Harstad poised to end CC career on high note
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Aaron Harstad grew up in Wisconsin, played his junior hockey in the Badger State and hoped to stay home to play his college hockey.
Two out of three ain’t bad, as the 22-year-old defenseman from Stevens Point wraps up his NCAA Division I career at Colorado College.
“It’s kind of funny, but I grew up watching CC and always liked the school,” Harstad said. “I was recruited by (former Colorado College coach) Scott Owens before Wisconsin, and once I saw the school and the campus, that was all I needed.”
And while the Tigers have struggled this season and for the majority of the 2013-14 campaign, Harstad said there have been plenty of positives on which to build upon.
“We just want to keep getting better and finish strong and be ready for the playoffs,” said Harstad. “I just want to keep doing what I can to help the team.”
Harstad is also one of several NHL draft picks on the Tigers’ roster. The Winnipeg Jets selected him in the seventh round of the 2011 proceedings after he completed his third season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.
And while some players leave school early to sign NHL deals, Harstad said staying all four years at CC was his best move.
“Being a later-round pick, you have to look at everything and just go when you’re ready,” he said. “I think I’ve continued to get better during my time here.
“I talk to the Winnipeg development staff from time to time when they come to games, and I’ve always wanted to play pro hockey.
“If all goes as planned, (Winnipeg) and I will talk more after the season and, hopefully, we’ll get a deal done.”
– Matt Mackinder