Aiden Westin, forward for the Anchorage Wolverines

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Anchorage born and raised forward Aiden Westin has skated the past two seasons for the Anchorage Wolverines, and is one of 10 Anchorage products featured in the American Hockey League team of the North this season. Now, Westin has committed to playing at the University of Alaska Anchorage with the Seawolves next season.

Westin is having a great season for the Wolverines, racking up 41 points in just 34 games and averaging 1.21 points per game. Throw in all that offensive prowess with the fact that he’s a local talent and you’ll get what UAA Hockey head coach Matt Shasby calls a perfect fit.

“Only his skill set on the ice will allow him to contribute in the way we desperately need and that is offensive production,” UAA hockey head coach Matt Shasby said. “I’ve watched him grow here in Anchorage for 10 years and I just saw his game each year continue to take steps in the right direction and we feel as a staff that he’s really starting to round out his game and if he’s able to put in some time in the off-season and getting a little bit stronger next year, it’s going to be kind of a shocker for us.”

However, UAA was not Westin’s first choice. He originally planned to go to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but after seeing what the new age of Seawolf hockey was like, he changed his mind.

“Honestly, I went to a game and the support they had was incredible,” Westin said. “I have a couple of friends on the team so it will be nice to play with them and the coaching staff, everyone seems pretty good.”

Westin’s path to this point was anything but direct, leaving Alaska for two years to gain more exposure before returning to play for the Wolverines in their inaugural season. Now that Anchorage has a NAHL team and the UAA Seawolves are back in full force after being eliminated by the university, Westin believes Anchorage’s young hockey players will have more options.

“I hope more kids go my way, I think Anchorage kids should try to stay home with the Wolverines now and UAA back,” Westin said. “I think it’s a great path for them.”

It is not known if Westin would have committed to the Seawolves had he not played for a top youth team in the same city. UAA Hockey head coach Matt Shasby said he has seen his game grow and develop over the years, but nothing can replace seeing the players in person on a regular basis.

“Being able to just go to Ben Boeke and watch North American League hockey has been huge for our staff,” Shasby said. “Whether it’s Wolverines players or whatever team is ready for that weekend, it’s a free road trip for us, a free scouting road trip.”

While Westin will be trading the blue, teal and red-orange for green and gold next season, it won’t be trading a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play for the team he grew up watching.