Rink Rat Profile: Nate Knoepke


Name: Nate Knoepke

Team: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Position: Defense
Birthdate: April 8, 1999

Height: 6-foot-3 

Weight: 203 pounds

Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

Junior Team: Sioux City Musketeers 

USA Team(s): USNTDP Juniors, U17/U18 Nationals, USA 2017 WJC Gold Medal Team 

NHL Draft Status: Undrafted



Offseason Activity: I'm a big golf guy. I've been going out about twice a week.

Pregame Ritual: I don't really have anything crazy. 

Pregame Meal: Usually chicken, pasta and we have a pretty good almost squash-sauce. It's kind of a healthier-alfredo but it's actually pretty good. 

Pregame Music: I listen to whatever we play in the lockerroom.

Favorite Hockey Themed Movie: It has to be Miracle. I've seen it so many times.

Favorite NHL Team: I was a big Minnesota Wild fan growing up.

Three Things You Love About Hockey: The team-aspect for sure and how many people you can meet throughout your years of playing, the locker-room after a win is probably one of the feelings in the world and then the intensity too in games.

Favorite Food: Steak

Favorite Movie: The Lone Survivor

Favorite Player: Steven Stamkos when I was a forward. Now I try to be a little more like Ryan McDonagh. He's the all-around D-man that I try to be. 

Person You'd Like To Meet: Will Ferrell

Dream Job: A high school hockey coach, I think that'd be pretty fun. 

Other Sports Played: I played baseball growing up, golf and then hockey.


Why I Wear It (Uniform #7): 

When I was younger I was always #11 and that was the number my cousin was growing up when I was watching him. I haven't been #11 since my sophomore year of high school and after that it was just kind of whatever they gave me.


He Said It

Bonds Built At The NTDP

"You're complete strangers going in and by the time the two years are up, the bond is just crazy. I'm still best friends with a good amount of guys from that team and we still talk all the time. Just going through the same thing together really brings you close and it's pretty awesome."


Favorite Hockey Memory

"Winning the Under-18 World Championships by far. For two years you're with the same guys and that's the end goal. It was just crazy and awesome experience."


Best Advice You've Been Given: My confidence is a big part of my game. One of my coaches told me, 'Confidence is a choice, no matter what. It's something you can control and it's all in your head.' As soon as I figured that one out, it helped out a lot.


Toughest Obstacle You've Faced: My freshman year when I was at Minnesota and then going from not really playing there, went back to juniors then just transferring. My whole freshman year of college was kind of tough on me.


Social Side

Twitter: @NKnoepke14

Instagram: @knoepke_11




Who is your favorite 2023/2024 NHL Rookie?
Connor Bedard
Matthew Knies
Brock Faber
Logan Stankoven
Logan Cooley
Total votes: 3