Sam Spehar Five Nations

DU Hockey Earns 4.5-Star Commitment From Forward Sam Spehar

The University of Denver hockey program picked up its first commitment from the ’07 recruiting class on Monday, with forward Sam Spehar making the announcement official on Instagram.

The 16-year-old hails from Chaska, Minnesota, and spent the 2022-23 season with the Sioux Falls Power 16U club, scoring 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in only 28 games.

Spehar is the son of Minnesota hockey legend Dave Spehar, named 1996 Mr. Hockey as a standout at Duluth East High School, scoring 100 points in 26 games as a senior before joining the Gophers.

Sam, listed at 5-foot-8, 163 pounds, was one of the standout performers for Team USA at the Five Nations Tournament in Czechia, finishing with four goals and three assists for seven points in the four-game showcase.

He was one of my favorite players to watch on Team USA:

“Significant play-driver… Excellent motor… Plays a strong 200-foot game for his age and size… Quick release… Works hard to get puck back… Excellent north-south speed… Assertive with the puck on his stick… Aggressive on puck battles… Plays a physical style… Reliable in the faceoff circle”

Spehar was drafted in the second round, 19th overall, in the 2023 USHL Futures Draft by the Muskegon Lumberjacks and will likely spend a season or two furthering his development in the USHL before making the jump to Denver as part of the 2025-26 freshmen class.

He was invited to participate in the United States National Team Development Program’s evaluation camp back in March but did not make the final 23-man roster for the Under-17 Team for the 2023-24 season.

Regardless, this is a massive commitment for the DU hockey program.

Spehar joins forwards James Reeder, Hagen Burrows, and defenseman Will Felicio – currently the 30th-ranked 2024 Draft-Eligible prospect according to The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler – in what is shaping up to be an exciting 2025-26 incoming class.

Top photo courtesy of USA Hockey

5 thoughts on “DU Hockey Earns 4.5-Star Commitment From Forward Sam Spehar”

  1. Terrific recruit. Continuing the trend to get under-sized forwards who are tough and excel. Way to go DC!

  2. I certainly remember his dad, Dave Spehar, who as the article pointed out, was a high school legend in Minnesota, who broke goalscoring records in the Minnesota High School tournament, which is a very big deal in Minnesota, playing before sellout crowds of 17,000-plus in the Twin cities.

    Dave was super-hyped by the locals as “Mr. Hockey”, and decided to play at the University of Minnesota, which thrilled the lower and more populous portion of the state, but irked the Duluth hometown voices, who wanted Spehar to stay home for college hockey. Spehar scored 20 goals in his rookie year for the Gophs, but his goal production slipped further each season, and his senior year, he only scored nine goals. He hung up the skates after college, deciding to go into the investment world instead of pro hockey. While Spehar was a good college player, he did not live up to the absurd high school hype that many Minnesota fans had hoped…

    Let’s hope Sam becomes a good college player, too. But let’s be careful to avoid the hype machine that his father had to endure…

    Also, great to see Ryan Sikes sharing his writing talents with us. Hope to see more from him!

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