Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) freshman forward Kyle Osterberg took a somewhat unusual path to college --- he left high school after his freshman year to join the United States National Development Program.
"So far that's probably been the best choice of my life," Osterberg said. "I'd never regret doing what I did. I was lucky enough to be able to get that opportunity. It's something I'll cherish forever because I got to represent my country."
While he did get to wear the red, white, and blue, Osterberg admits it was tough to leave behind his family and friends.
"You're obviously away from home," he said of leaving to join the team based in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Your new family is all your teammates. You just go with them every day, and you're traveling so much. You spend all of your time with them."
This season, though, Osterberg has made a new family.
Paired on a line with Justin Crandall and Tony Cameranesi, Osterberg says he has them to thank for making the transition a smooth one.
"They helped me come in here and pretty much get my feet wet," Osterberg said. "My first year is going pretty well, but I thank those guys for it."
Those guys, though, in true family fashion, throw the credit right back at Osterberg.
"He makes the game so easy for me," Crandall said. "First in on the forecheck, backcheck, and does everything right and works hard all around the ice. You give him an opportunity in front of the net, and he'll score."
"He works his butt off, and that's something he's very proud of, and it's something that we all see," Cameranesi said. "It helps the rest of the team. If you see a guy battling like that in the corners in practice, it makes everyone of us want to do the same thing."