Apple Valley's Hudson Fasching in practice this past season. Photo by David Joles, Star Tribune
Since his arrival on the Minnesota high school hockey scene two seasons ago, Apple Valley sophomore forward Hudson Fasching has drawn interest from the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Last week, the people in Fasching’s inner-circle noticed he stopped saying “if” when talking about leaving for Michigan and began saying “when.”
Fasching is among a group of the first seven players to commit to the USNTDP for the 2011-12 season. He will leave Apple Valley to skate with the Under-17 team next season.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Fasching said. “I mean, the name says it all, national team development program. You get to play for your country, work out every day and develop.”
In two seasons at Apple Valley, the 6-3, 200-pound Fasching scored 42 goals and added 50 assists in 59 games. He helped the Eagles reach the semifinals of the 2010 Class 2A state tournament. The Eagles fell to Eagan in the Section 3 championship game this season.
“It’s definitely hard to leave the guys,” Fasching said. “It was not easy but I know I made the right decision.”
Fasching said the decision was made tougher when balancing it against a family life that includes two younger siblings who have rare cell disorders.
“I think my leaving will be the hardest on my dad,” Fasching said. “My mom takes care of my siblings, so my dad and I were always stuck together. Now he’s losing his wing-man.”
Fasching also helped the Eagles to Class 2A state soccer championships in 2009 and 2010.
Junior A.J. Michaelson, Fasching’s now former Apple Valley teammate, said the news created mixed emotions.
“I think going there will be a good thing for him and I hope he does well,” Michaelson said. “It’s just too bad he’s leaving.”
Michaelson, a Gophers recruit, turned down an invitation to play on the U-17 team in Ann Arbor last spring. He is “still up in the air” on his decision of whether to return to Apple Valley for his senior season or play for Waterloo of the U.S. Hockey League.
“Right now I’m leaning toward staying home,” said Michaelson, who added that if the USNTDP U-18 team offered him a spot, he would take it.
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