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13-year-old Anthony Cipollone commits to NCAA’s University of Vermont

Anthony Cipollone has committed to the NCAA’s University of Vermont, but he won’t be able to play for the club until 2020-21. Cipollone, who recently turned 13, is one of the youngest players to ever verbally commit to play NCAA college hockey.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Anthony Cipollone won’t be old enough to head to college until 2020-21, but the 13-year-old forward has already committed to play for the NCAA’s University of Vermont.

Cipollone announced that he had committed to the program earlier this week and it appears he could be suiting up as soon as he’s old enough. He won’t be the first in his family to commit to the program, however, as his brother, Joseph, who’s three years Anthony’s elder, committed to the program in January of this year.

It’s not unusual for players to commit to schools years before they’re of age to actually suit up for the programs, but it’s more likely they commit at Joseph’s age, 16, than Anthony’s. That said, it has happened before where a not-yet-high school aged player has committed to a college program.

In January 2014, Oliver Wahlstrom, who rose to internet fame thanks to a lacrosse-style goal he scored before a Bruins game, committed to University of Maine as a 13-year-old. The 15-year-old Wahlstrom is now suiting up for Shattuck St. Mary’s, the famed program that produced the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews. This past season, he scored 68 goals and 114 points in 65 games, but he’s still years away from heading to Maine.

Even still, this can all change in a flash.

As THN’s Ryan Kennedy pointed out at the time of Wahlstrom’s commitment, he was a kid when he committed and verbal commitments can easily change. There’s no telling what will happen with Wahlstrom, just like there’s no telling what Cipollone might choose to do in five years’ time. Consider that Cipollone’s commitment actually comes at a younger age than Wahlstrom and the 13-year-old’s future is even more uncertain.

As Kennedy pointed out, several big time prospects have verbally committed at an early age before just to back out when it came time to join the program. Nashville Predators second-round pick Jack Dougherty committed to Ohio State but left for Wisconsin. Columbus Blue Jackets first-round pick Sonny Milano committed to Notre Dame but didn’t play in the NCAA at all, instead suiting up for the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers this past season.

Only time will tell what happens with Cipollone — whether he chooses the college route or not. But for now, in five years, his plan is to head to Vermont.


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