Neil Koepke previews the 2015-16 season.
Sixty-eight Spartans student-athletes were recognized for having a 3.0 or better GPA.
2015-16 (Junior): Has appeared in 17 games on the blue line … Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
2014-15 (Sophomore): Appeared in four games ... Academic All-Big Ten honoree ... Named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar for posting a GPA over 3.7 during the year ... Suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice on March 12.
2013-14 (Freshman): Appeared in 13 games as a freshman ... Recorded two blocked shots in a 4-3 win over Michigan (3/8) ... Made his collegiate debut vs. Massachusetts (10/19) ... Tied for the team lead in plus/minus during Big Ten play at plus-2.
Prior to MSU: Played 55 games for Wichita Falls after an early-season trade from Wenatchee ... Had a 5-12-17 scoring line as Wichita Falls' top-scoring defenseman ... Had 82 penalty minutes, second on the team ...In 2011-12 with Wenatchee, had a pair of goals-- both serving as game-winners-- along with 13 assists ... Of his 13 assists, 10 came either on the power play or shorthanded ... Registered four assists in eight playoff games... Played midget hockey for Team Illinois, where his coach was Spartan All American Sean Berens (1995-98).
Personal: Born April 27, 1993 in Barrington, Ill. ... Son of Mark and Michelle ... Sister, Hillary, is a graduate of Vanderbilt University ... Graduated from Barrington High School ... Favorite NHL team is the Chicago Blackhawks and favorite NHL player is former Spartan Duncan Keith because "he is such a smooth skater, plays big minutes and is strong with the puck" ... Lists his parents as both his biggest hockey influence and his biggest heros because they never stopped believing in him and constantly made sacrifices.