By @MichaelCaples –
Andrei Bakanov has only spent one year in the state of Michigan, but he caught the eyes of college hockey programs in a hurry (if they weren’t already aware of him).
Now, he’s locked in to be a Wolverine.
The 2002 birth-year forward – a native of Moskva, Russia – has announced his commitment to the University of Michigan Saturday evening.
“Education and hockey are very important to myself and my family, so college hockey is something I have always aspired to play,” Bakanov told MiHockey. “At the University of Michigan, these two components are represented at the highest level.”
Bakanov, listed at 6-foot-2 on his EliteProspects page, led his Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 16U team with 23 points in 18 High Performance Hockey League games this season. He will be taking part in the 2018 USA Hockey National Championships in Philadelphia next week; OJG earned an at-large bid to the tournament.
From there, Bakanov will likely be tendered or drafted by a USHL program in the upcoming USHL Phase 1 (“Futures”) Draft.
“I am very proud and grateful to the university for such a unique opportunity to study and play college hockey,” Bakanov said. “Furthermore, I was impressed with the university facilities for hockey and students. I am sure that the University of Michigan will help me to assist me in both my academics and in my personal challenges.
“Playing hockey has made me stronger and Michigan will make me smarter, and more capable of becoming the best person I can be.”