FAIRBANKS—One of the most versatile players on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for the past couple of seasons, Pete Spratte committed earlier this week to play college hockey at Lake Superior State University.
Spratte, who has played all five skating positions for the Ice Dogs during his three-year tenure with the Junior A program, had five goals and 15 assists for 20 points in the 2011-12 season.
“His best attribute is his speed and skating ability,” said Ice Dogs coach Trevor Stewart, who is in the Lower 48 preparing for the upcoming North American Hockey League draft. “In the college game, it’s all about speed and skating, so he should fit right in at any position.”
Spratte said it was the size of the school (about 2,500 students) and the town of Sault Ste. Marie, MIch., that attracted him to the school.
“I like the town,” he said earlier this week. “It’s a small community with a rich hockey tradition.”
Spratte said the biggest thing he learned in Fairbanks was how important it is to have a good work ethic.
“You’ve got to give everything you’ve got every day if you want to be in a situation to succeed,” he said. “You can’t take a day off.”
While he was mainly a forward this season, Spratte played mostly defense when the Ice Dogs won the 2011 Robertson Cup Junior A Tier II national championship.
“The national championship is unforgettable, but what I will really remember most is the people of Fairbanks, the coaching staff and the organization,” Spratte said.
“Fairbanks is an incredible place to play hockey,” he added. “I’d really like to thank (general manager) Rob Proffitt, (coach) Trevor Stewart, (assistant coach) Geoff Beauparlant and my Fairbanks parents Amy and Eric Reich.”
The Ice Dogs will begin reloading for the 2012-13 season Thursday night when the NAHL holds its annual player draft. Stewart said he isn’t sure how many players are returning from the 2011-12 team, but the Ice Dogs are planning to draft between eight and 10 players.
“We lose a lot of scoring, so there are gong to be some big shoes to fill,” Stewart said. “We’re hoping some of the guys we have coming back will fill some of those shoes, but we know we’re going to have to draft some top-end guys as well as some guys who can fill in throughout the course of the season.”