Kenai River Brown Bears forward Theo Thrun and Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets defenseman Ivar Sjolund battle for the puck Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Theo Thrun and Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets defenseman Ivar Sjolund battle for the puck Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Brown Bears’ Thrun commits to Western Michigan

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.”

More in Sports

Kenai volleyball sweeps Soldotna

Kards prevail on SoHi’s home floor

Kenai Central’s Tucker Vann is congratulated by Soldotna’s Brayden Taylor after scoring a touchdown Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School. Soldotna won 58-14, but Vann explained after the game he’s knows many Soldotna players through Pop Warner football. "We’re buddies whether we’re rivals or not," Vann said. "They take care of me and I take care of them." (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai-Soldotna football games canceled

Kards pull out due to non-COVID illnesses

Kenai River Brown Bears defenseman Ryan Reid battles Ignat Belov of the Maine Nordiques for the puck Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
NAHL releases schedule

Brown Bears plan to return in January

Runners dash from the start of the 5-kilometer race Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, at the Kenai River Marathon. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River Marathon set for Sunday

Race makes changes to mitigate coronavirus

Refuge Notebook: New trail makes Ski Hill safer

Path welcomes all nonmotorized user groups

The Kenai River curls to Skilak Lake, as seen from the Hideout Trail on July 5, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Burn it all down

The plastic paradox and rockwork on Skyline Trail

Homer netters top SoHi

Mariners rebound from Friday loss

Homer’s River Mann is tackled by a group of Kardinals during a Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 football game against Kenai Central High School at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. The Mariners won 44-6. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer, Nikiski football record wins

Homer’s Tennison proves hard to stop once again

Kenai swimmers sweep tri meet

Meet has no spectators due to coronavirus mitigation

Most Read