent Ward, along with his father, Rob, who also coached Trombley in youth hockey.
“My dad’s been a huge help over the years,” Trombley said. “I’m really excited about the opportunity in front of me.”
Follow Steve Foley on Twitter @SteveFoley8