Freshmen Spotlight: Jared Larson

In the fall of 2010, the Gophers will welcome the services of an experienced and skilled hockey player in forward Jared Larson. The Apple Valley native will head come back to the Twin Cities after spending two years playing for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the NAHL.

Jared Larson is one of the oldest members of this year's class. Larson was a successful high school player for Eastview, leading his team in scoring during his junior and senior seasons. A 2008 high school graduate, Larson has spent two full seasons playing in the NAHL where he has grown as a player while compiling impressive stats.

In his first season with the Ice Dogs he had 22 goals and 14 assists for 36 points. Last season Larson tallied 24 goals and 22 points for 46 points in 56 games. Larson's play the past two seasons earned him a roster spot with his hometown Gophers.

Larson's experience and age should be an advantage when he joins the Gophers this season. He should be able to overcome the early bumps and hardships during the beginning of the year.

Larson should also continue his growth as a player once he comes to Minnesota. In an interview with NAHL.com, Larson documents the strides he made in his two seasons with the ice dogs.

Larson said, "I think I've improved my puck-handling and ability to beat guys wide with my speed. I see the ice better. It's a faster game here. [Fairbanks] I realized quickly that it's faster than Minnesota high school hockey. And the strength and conditioning coach has helped me put on a few pounds in the weight room." Larson's growth should continue at Minnesota where he could become quite a player.

Larson seems like a good fit for the Gophers who have had trouble with keeping players around for more than a couple years. Larson is the type of player that could develop into a good college hockey player if he sticks with the Gophers for all four years of his college career.

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