NMU hockey: Wildcats sign two defensemen to NLIs

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University hockey program announced the signing of two defensive prospects to National Letters of Intent on Tuesday with Wednesday being the final day of the early signing period for sports such as hockey and basketball.

With the graduation of senior defensemen CJ Ludwig and Wade Epp following this season, the Wildcats plan to bring in Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Jordan Klimek and Sherwood Park Crusaders defensemen Marshall Donald to try to fill the seniors’ void.

NMU head coach Walt Kyle called both players “legit” and “the real deal” Tuesday after the ‘Cats practice in preparation for a pair of 7:07 p.m. WCHA games against Alabama-Huntsville on Friday and Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

Klimek, at 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, has six assists this season in 12 games for the Saints in the USHL. He appeared in 69 games a year ago for the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL, totaling six goals and 23 assists.

Klimek, who will be 19 years old at the start of next season, is the nephew of three-time NMU captain John Goode, who played for the ‘Cats from 1985-89 with the C on his jersey his final three seasons.

Donald, at 5-11 and 180 pounds, is in his third full season with Sherwood Park of the AJHL. He has three goals and eight assists this season after scoring five goals and 14 assists a year ago. Donald was one of two AJHL players listed as “Ones to Watch” in the NHL Central Scouting Service’s 2013 preliminary North American rankings with Donald classified as a C skater.