Another Gruba to Skate for SCSU as Leo Commits to the Huskies

(Photo Courtesy Lets Play Hockey)

Tony Gruba (SCSU Photo)

St. Cloud, MN- In 1990-91, the fledgling SCSU Huskies were entering their first season as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. One of their key recruits was true freshman Tony Gruba, a 6′ 200-pound power forward right out of Hill-Murray High School. He only netted one goal and had five assists but was seasoned by playing in 28 games that freshman year. The next three seasons Gruba exploded posting 105 points in 110 games while donning the “C” his senior season. Not one to shy from the physical play, Gruba also accumulated 297 penalty minutes in his collegiate career.

On June 1st, Tony’s son Leo announced his intention to follow in his father’s footsteps committing to play collegiate hockey for the SCSU Huskies.

A native of Lake Elmo, MN the 6’2″ 205-pound right-shooting defenseman had quite a 2021-22 hockey season captaining the Hill-Murray Pioneers to third place in the Class AA  Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament and being named to the Class AA All-Tournament team. Additionally, he was honored by being a finalist for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award and was the winner of the 2022 Reed Larson Award as the state’s top senior defenseman.

Gruba was a three-year player for Hill-Murray posting 16 goals and 37 assists for 53 points in 76 games including 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points his senior season. He joined the St. Cloud Norsemen of the NAHL following the high school season and in 10 games had 1 goal and 5 assists.

In May, Gruba was selected as the 5th overall pick in the 2022 USHL Entry Draft by the Fargo Force. As such, Gruba will be heading to Fargo for 2022-23 to play for former St. Cloud State University assistant coach Nick Oliver who was recently named the head coach of the team.

In the future, Gruba will be joining another Class AA tournament star, Gavyn Thoreson of Andover High School at St. Cloud State. Thoreson’s Andover Huskies defeated Gruba’s Pioneers 4-2 in the semi-finals of the Class AA tournament.

(Photo Courtesy St. Cloud Norsemen)

Neutral Zone, a prominent amateur scouting service describes Gruba as an “Athletic puck-moving defenseman that loves to join the rush. He’s dangerous in transition as he can fire accurate passes up ice or get his legs going to catch the opposition flat-footed. When he is faced with tough situations there is no panic in his game and he controls it smartly. His release is next level and it rips off his stick in a flash.”

Gruba is ranked 125th in the Central Scouting final rankings and is eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Gruba follows a string of Hill Murray High School players that have skated for SCSU at the Division I level including Joe Phillipi, Brandon Sampair, Greg Hagen, Doc Delcastillo, Tony Schmalzbauer, Tray Toumie, Mike O’Hara, and of course his dad Tony.

Gruba will most likely join the Huskies for the 2024-25 season.





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