The Topeka RoadRunners (NAHL) are proud to announce second year defenseman Ryan Polin has committed to play Division I college hockey for American International College beginning in the fall of 2015.
The 5’11” 190 lb. defenseman from Holt, MI found hockey at an early age. “My parents got me into hockey at the age of 4”, he recalls. ”They took me to a Michigan State hockey game and I have loved it ever since.” As he grew, so did his opportunities, but leaving home to play for the Lansing Capitals (NAPHL) made him a little uneasy at first. “It was very scary to me. Living on my own with another family scared me. I didn't know what to expect.” But he adapted well, playing two seasons for the Capitals, scoring 12 goals and 17 assists in 44 games before finding his way to Topeka. “I knew one of the head RoadRunner scouts, Anthony Palumbo because I had played a couple games (in 2012) with Traverse City (NAHL) when he was the General Manager there. He signed me the year after to play for Topeka.” RoadRunner Head Coach/GM Scott Langer speaks highly of Polin. “Ryan has been a top shelf RoadRunner. He has been consistently been one of the most reliable players we’ve had to date. His character is what separates him from a lot of athletes. He will be greatly missed.”
Polin, in his second full season with Topeka, was an Iron Man, playing in all 60 games. He was named an assistant captain early in the season, led the team in plus-minus with a +22 rating, scored 6 goals and added 26 assists, and was selected to participate in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February in Ann Arbor, MI. With his junior career winding down, he looks back on his fondest RoadRunner memory. “It was definitely when we beat Amarillo in Game 5 last year to win the South Division. For us to win on their home ice was amazing and the greatest feeling in the world.” Now, as his plans for next season are secure, he is on a mission to finish the job with the RoadRunners. “It would mean the world to me to win a championship here in Topeka. I want to be on the first team in Topeka history to win. I want to always remember something from junior hockey and that is what I want to remember!”
Choosing American International College, located in Springfield, MA was a fairly easy decision. “When I went to visit AIC I felt it was the best fit for me both athletically and academically. They have a great business school which is something I want to go in to.” His current coach in Topeka knows AIC is getting a quality addition. “Ryan's commitment to AIC proves that going about your business, playing hard and being a good person pays off. He will make the Yellow Jackets extremely happy.”
No player reaches the level of Division I college hockey without great support. “I want to thank my parents for everything they do for me and the sacrifices they have made to help me become who I am today. I would like to thank everyone in the Topeka organization for this opportunity, and of course would like to thank Coach Langer and Coach (Josh) Kamrass for helping me improve not only on the ice but off the ice as a person.”
Polin becomes the eighth player on the current roster to commit to a Division I school, and the third in franchise history to select AIC. The Yellow Jackets compete in the NCAA’s Atlantic Hockey Association.
The Runners and Wildcats meet for Game Two on Saturday night at Landon Arena (7pm). There will be a pre-game part at Jose Peppers at 5pm. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office.