Grand Rapids, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Grand Rapids junior defenseman Jake Bischoff made good on a lifelong dream earlier this winter when he verbally committed to play college hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
"It's all sort of crazy, to be honest with you. It's a dream come true," Bischoff said. "Ever since I was a little kid I've been cheering for the maroon and gold."
"He's just able to see and understand the game at the level he needs to move on to the next level," Thunderhawks head coach Bruce LaRoque said.
LaRoque talked of intangibles in a player, and he said Bischoff has them both on and off the ice.
"He's not only a great player, but a great person on and off the ice," LaRoque said. "He leads by example, and he loves to play the game."
And when the time came to make his college choice, Bischoff knew exactly where he wanted to continue his career.
"I really like the campus and everything about the coaches and the facility they have there," Bischoff said of Minnesota.
The junior blueliner will be the second in his family to skate as a Gopher, following his father, Grant, who played from 1988-1991.
LaRoque said earlier this season that he sees certain similarities between father and son.
"He thinks the game well," LaRoque said of the younger Bischoff. "He sees the play out in front before it happens, sometimes one or two passes ahead."
Bischoff isn't looking too far ahead, though, as he still wants to enjoy his high school years with his teammates.
"We've grown up with each other our whole life," Bischoff said of the 2011-12 Thunderhawks. "We're best friends. We love each other."