Theo Thrun’s dream has come true.
Thrun, a forward with the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League, announced his commitment Wednesday to play NCAA Division I hockey for Western Michigan University.
Thrun, 18, said earlier this season Western Michigan was his dream school.
Thrun’s father, Troy, was inducted into the Western Michigan University Hockey Ring of Honor in 2017 for a career that ran from 1983 to 1986. Troy had 81 goals and 102 assists in 122 games, and still has the school record for game-winning goals in a season with six.
Troy owns On Your Game, a hockey pro shop, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Having that pro shop at the rink allowed Theo to get as much ice time as he wanted growing up, and he spent that time on the ice working on skills that he hoped would one day land him at the school where his father starred.
“My dad is the one who really got me into it,” Theo told the Clarion in early November. “Our family is a huge hockey family.”
Thrun, at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, has been a big reason the Brown Bears are in first place in the Midwest Division. He is second on the team in scoring with 37 points, coming on 17 goals and 20 assists.
Those 37 points are good for sixth in the NAHL, and Thrun’s 17 goals are tied for third in the league. This is Thrun’s first year in the league.
“I’m thrilled to be going back home to play for Western Michigan,” Thrun said in a released statement. “The NAHL has made me a better player and I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates.”
Brown Bears head coach Kevin Murdock discovered Thrun during Murdock’s first weekend on the job at the NAHL Combine in Detroit from April 12 to 14.
“Theo has been very good for our team this first half of the season, he’s a smart player who continues to grow his game with the more experience he gains,” Murdock said in a released statement. “We couldn’t be more proud of the work he’s put in so far this season and are extremely excited for him to have earned this opportunity.”