Neil Koepke previews Friday's Big Ten Tournament semifinal.
Neil Koepke previews this weekend's big series with Michigan.
Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Friday's 3-0 win over Wisconsin.
Spartans earn a series split in Minneapolis.
Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Saturday's 3-0 win.
2013-2014 (Sophomore): Played his first game of the season on Nov. 22 vs. Western Michigan after missing the first eight games recovering from offseason surgery ... Finished third on the team and ninth in the Big Ten in blocked shots with 64 ... Recorded three assists in a weekend sweep vs. Princeton (11/29-12/1) ... Posted a season-high plus-3 rating in the 8-2 win over Princeton ... Had a season-high five blocked shots on two occasions - vs. Minnesota (12/6) and vs. Michigan (3/8) ... Tied for the team lead in plus/minus during Big Ten play at plus-2.
2012-13 (Freshman): Ranked third in the nation with 89 blocked shots, averaging 2.12 blocks per game ... One of four freshmen to have appeared in all 42 games ... Tallied 10 points (1g, 9a) ... Registered his first collegiate points against Niagara (10/20) with a pair of assists ... Scored his first goal as a Spartan and also added an assist in a 4-2 victory at Lake Superior State (10/27) ... Had assists in three consecutive games vs. Alaska; had helpers in both games of a series split (2/22-23) and then in game one of the CCHA Playoffs (3/8).
Prior to MSU: Drafted in the third round (68th selection overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by his hometown Minnesota Wild ... Helped lead Shattuck St. Mary's to a second consecutive Tier I National Championship as a senior ... Appeared in 57 games in 2011-12, posting an 11-30-41 scoring effort from the blueline ... Was his team's top scoring defenseman ... In 54 games as a junior, owned a 3-8-11 scoring line with 18 PIM ... Helped SSM to a Tier I National Championship in 2011 as well, when he was a teammate of current Spartan sophomore Tanner Sorenson ... Over his two final high school seasons, helped Shattuck's varsity to a 95-11-5 overall record ... Former MSU Director of Hockey Operations Adam Nightingale was his Midget AA coach at Shattuck before Nightingale returned to MSU until 2014.
Personal: Born Dec. 2, 1993 in Edina, Minn. ... Son of Tom and Katie Draeger ... Has twin siblings, Kevin and Maggie ... Graduated from Shattuck in 2012, and played baseball early in his high school career ... Was presented with the Holsinger Sportsmanship Award as a senior ... Enjoys hunting and fishing when away from the rink ... His favorite NHL team is the Minnesota Wild ... Lists his favorite NHL player as the recently-retired Nicklas Lidstrom. "He is the perfect human, and one of the best defensemen to play the game." ... Credits Shattuck St. Mary's head coach Tom Ward as his largest hockey influence. "He taught me how to play the game the right way." ... Lists his grandfather as his hero.