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Erik Westrum

Erik Westrum, current standout for the Minnesota Gopher Hockey Team, was a four year participant in the Minnesota Selects Festival.  he developed into one of the top high school players in the State; however, one of the things that was most important to him at the Selects Festival was competing for the academic awards that were handed out at the end of the tournament.

Erik began his hockey career as a four-year old, playing in the Apple Valley Hockey Association where he continued through all levels.  It was during his PeeWee and Bantam years that he enjoyed playing in the Selects Festival.

Following you hockey, he played for Apple Valley High School and was a key member of the 196 State High School Championship Team.  Erik was an Allstate selection in his junior and senior years in high school and in addition, lettered two years on the Apple Valley boy's tennis team.  Academics were important to Erik, as he as a A- student, graduating with a 3.67 grade point average.  He also served in the mediator/counselor program in high school.

Erik has been an avid student of conditioning and training and his hard work  in the off season has paid great dividends.  While in high school, he would regularly shoot 200 to 300 pucks per day and go through various stick handling maneuvers, which would take up to tow hours.  he also worked on plyometrics and sprints for conditioning, speed and agility and in the day of sophisticated training programs, Erik would frequently design his own training which would involve such things as jumping back and forth across a cooler and running around and through old shoes set up as cones.  As he got older and stronger, he added more weight training to his program, the emphasis being to develop speed, quickness and power, which he has continued with in college.

Erik's competitiveness and work ethic is not limited to hockey.  he is a major in finance at the Carlson School of Business which he entered after his freshman year after having compiled a grade ping average of 3.7.  Setting goals has been important in Erik's development and his goal setting involves taking care of school work first and then doing the best he can in hockey.  it is obvious he has succeeded on both fronts.  he intends to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in finance and a minor in general management.  Erik's advise to young hockey players is to set high standards and goals in school and take that same attitude on the ice with hockey.

Erik was drafted in the fifth round by the Phoenix Coyotes following his freshman year of college and through his dream is to play in the National Hockey League, it is equally important to him to finish his college degree and to become a well-rounded person.  As a result, beyond hockey and school, Erik is involved in hockey ministries, a program started by former Gopher and current White Bear High School Coach, Bill Butters.  The program involves a weekly meeting with a number of his teammates as they discuss how passages form the Bible can relate to their lives at the present time.

Erik's hard work, skill and leadership have been an important part of the Minnesota Gophers' resurgence this season.  These attributes will serve himself and his team well for the remainder of this year and into his senior year.  Whatever path Erik ultimately takes, it is certain that he will be a success on and off the ice. (2000).