Welcome to the fourth post in our new series featuring the 2013-14 Razorback hockey recruiting class. This week we sat down with incoming freshman defenseman Brandon Van Rooyen and asked him a few questions. Brandon is originally from Murphy, Texas, where he played for a Dallas Stars 18U AAA team that secured a Texas State Championship in the 2012-13 season and fell just short of a regional championship—losing a tight 2-1 affair in the closing thirty seconds of regulation time against the Colorado Thunderbirds. Brandon has played on five state championship teams and previously played under Associate Head Coach Rick Desjardins while a member of the Dallas Storm.
Razorback Hockey (RH): Why did you choose the University of Arkansas?
Brandon: I chose the University of Arkansas for two reasons. I instantly fell in love with the campus. It really made me feel like I could be successful and enjoy my next four years. I didn’t know if I wanted to play hockey or not but after talking to Coach Gallini and some of the players I felt that the Razorback Hockey family was one I had to be a part of. Academically I chose the University of Arkansas because the Walton School of Business is ranked in the top 25 Public Business Colleges in the country. I feel that being part a part of that school is going to allow me the opportunity to network with many important and influential people in the business world.
RH: What inspired you to play hockey?
Brandon: My father has always been my inspiration with regard to hockey. My dad played major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League as well as the Western Hockey League. In 1986/87, he won the Memorial Cup with the Medicine Hat Tigers. He then signed with the Montreal Canadians as a free agent and finished his career playing in Europe.
RH: What is your biggest hockey highlight/memory?
Brandon: My biggest memory would have to be advancing to the National Championships my U16 year with the Dallas Stars Elite. That game went into triple OT against the Colorado Thunderbirds. Winning that game will be an experience that I will never forget.
RH: What is your most recent team?
Brandon: My most recent team is the Dallas Stars U18 coached by Coach [Adam] Robbins.
RH: What is your favorite part of the sport?
Brandon: My favorite part of the sport would definitely be playing in a game that is so close that every second of every shift matters. The anticipation of every play and pass is an amazing adrenaline rush.
RH: Describe what you think is the strongest part of your game.
Brandon: The strongest part of my game is my defensive mindset. I am a defensive defenseman. I am smart in my own zone and love playing one-on-one against opposing forwards. Being smart in my zone and never getting out of position is my strong point.
RH: Tell us about your family – your parents? Your siblings?
Brandon: My parents (Keith & Lesley) both live in Murphy, Texas, with my little sister (Lindsay) who is sixteen and a junior at Plano East High School. My dad works as a Director of Sales for Air Liquide America and my mom is a Registered Nurse at Baylor Medical Center at Frisco.
RH: What is your academic interests?
Brandon: My goal is the get a degree is business, majoring in finance and minoring in sports management. Looking ahead, I would love to be a part of the business side of sports.
Check back next week and get to know another member of our incoming 2013-14 recruiting class.