The Razorback Hockey team is pleased to announce that Ben Koester has formally committed to play at Arkansas. A 5’8″ 175 lb. forward from Appleton, Wisconsin, Koester recently completed his season with the NA3HL Rochester Ice Hawks after starting out the 15-16 campaign with the Peoria Mustangs. A 1995 birth year, Koester spent the 14-15 season in the MnJHL–splitting time with the Dells Ducks and Maple Grove Energy.
Prior to his junior hockey career, Koester during high school played for three years on the Appleton United Varsity Men’s Hockey team while also playing in the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL), a Tier II AAA program. He served as Assistant Captain of his 2014 varsity squad while likewise earning the Unsung Hero Award.
Said Koester, “I chose to attend the University of Arkansas as it gives me the best opportunity to obtain a high quality education, while also being given the opportunity to continue my hockey career at a high level.” He added, “[w]hen I visited campus and met with the coaching staff and players, I immediately felt like I was a part of their family. The team is run like a professional organization and has grown a tremendously over the last year alone. I am excited to help contribute to the program’s success in any way that I can as we pursue a National Championship.”
Koester becomes the ninth player in a 16-17 recruiting class that now has six different states represented (Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California). He joins the following players:
F-Drew Hill (Dallas Jr. Stars, NA3HL)
F-Garrett Jackson (McKinney Northstars)
F-Alex Kueser (Eureka High School)
F-Chris Weatherly (HC Dallas AAA, NAPHL)
D-Alex DeGuire (Skipjacks Hockey Club, USPHL)
D-Dominic De la Guardia (Portland Jr. Pirates, USPHL)
D-Jake Jones (Bobcaygeon Storm, GMHL)
D-Blake Sibley (HC Dallas AAA, NAPHL)
The Arkansas hockey program recently finished its first season fielding two teams. After a post-season reshuffling in the final 15-16 rankings, the Division I team finished #21–the highest finish in ACHA history for any team in its first DI season after moving from DIII. The team’s #21 finish also gave Arkansas the best finish of any of the five teams that made the jump to Division I this season. Meanwhile, Division III’s twenty-eight win season was good for third in the SECHC and tenth in the Pacific Region.
The 2016-17 Division I & III schedules will be released in early summer. All home games are played at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale.