You often see players with a strong hockey bloodline around college hockey. Sometimes, they play at the same school their fathers (or uncles or what have you) did. Sometimes, they don’t.
Minnesota-Duluth’s Travis Oleksuk is one such player, special in the fact that he’s the first son of a Bulldogs alum to skate for the same team.
His father, Bill Oleksuk, played left wing for UMD from 1978 to 1982 and held the school record for most goals in a season by a freshman until Brett Hull shattered it six years later.
Now, Travis is following in his father’s footsteps as a special player.
“For us and, quite frankly, recruiting-wise, it was a very important get for us; obviously, it’s great to have some alumni with the ties to UMD,” said coach Scott Sandelin. “Travis was our first alumni’s kid to play for us, so that was important. To have an opportunity to recruit him and get him in our program was pretty special to our staff.
“We had tried with Gino Guyer; his dad played there a couple years, we didn’t get him. We tried with a couple others, so it’s kind of neat to get Travis … more importantly, he’s a good hockey player and has the good bloodlines just like his dad, so he’s been a great addition to our program.”
Oleksuk himself has never regretted his choice and loves being a Bulldog.
“It all started in midgets where I first committed here,” he said. ”I just came down for a visit and loved the program. Obviously, I came down there and really enjoyed the city too and excellent coaching staff and knowing that my dad played here before and telling me about it made an impact, and it just shows that this is the place where I had to come.”