St. Cloud Norsemen defenseman Chase Cheslock won’t have to leave his home state of Minnesota when he moves on to college hockey as he recently announced his commitment to play for the University of St.Thomas.
Cheslock said the fit seemed perfect right from the beginning. “Just stepping on campus, I could just tell right away that this was the spot where I wanna be,” Chase explains. “The way that they have things mapped out, it’s just something you wanna be a part of and I wanna get on that ship.”
While obviously the hockey program needed to be the right fit, Cheslock is excited about the school itself, both academically and geographically. When asked what he liked about the university itself, he wasted no time answering, “Going to the classrooms and seeing the small classroom sizes. Their business program, which I wanna go into and do some finance, was just so appetizing,” confides Cheslock. Being able to play Division I hockey so close to home was a big bonus as well. “I was definitely planning on staying in the Midwest going through the whole recruitment process and the fact that it’s just 30 minutes down the road is something super special.”
Cheslock is a Rogers, Minnesota native, which is northwest of the Twin Cities, and a short trek to the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul.
Norsemen Head Coach Corey Millen isn’t surprised in the least that the Tommies want to bring the 17-year old defenseman into their program. “He’s big, he’s rangy, he skates well, there’s a lot to like there and I think his game can grow and has upside too” compliments Millen. “I think he works hard and has displayed a really good work ethic, attitude and a willingness to learn everyday.”
Cheslock turns eighteen later this month and is in his first season in the NAHL. A senior in high school he put up strong offensive numbers the last two seasons, scoring 8-15-23 in 20 games as a sophomore and as a captain his junior campaign saw him put up 10-29-39 in 28 games. The right shot blueliner has played in all eight regular season games for the Norsemen this year.
There are also certainly comparisons between his current and future teams to be made. His NAHL squad has only been in St. Cloud for a few seasons and are in their third season as the Norsemen. Meanwhile, St. Thomas, a hockey program that goes back to the 1920-21 season, is just in its second season of Division I competition and plays in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association or CCHA.
For Chase, the thought of being at a program and helping build its legacy, rather than just add to it, was not at all lost on the young man. “You get to make the writing on the wall and that’s something really special that not many people get to do,” admits Cheslock. “You get to build a program and come in right at the beginning and create a history and create a culture for that program. That’s something I did not want to pass up.”
University of St. Thomas Head Coach Enrico Blasi is in his second season at the helm of the Tommies but is certainly no stranger to the collegiate game, spending 20 seasons as the head coach of Miami University from 1999-2019. Before that he was an assistant coach with the University of Denver and came to St. Thomas from Providence college where he served as the associate athletic director for men’s and women’s ice hockey.
Cheslock believes that the comparisons between the programs will help his transition from junior to collegiate hockey. “You gotta learn how to win games, you gotta learn how to build a culture,” Chase points out, “And that’s something that I’m learning here and I’ll be able to instantly apply when I get there.”
Cheslock and the St. Cloud Norsmen take to the road this weekend when they venture to neighboring North Dakota. They’ll face the Bismarck Bobcats on Friday and Saturday then finish off the weekend with a road contest vs. the Minot Minotauros Sunday evening. All three games can be seen online at hockeytv.com.
The next home contest for St. Cloud comes on Saturday, October 29th, when they host the Minnesota Wilderness. Tickets for that game and all Norsemen games can be found online at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com.