Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ann Arbor's Cole still off to Notre Dame

By Paul Svoboda
Belleville Intelligencer

NHL first-round draft pick Ian Cole will be wearing the blue and gold of Notre Dame next season - not the black, gold and red of the Belleville Bulls.

On Friday, Bulls general manager and head coach George Burnett said the status of Cole, an Ann Arbor native, has not changed since he was chosen 18th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the NHL draft in Columbus. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound American defenseman was nabbed by the Bulls in the 12th round of the 2005 OHL draft (228th overall), but is committed to playing NCAA Division I college hockey at Notre Dame starting in September.

"He has had plans to go there for a number of years," said Burnett. "Ian and his family have been very open to keeping the lines of communication open, but we've been very aware they preferred the NCAA route."

The Bulls selected Cole two years ago from the Plymouth-based Victory Honda major midgets where he had 15 goals and 40 points in 60 games. Born in 1989, the left-shooting blueliner spent last season with the U.S. Under-18 team and compiled 4-16--20 scoring totals in 49 games.

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