Interview: Ben Steeves Will Carve His Own Path at UMD

The Steeves family are no strangers to college hockey. Matthew Steeves is a junior at Notre Dame and his brother, Alex, is a sophomore for the Fighting Irish.

Now, it’s the youngest brother’s turn to make his mark on college hockey.

Last week, two-time defending national champion, Minnesota-Duluth, received a commitment from Ben Steeves, a 5-foot-8 forward who already has six points in three games for Eden Prairie High School this season.

“Steeves is a smart, hardworking forward with a knack for the net,” our scouts said. “He loves to shoot and doesn’t hesitate when he has a lane. He reads the goalie, shoots with his head up and has a quick, powerful release. More than just his shooting, Steeves stood out for his high compete and motor at both ends. He finds spots and open ice on the rush and in the offensive zone and has a clever stick to navigate through traffic and find his teammates in prime scoring areas. A nice blend of energy and skill.”

NZ: How did you first fall in love with the game as a kid?

Steeves: “I first fell in love with the game when I was able to go to the outdoor pond and skate every morning and night. Also, it is an unbelievable sport because you develop relationships like no other. I’m still friends and talk to nearly everyone I used to play hockey with.”

NZ: How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths?

Steeves: “I would describe myself as a 200-foot player that can contribute significantly in the offensive zone. I love to make plays but my strong suit is shooting the puck and scoring goals.”

NZ: At the same time, what are some things you’re looking to improve this year?

Steeves: “I’m always working on the defensive side of my game, including breaking the puck out off the wall in the defensive zone. I will also have a lot of opportunity on the penalty kill this year with Eden Prairie.”

NZ: What made UMD the place you wanted to play your college hockey?

Steeves: “I first knew I wanted to go to UMD when I first talked to the coaches. They are great people, coaches, and they care about their players. Their success speaks for itself as they know how to develop hockey players.”

NZ: What was your recruiting process like?

Steeves: “My recruiting process was interesting because a lot of schools brushed me off because they thought I was going to Notre Dame like my brothers. UMD was different because they treated me like I was my own player. They invested time and effort in me and made me feel like a special player.

“I first started being recruited by UMD at the end of elite league. Coach Krause gave me a call and I really liked him right off the start. He and the coaching staff then asked me on an official visit. When I went up to Duluth, I could see myself going there just by seeing the rink and campus. My mom, dad, and I then watched a game and we were blown away by the rink and the energy that the fans bring.”

NZ: I know you started with the Jr. Monarchs and your profile says you’re from New Hampshire. Then I see you played in Oakland and Eden Prairie High School? How did you end up moving around and was that an adjustment each time you did for hockey?

Not being a Minnesota native, what is it like being in that Minnesota High School Hokey environment? It must be crazy!

Steeves: “So it’s actually funny, I was actually born in St. Paul, and we used to live here in Lakeville, MN as a family. We moved to New Hampshire because my dad wanted to do his residency at Dartmouth College. We then moved back here to Minnesota this past summer because my dad saw a new job opportunity in Edina.

“So far, Minnesota hockey is crazy! My first game was our home opener and it did make me nervous because there wasn’t a seat open in the stands. It can be different than any other hockey but I almost feel like I belong here in this environment. I love all my teammates, and I look forward to many more games and memories to come!”