The Steele County Blades are proud to announce that 2019-20 Captain Jake Freise has committed to play college hockey at Roosevelt University in the fall.
Freise just finished his fourth USPHL season with the Blades, ending his junior career in Owatonna with the most games played in a Blades uniform.
The Evanston, Ill., native played in 45 games for the Blades this season which was statistically his best year in Orange and Black. He netted 11 goals and assisted on another 21 with an accompanying 113 penalty minutes.
In his four seasons with the Blades, Freise played in a total of 164 games with 31 goals, 41 assists and a Blade record 465 penalty minutes. Freise was also recently named the 2019-20 Steele County Blades Most Valuable Player, as voted on by his teammates.
Head Coach Nick Adamek had this to say about Freise’s choice.: “I have seen Jake Freise grow up from a young, immature boy into the strong-willed, independent man he is today. I feel like I am losing a part of my own family; but I couldn’t be happier to see him leave the person he has become. Roosevelt University and Coach Karr are getting a team first player who is willing to do anything he can to secure victory for his team.
“Steele County is lucky to have had Jake for the time we did. He was loyal to our team and city. I know he leaves here proud of what he has accomplished and we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Adamek's sentiments were echoed by Roosevelt Coach Billy Karr.
“We had been very interested in Jake since last fall. What I saw him do at the [USPHL Chicago] Showcase in December was proof enough that we wanted him to be a central figure on our team for years to come. His mix of natural ability and his leadership is exactly what we are trying to build our team around, so we are beyond excited that he has decided to become a Roosevelt University Laker."
“I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative of the years I’ve spent in Owatonna playing for the Blades. Coach Nick and the organization, as a whole has, helped me become the player I am today, and I’m proud to say that I’ll be continuing my hockey career as a Laker playing at Roosevelt University this upcoming fall," added Freise. "Huge thank you to all my billets over the years, all the volunteer staff, and all the people that are a part of the process every day of being a Blade. Thank you to my family for supporting me and Coach Nick for believing in me over the years. I’m very excited for this opportunity and I’ll make the Blades organization proud."
Roosevelt University is located in Chicago, Ill. The Lakers, which up until a merger this year, were known as Robert Morris University Eagles, with a history of a winning culture, play in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) at the ACHA Division I level.
The Lakers are led by Billy Karr, who finished the season ranked #21 at the Division I level out of 70 teams nationally.
Freise is the third Blade from the 2019-20 season to make his college commitment, following Carter Broton (Marian University) and Will Christensen (Utah State University). More information on where other Blades will be headed will be available shortly.