The state of Missouri likes to call itself the show-me state. It represents an attitude that it values actions over words, and you could say Minnesota Wilderness forward Max Neill could fit right in. He’ll have a chance to prove it, as Neill this week announced he will play his college hockey for Missouri’s lone division 1 NCAA hockey program at Lindenwood University.
Neill’s actions this season have made a huge difference to the Wilderness, where he finished the 2021-22 regular season with a team-leading 21 goals. The native of Portage La Prairie, MB, also piled up 28 assists for 49 points.
When it comes to contributing to team victories, when Neill scores at least 1 point, Minnesota recorded a 27-7-1 record. This contrasts with a record of 8-16-1 when he did not get on the scoresheet. Also, the team finished 10-0 when Neill registered at least two points.
On top of all that, Neill finished this season as one of three players to get into all 60 regular season games.
Wilderness Head coach/general manager Dave Boitz had this to say about Neill in a statement released by the NAHL:
“Max is the ultimate throwback player and a tremendous competitor. He has had an outstanding season and is a big reason for our success. Lindenwood is getting a terrific player and a great young man. Our entire organization is happy for Max and his family.”
This season is Neill’s fourth in Jr. hockey. His career started with two seasons in Steinbach of the MJHL before he played his first NAHL campaign in 2020-21 in Johnstown. He’ll continue his Jr career this weekend, as the Wilderness kick off a first round Robertson Cup playoff series in Fairbanks, AK, vs. the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
Lindenwood’s hockey program officially moves up to the Division 1 level this Fall. The Lions are based in St. Charles, MO.