Kenai River Brown Bears forward Porter Schachle announced his commitment to Division I University of Alaska-Anchorage on Wednesday.
Schachle, 18, is entering his second season with the Brown Bears. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wasilla High School product played in 23 games for the Brown Bears last season before his season was cut short due to injury. He had seven assists and three goals.
“I’m proud and excited to announce my commitment to further my education and to play hockey for the University of Alaska Anchorage. I’d like to thank my family, teammates, and coaches who have supported me along the way #goseawolves,” Schachle wrote on Twitter.
Schachle’s brother, Tanner, who also played for the Brown Bears, will be a sophomore forward for the Seawolves this season.
“I think it’s a good fit for everybody all the way around,” said Brown Bears head coach Kevin Murdock after the first player on this season’s roster got a Division I commitment. “Porter will fit in well there. He can stay close to home and play with his brother.
“It’s a no-brainer that a kid like that would take advantage of the opportunity they were able to afford him.”
Including this season, Schachle has two seasons of junior eligibility remaining. Murdock was not sure when UAA planned on taking Schachle.
Murdock said Schachle has a lot of potential, and that’s why UAA snapped him up before the North American Hockey League Showcase starts in less than a week.
“The fact that he’s so big, and he’s still filling out and getting strong,” Murdock said. “He skates really well for a big guy, and he thinks the game fairly well. There’s a lot of upside to his big frame.”
Murdock said Schachle was only starting to figure out the junior game when he was hurt last season, so he expects more out of him this season.
The Bears are in the midst of finalizing their roster for the Showcase. Murdock said there are about 30 players on the team now, and the squad will be cut to about 25 for the Showcase.
The coach added that everyone still has a chance at making the team heading into two scrimmages against the Minnesota Wilderness today and Saturday at 4:05 p.m. AST in Minnesota. Murdock said he is not sure if the scrimmages will stream, but he said the Bears will keep fans updated on the games on the team’s Twitter account.
The Brown Bears open their season Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ADT with a game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pennsylvania) Knights at the North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. The home opener for the Bears is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 against the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.