April 19, 2002
Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State men’s hockey coach John Markell today announced the signing of forward Rod Pelley, a native of Kitimat, British Columbia, to a NCAA National Letter of Intent. Pelley will enroll in Ohio State and play hockey for the Buckeyes beginning in the 2002-03 season, joining defenseman Nate Guenin (Aliquippa, Pa.) and forwards Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) and Dan Knapp (Rochester, Mich.) as members of the 2002-03 recruiting class.
Pelley, a 6-foot, 190-pound forward who can play left wing or center, played for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. He began the 2001-02 season with the Prince George Spruce Kings of the BCHL, but was traded to Vernon late in the season for the Vipers’ playoff run. The Vipers ended their season in the BCHL league finals, losing to Chilliwack, four games to two.
This season, Pelley was a BCHL All-Star selection and earned First Team BCHL Interior Conference All-Star honors. He led the Vipers in scoring, posting 31 goals, 43 assists and 74 points and 62 penalty minutes in 56 regular season games. In the BCHL playoffs, he produced 6-8-14 totals and logged 27 penalty minutes. With Prince George In 2000-01, he had 35 points, on 14 goals and 21 assists, in 54 games. He was a silver medallist with Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Challenge. Pelley was born Sept. 1, 1984 and is the son of Fred and Nancy Pelley.
“Rod is a playmaking forward that is strong on the puck and has great passing skills,” Steve Brent, Ohio State assistant coach, said. “He is a physical presence on the ice. He has the ability to be a leader both on and off the ice. He has been put in situations where his team was depending on him and he excelled. He can be used in all situations. We’re excited about adding a player of his ability to our team.”
Pelley is excited to become a Buckeye.
“The players and the coaches – really the whole atmosphere of Ohio State is what attracted me,” Pelley said. “When I watched their games it was great to see how excited everyone was to be there. It seems like there is a very proud tradition and really proud alumni.
“I can’t wait to get there and start working with the coaching staff. They seem really knowledgeable and supportive. I’m ready to learn from them and get things going there.”
The Buckeyes, who ended the season ranked 14th in the nation, went 20-16-4 during the 2001-02 season. The squad ended its season in the semifinal round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament, falling in overtime to eventual Frozen Four-participant Michigan, 2-1.