Eric Schurhamer, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound defenseman who led St. Thomas Academy to the Minnesota Class 1A state championship last season, has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine on a hockey scholarship.
He will attend Maine beginning in the fall of 2013.
Schurhamer, who had eight goals and 18 assists in 25 regular season games last season, will turn 18 next month and will captain St. Thomas Academy this season.
He said he intends to play junior hockey in the 2012-2013 season.
“Hopefully, it will be in the USHL,” said Schurhamer, referring to the prestigious United States Hockey League.
Schurhamer said he chose Maine over several other schools including Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Army and Yale.
Maine was the only school he visited.
“I had a gut feeling that this was the right place to go,” said Schurhamer. “When I left, I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else.
“It’s not much different than where I’m from [St. Paul, Minn.]. There is a great community there, the coaches were really nice and the players were nice,” added Schurhamer. “Everybody wants you to succeed. No one pushes you aside.”
“He has been a four-year starter for us,” said St. Thomas Academy’s Greg Vanelli, who is the co-head coach along with his brother Tom. “He is a skilled guy. He’s solid, he sees the ice really well. We’ve sent a lot of players to Division I schools and he’s the best defenseman we’ve ever coached.”
He said Schurhamer will maneuver around the first forechecker to get separation so he can make a good pass.
He also has a very good shot, according to Vanelli, who uses him on the power play.
Vanelli considers Schurhamer to be an outstanding person who “puts team first.”
Schurhamer considers himself a two-way defenseman.
“Everyone has told me to not be a liability in my own end. Take care of my own end first and once I’ve done that, I can show off in the [offensive] end,” said Schurhamer.
In preparation for 2013, he said “I want to keep working hard, gain a few pounds, work on the little things and be consistent.”
His coming to Maine is dependent upon his acceptance into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.