Rutledge Commits to Michigan

Jared Rutledge
Jared Rutledge is eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft

Jared Rutledge is beaming, ecstatic about his commitment to attend the University of Michigan, happy to field interviews just hours before he starts in goal that evening.

The U.S. National Team Development Program goaltender - well aware that two of his NTDP predecessors committed to Michigan only to change their minds and enter the OHL - is confident enough in his decision to joke with his future coach, Red Berenson.

"I told Red I didn't want to be their hat trick," Rutledge said with a smile. "I told them all along that when I made my decision, I was going to be 100% sure I was coming there. I couldn't be happier and I'm really excited."

Choosing a Path

Before committing to Michigan, Rutledge faced the decision many talented young players face - to play college hockey or major junior. The Chicago native was a fifth-round pick in the 2010 OHL Draft by Saginaw.

"I haven't always had college in mind," he said. "I did a lot of thinking about it, did a lot of research before I made up my mind."

Rutledge, who has attended multiple presentations with College Hockey, Inc. Executive Director Paul Kelly, said time was the main reason he chose the college route.

"Goalies take longer to develop," he said. "I want to develop as a player and have the time to get myself ready for the next level."

Michigan, Rutledge added, not only has an excellent reputation for developing NHL players, it also gave him a great opportunity.

"They believe in me as a player a ton, enough to offer me the starting job as a freshman," he said. "That was a huge factor."

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