Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros are proud to announce that forward Aaron Grounds will be joining the club for the 2017-2018 season. Grounds, who is originally from White Bear Lake, MN, and is already committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for The Ohio State University, was a highly coveted free agent this summer.
Grounds said he decided to join the Tauros for several reasons. First, was Tauros Head Coach Marty Murray; Grounds explained, “the coaches in Chicago [of the USHL Clark Cup Champion Chicago Steel] spoke very highly of Minot and the staff. They convinced me it was the place to go for my development.” Grounds added that “after getting a look at the Minotauros’ facilities in the Tauros recruiting video” he was sure Minot was the place he wanted to be.
Grounds will enter the NAHL after posting 24 goals and 14 assists for 38 points in just 23 games for Hudson High School in Wisconsin last season. He added six points on three goals and three assists leading the Hudson Raiders in scoring at the Wisconsin State Tournament on their way to a State Title. Grounds also had 21 points in as many games for Team Wisconsin. Grounds brings good size as well as his scoring touch standing 6’2” and 174 lbs.
Grounds described winning a state title as “an unbelievable experience,” and said that the main lesson the journey taught him was “to play for the guy next you, that hockey is a brotherhood. You do whatever it takes for the other guys in the room.”
For his part Murray was understandably very happy about the addition to the roster for next season. “We are very excited to land a player of Aaron’s caliber. This type of player doesn’t come along everyday as a free agent this time of year. I think he’ll have an immediate impact on our hockey club and will play a prominent role. We want to help him get ready to play at the USHL and collegiate levels.”
While Grounds was a free agent this summer he was a highly sought-after draft prize last off-season. The Chicago Steel of the USHL selected Grounds in the sixth round (84th overall) in the 2016 USHL Draft. In a press release regarding the 2016 USHL Draft the Chicago Steel described Grounds as, “a center with excellent skating ability and size.” The Bismarck Bobcats also drafted Grounds last summer selecting him in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NAHL Draft. Grounds instead elected to play his 17-year-old season for Hudson High School and at the end of the season the Bobcats claim on Grounds’s rights expired allowing the promising forward to become an NAHL free agent.
While the Steel liked his skating and size, Tauro fans will also like that Grounds does not shy away from the tough stuff saying he patterns his game after Andrew Shaw of the Montreal Canadiens. “I like his gritty/hard game,” explained Grounds.
When asked why he committed to OSU so early Grounds pointed to the way he was recruited. “They came after me right away at main camp in Chicago last summer.” He continued “they believe in me and have a plan for my development, that was what I like most.” Murray and the Tauros scouting staff believe in Grounds as well, and if they are right starting this fall Tauro fans will too.