Jacob Rutt understands that when you represent your home state, it comes with a certain sense of responsibility.

Starting next fall, Rutt will have the opportunity to fulfill that responsibility when he joins the University of Maine men’s hockey team.

Rutt, a defenseman from Scarborough, signed a letter of intent last week, nearly 10 months after he verbally committed to the program.

Rutt will be a rare homegrown player for the Black Bears. The current roster includes only two Mainers: Mark Anthoine, a freshman forward from Lewiston, and Josh Seeley, a fourth-string goalie from Howland.

“Through youth hockey I was watching Maine and following them, and it’s a dream come true,” Rutt said of signing with Maine. “I’m really happy that Coach Whitehead and his staff are giving me this opportunity.”

Per NCAA regulations, coaches cannot comment on a recruit until after receiving a letter of intent.

Rutt, 19, played for St. Dom’s as a freshman, then played two years at Scarborough before passing up his senior year to play for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in Manchester, N.H.

A 6-foot-2, 205-pound defense-man, Rutt brings a physical presence to his game but is also an offensive threat. So far this season, Rutt has five goals and six assists in 19 games, with all five goals on the power play. He also has 28 penalty minutes.

“I hope to be an impact player my freshman year,” Rutt said. “I’m a defenseman who can put the puck in the net when the team needs it, but whatever the coaching staff needs me to do, I’ll do it.”

Rutt also considered Army, Bentley and St. Lawrence. He is undecided on a major.

Rutt is one of five players expected to be part of Maine’s 2011 recruiting class, joining defenseman Sebastien Gingras from Muskegon (Mich.) of the United States Hockey League and forwards Connor Leen from the Jersey Hitmen of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, Brian Harris of the EJHL’s Junior Monarchs, and Stuart Higgins of Youngstown (Ohio) of the USHL.

 

NOTES: Maine climbed to No. 3 in both major polls — U.S. College Hockey Online and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. … Sophomore right wing Joey Diamond was named Hockey East Player of the Week. Diamond had two goals and an assist in a weekend sweep of Northeastern, getting the winning goal Friday night and the tying goal Saturday as Maine rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period.

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be contacted at 791-6415 or at:

[email protected]