This update from Kevin Allenspach of the St. Cloud Times on the oral commitment of junior forward Garrett Hendrickson of Virginia to the St. Cloud State Huskies from Tuesday’s editions:
Garrett Hendrickson grew up pretending to play college hockey on his backyard rink in Virginia. In another couple years, he’ll live that reality at St. Cloud State.
Hendrickson, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound junior forward, orally committed to the Huskies last week. He had 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists) as a sophomore, helping Virginia High School make its second Class A state tournament appearance.
He also had a scholarship offer from Bemidji State, but said he knew he wanted to attend St. Cloud State after visiting the school when the Huskies had a home series with Minnesota Duluth on Oct. 24.
“It was a relief to have it over, because it was a hard decision,” Hendrickson said. “The first time I talked to the (Huskies) coaches was on my visit. I knew they were interested, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. After that, I knew my dream was really going to come true. I watched a lot of college hockey growing up. I even liked the Gophers back in the day. But I liked what I saw [at St. Cloud].”
His father, Keith, head coach at Virginia-Mountain Iron-Buhl, was a defenseman at UMD from 1975-80, playing in 150 games for his uncle, Gus Hendrickson, and was drafted in both the NHL and World Hockey Association.
“He’s a rink rat,” Keith Hendrickson said of his only son. “He’s outside on the ice every day all winter long since he was 5 years old. He’s great at working the puck in small areas. He’s a smart, heads-up player and he’s got a lot of passion for the game.”
Garrett Hendrickson was invited to the USA Hockey Select 16 and 17 national camps, and has played in the past two fall Elite League seasons. He said he’s been inspired by Virginia native Matt Niskanen, a 22-year-old Dallas Stars defenseman who previously played at UMD.
“He made me believe I could do it,” Hendrickson said.