The Whitecourt Wolverines are proud to announce 17-year-old defensemen Gordie Ballhorn has committed to play for the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (NCAA Div. 1) beginning in the fall of 2016.
The Wetaskiwin, Alberta product is in his first year with the Wolverines and has amassed 3 goals, 6 assists for 9 points in 29 games. Ballhorn was an affiliate player with the team last year while he played midget AAA for the Leduc Oil Kings in the AMHL, where he averaged nearly a point per game.
“We are very pleased with Gordie committing to RIT, they have been very interested in him for a quite awhile,” said GM and Head Coach Joey Bouchard. “Gordie has had a great first year so far, he has been developing nicely, and he’s been providing some much needed offense from the backend as well. He’s been a good leader on this team; he is a very mature young man and is a big part of our future.”
“He was one of our top recruits in the off-season this year,” continued Bouchard. “He’s a great offensive player, he see’s the ice extremely well and with that big shot of his he has a great one timer, with his size and skating ability he has all the tools to be a great NCAA player down the road.”
“I want to thank my parents for all their support, as well as my billet family and teammates along with the coaching staff and the entire Wolverines organization, this wouldn’t have been possible without them,” said Ballhorn on his commitment. “They had shown interest right from the pre-season and after having the chance to visit the campus the decision became very easy.”
“The coaches did a great job in promoting me to them, they have been great, they’re always pushing us to be the best players we can be,” continued Ballhorn talking about the Wolverines coaching staff.
Ballhorn is the second Wolverines defensemen to commit to RIT in the last calendar year joining Matthew Abt, who is currently in his freshmen year with the Tigers. The comparison runs even deeper as they both played their midget hockey with the Leduc Oil Kings.
“I talked to him (Abt) quite a bit in the process and he had nothing but great things to say about his experience down there and that played a large part in my decision,” said Ballhorn.
The RIT Tigers are coached by Wayne Wilson and their alumni include current NHLer’s Christopher Tanev (Vancouver Canucks) and Steve Pinizzotto (Edmonton Oilers).
The entire Wolverines organization would like to congratulate Gordie and his family on his selection of the Rochester Institute of Technology for his college experience and wish him all the best in his academics and athletics.
Last year the Wolverines sent 8 players onto collegiate careers at the CIS, ACAC and NCAA level.
Gordie is the third Wolverine to commit to the NCAA this season:
James Vermeulen – Northern Michigan
Taden Rattie – Western Michigan
Gordie Ballhorn – Rochester Institute of Technology