Years Played: 1960, 1961, 1962
John Palenstein is from Edam, Saskatchewan and played for the Regina Pats in Regina, Saskatchewan before enrolling at the University of Michigan. Playing defense in the 1959-1960 and 1960-1961 seasons under Coach Al Renfrew, he was one of the twelve players that came from the Pats during the early 1960s. Following their friend and former Pat teammate, Red Berenson, to Michigan, these great players were the nucleus for the teams in the 1960s that averaged sixteen wins per season and two trips to the NCAA Championships. According to Red Berenson, “John Palenstein was the best ever defenseman Al Renfrew ever coached.” In his junior year, he scored sixteen points and was named to the Second Team All-Star team.
Named captain for his senior year, John Palenstein and Joe Lunghamer were ruled ineligible to play hockey at Michigan because of a Big Ten age rule. Coach Renfrew not only lost his only senior defenseman for the 1961-1962 season, but also a great team leader in John Palenstein. Despite only playing two seasons, he stayed on in his five-year degree program in the College of Architecture and Design and graduated in 1963. He had many memorable experiences while here in Ann Arbor and two were playing his final games in the 1960-1961 WCHA playoffs against Minnesota in Minneapolis. John Palenstein became an architect and assessed junior hockey talent in Western Canada.
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