Two years ago, Merrick Madsen committed to Harvard University, anxious to play college hockey for such a prestigious school.
One year ago, the 6-foot-4 goalie was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
With the blink of an eye, those events have flown by and the future Madsen once looked forward to is now the present. Not only has he been a prospect for over a year, but he is also just one month away from beginning the fall semester of his freshman year at Harvard.
“It’s been a long road,” Madsen said. “I committed there back in the summer of 2012, so I know it's been coming. I’m super excited to get going there.”
The goalie will join his university’s team after a season of struggle in which the Crimson posted a 10-17-4 record and were eliminated in the first round of the ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship.
Despite the troubles his new team experienced last season, Madsen is ready to become part of a historic program that is rich in history and in rivalries.
“I’m looking forward to the big rivalries,” stated the goalie. “I know obviously Harvard versus Yale is a really big one. I went and watched that game myself this year. It was just awesome. The house was packed, and to have that many fans who are so dedicated to the team, I’m really excited for that.”
In addition to his enthusiasm about the team, Madsen is also looking forward to pursuing an education while playing the game he loves.
Although the Ivy League schools, Harvard especially, have a reputation for advanced, difficult coursework, the goalie is not intimidated.
In fact, he believes his past experiences have more than adequately prepared him for the challenge of being a student-athlete.
“I played prep school for a couple years and after being home schooled for a lot of my life, I know I’ve adapted to that already,” explained Madsen. “Obviously, it’s Harvard. It's a higher standard there, but I’m ready to take it in stride and see how it goes.”
After graduating from Proctor Academy in New Hampshire, where Madsen first experienced life as a student-athlete, the goalie spent the 2013-2014 season donning the maroon and gold of the Minot Minotauros.
With the Tauros, an NAHL junior team located in North Dakota, Madsen appeared in 27 games and started 26 during the regular season. He posted a save percentage of .904 and a 2.75 goals against average.
With a season of junior hockey behind him, Madsen has a wealth of experience he is ready to bring to the Crimson; however, he knows there are aspects of his game he will need to enhance in order to better compete at the collegiate level.
“There’s always things I need to be working on, like I’ve been working on in [Development] camp with the goalie coaches,” said Madsen. “I know what things I need to be working on, but what got me here and to Harvard is my game, so I’m not going to try to change it too much.”