Lanky goaltender Tyler Marble already has a Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association commitment for the 2013-14 season. Marble, a 1992 birth year from Howell, Mich., will attend Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie and play for the Lakers.
Interestingly, Marble is in Sault Ste. Marie a year in advance of playing at Lake Superior State. The well-travelled goaltender is spending his final season of junior eligibility tending twine for the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League.
The Eagles and the NAHL are Marble's latest stop. And Marble has looked like a big-time NCAA prospect for the Lakers through the early going of the 2012-13 NAHL season with the Eagles.
After playing in the NAHL with the erstwhile Traverse City North Stars briefly in 2009-10 and for all the 2010-11 season, Marble spent the 2011-12 campaign north of the border with first the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Jr. Hockey League and then with the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
His return to the NAHL, specifically the Soo, has paid early dividends for the Eagles, who took ownership of the former Traverse City franchise during the off-season.
Through the first two weeks of the 2012-13 season, the Eagles had a record of 2-4-1 from seven games and Marble was a saviour in pair of weekend wins over Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings and Michigan Warriors.
Marble made 46 saves as the Eagles defeated previously-unbeaten Kalamazoo 4-2 and then stopped 41 pucks as the Eagles stole a 3-2 road decision from the Warriors in Flint. Thus far, Marble has a 2-1-1 record to go with a 2.49 goals against average and .936 save percentage.
Marble has been everything advertised as far as Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo is concerned.
"He is a big reason why we won those two games," Bragagnolo said of Marble, who he acquired in an off-season trade with Wellington. "He has good size, he moves well and has good composure. It's easy to see why Lake State committed to him."
As Marble has his Division 1 commitment in place for next season, at least three other NAHL North Division puckstoppers are stating early cases for the NCAA recruiters to consider.
1992 birth year Reid Mimmack has been perfect through his first three starts with the Jamestown Ironmen, posting a 3-0 record with a 2.00 goals against average and .929 save percentage.
1993 birth year Max Milosek is a big reason why Port Huron Fighting Falcons won six of their first eight games. Milosek is 5-1 through his first six starts with a 2.43 goals against average and .923 save percentage.
And 1994 birth year youngster Brock Kautz is 3-1-1 with a 1.97 goals against average and .934 save percentage in playing five of the first six games for the 3-2-1 Janesville Jets.