The Michigan hockey team didn’t need any more defensemen, but Tim Cook didn’t want to go to any other school.
After visiting Ann Arbor as a sophomore in high school, the Montclair, N.J. native knew Michigan would be his first choice. Even with just one senior leaving the blue line after this season (Mike Roemensky) and two defensive recruits already verbally committed for next season, the Wolverines remained on the top of Cook’s list.
And for the Michigan coaches, the 6-foot-4 defenseman was “too good to pass up.” He will add a physical presence to a group that is slated to have just one other player over 6-foot-1 – David Wyzgowski at 6-foot-2. Cook also leads the first powerplay unit with his current team, the River City Lancers of the United States Hockey League. In time, Michigan assistant Billy Powers thinks he may be able to make an offensive contribution to the Wolverines as well.
“He wanted to be at Michigan, we wanted to make it work for him,” Powers said. “And instead of worrying about recruiting a guy for (junior Andy) Burnes when he’s done in a year, now we’re set.”
Rounding out next year’s class of blueliners are Cook’s current teammate Jason Dest and U.S. National Team Development Program defenseman Matt Hunwick. Michigan also has seven returning defensemen next season. With just six spots in the lineup, icetime will be at a premium. But freshman defenseman Danny Richmond doesn’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
“Whenever there’s competition for jobs, everyone plays their best,” Richmond said.