DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Fighting Saints Willie Knierim inked his commitment to Arizona State, joining teammate James Sanchez as the second Fighting Saint to commit to the Sun Devils this season. Knierim, in his second stint with Dubuque will head back to the college ranks after the 2018-19 season.
‘This process was a little bit different than the first time around,” said Knierim. “I think I knew a little bit more about the whole thing and knew what I was looking for.”
Knierim has been a consistent contributor for the Fighting Saints this season as the big winger has managed 22 points in the team’s 31 games. Knierim has played the majority of the season on a line with Sanchez as well as Matias Maccelli.
“I think [Arizona State] is on the incline right now,” said Knierim. “They are doing well this year and I can only hope to help them continue the success the next two years. The coaching staff seems to really care. I played for Mike Field here in Dubuque and I think us being familiar and comfortable with each other really helped in my decision. I am extremely excited to commit to Arizona State, it just seems like a great fit for me.”
Knierim played for the Fighting Saints during the 2014-15 season and tallied 28 points in 60 games. During the playoffs that year, Knierim had seven points in eight games. In his following season with Dubuque, Knierim had 27 points in 53 games before committing to Miami (OH).
“What a story, Willie’s,” said head coach Oliver David. “It starts with a 16-year-old boy becoming a Fighting Saint and it ends with a 21-year-old young man going to ASU to play college hockey. Everything in between speaks to Willie’s great nature, passion for the game and his ability to face obstacles head on and persevere.”
Knierim becomes the 9th Fighting Saints player to commit during the 2018-19 season.