Lincoln Stars forward Noah Laba has announced his commitment to Colgate University, an NCAA Division I program in the ECAC Hockey conference.
"I waited for a college to fit before making my decision," Laba said. "I didn’t have a certain timeline. Colgate was that perfect mix of having a great program and a great school, in general. I’m super excited to go there.”
Laba, 17, has scored two goals and added an assist in four games so far throughout his rookie campaign in the USHL. He spent the 2019-20 season with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 16U program after two years with Compuware.
The Northville, Michigan native attended Sioux Falls’ camp in the summer, but was cut by the Stampede following their All-Star Game. A call from Stars associate head coach Nick Peruzzi followed.
"I started off the summer not knowing exactly where I’d be," Laba remarked. "I went to their camp, had a pretty good camp, but obviously didn’t make their team. That’s when Nick called me and told me he wanted me at Lincoln’s camp. Those two camps helped build my resume that led me to making training camp and here I am.”
“When we heard that he didn’t make their team, we made sure that he was coming to our main camp,” Stars general manager and head coach Chris Michael said. "When he did, he showcased himself well on and off the ice.”
"He’s big, strong, skates well, has got good puck skills, and just as important he is an outstanding young man who will help elevate the culture we are looking to create” Michael continued. “The thing we noticed a lot is he seemed to always have the puck or the puck found him, which told us he has the willingness to go to the right areas of the rink and play inside the dots."
Laba's play on the ice opened several eyes at Lincoln's camp, but was further convinced this was the right fit after being shown a presentation at the Ice Box.
The presentation, shown to all camp attendees, consisted of integral elements showcasing how the Stars have become a storied franchise in the USHL over the last two decades.
"When we went through the powerpoint slides at camp, showing all the traditions and when you see the entire history behind this organization, it was impressive,” Laba said. "You can really see how special it is to play here."
While his attention remains on the 2020-21 season in Lincoln, Laba is set to become a Raider in the future, joining a Colgate program that began play in 1916. Colgate is still looking for their first NCAA championship despite a Frozen Four appearance in 1990. They last qualified for the national tournament in 2014. Stars alum Ross Mitton is currently a freshman at Colgate.