Pair of junior hockey players commit to UAF

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) While the Alaska Nanooks are currently on Holiday break, they are still working to bolster next year's roster. Forward Riley Murphy and Defenseman Antonio DiPaolo, of the NAHL's Aberdeen Wings, took to Twitter Friday to announce their commit to play collegiate hockey at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Murphy has been an iron man for the Wings, playing in 191 career games, the most in the franchise's history. The 20-year old also holds the record for most shorthanded goals with six, and has generated 99 points with Aberdeen in four seasons.

"Over the last four seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow into a very solid two-way hockey player and an even a better young man," Wings head coach Scott Langer said in an NAHL press release. "He is a player that can play in all situations, and takes a lot of pride in his versatility as a player. Riley has taken advantage of his time in Aberdeen to develop into a very good player that will excel at Alaska Fairbanks,”

Murphy, at 6'1 and 181 lbs., is currently second on the Wings in points with 27, and was selected as a 2019 NAHL Top Prospect for the Central Division team. In the lone game the Wings and Fairbanks Ice Dogs have faced each other this year, Murphy pocketed a goal in Aberdeen's 3-0 win on September 20.

DiPaolo, also 20, is in his first year with Aberdeen and has skated for the Humboldt Broncos and SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves.

“Antonio came to the Wings with an immense amount of leadership qualities & experience," Langer said of DiPaolo in an NAHL press release. "He is a player that has worked for all of his opportunities, and has continued to grow on and off the ice. Antonio’s ability to defend and add to the offense will make him a great addition to Coach Largen’s Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks."

The 5'11, 190 lb. defender has registered five goals and 10 assists so far this season.

"An incredible honor and a dream come true. Can't wait to get my collegiate career going @nanookshockey." DiPaolo said on Twitter Friday.

As for this year's Nanooks squad, they will return to the ice January 3 when they visit Minnesota State. UAF sits third in the WCHA with 24 points, trailing Bemidji State and the first place Minnesota State Mavericks.