Maple Grove native Hansen commits to Bemidji State men’s hockey for 2012-13

Waterloo's James Hansen, left, collides with Cedar Rapids' Dennis Kravchenko at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa during a December 31, 2011 game. Photo via Rick Chase / Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. www.wcfcourier.com

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team has received a verbal commitment from defenseman James Hansen for the 2012-13 season.

The Maple Grove native has three goals and eight assists in 38 games this season for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.

“He’s a steady defenseman…you know what you’re going to get when he’s on the ice,”  Waterloo head coach P.K. O’Handley said in a press release.  “We’ve asked for James to contribute in new ways this season, and his offensive abilities have come out as he has gotten more comfortable.”

Hansen is listed at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds and is playing in his second season with the Black Hawks. He had one goal and seven assists in 47 games played last season.

Hansen played high school hockey at Osseo with current BSU freshman Sam Windle. He had eight goals and 15 assists in 27 games during his senior season in 2009-10.

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

2012-13
Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Cory Ward (F, Aberdeen, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Markus Gerbrandt (F, Fort McMurray, AJHL), verbal commitment.
James Hansen (D, Waterloo, USHL), verbal commitment.

2013-2014
Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Carter Struthers (D, Weyburn Red Wings, SJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Gerbrandt commits to Bemidji State men’s hockey for 2012-13 (with video)

Markus Gerbrandt, left, has made a verbal commitment for the 2012-13 season. Photo via Dynamic Photography.


The Bemidji State men’s hockey team has received a verbal commitment from Edmonton native Markus Gerbandt for the 2012-13 season according to a press release Friday from the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

The 20-year-old forward has 29 goals and 28 assists in 52 games this year for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. He has 82 goals and 102 assists for 184 points in 194 career games spanning three years with Fort McMurray.

Here’s a highlight video of Gerbrandt scoring a hat trick in a 7-4 win over Calgary last October. You can skip directly to his goals by going to the 1:02, 1:20 and 4:15 marks. He scored his first two goals in the span of 23 seconds.

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

2012-13
Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Cory Ward (F, Aberdeen, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Markus Gerbrandt (F, Fort McMurray, AJHL), verbal commitment.

2013-2014
Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Carter Struthers (D, Weyburn Red Wings, SJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Struthers commits to Bemidji State men’s hockey for 2013-14 season

Carter Struthers, left, and Andrew Matheson head out onto the ice to play the Estevan Bruins on Oct. 7. Photo via Weyburn This Week.

Saskatchewan native Carter Struthers has made a verbal commitment to the Bemidji State men’s hockey team for the 2013-14 season.

Struthers is a 6-foot-5, 204-pound defenseman and currently plays for his hometown Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The 19-year-old has three goals and 18 assists for 21 points in 31 games this season.

Red Wings radio broadcaster and blogger Jason Knox of Knox Tox said this about Struthers in a recent post:

“Carter has been a pleasant surprise for Wing fans this year, not only with his ability to contribute on the scoresheet, but his poise and smart play inside his own end.  As much as he is able to chip in offensively, in my opinion his ability to be a shutdown guy on the backend is more impressive. Since the first game of the season he has been a bright spot for the Red and White.”

Struthers played in the Saskatchewan Midget League (SMAAAHL) with the Tisdale Trogans and the Regina Pat Canadians in 2010-11. He was the fourth leading defenseman with 12 goals and 20 assists.

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

2012-13
Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Cory Ward (F, Aberdeen, NAHL), verbal commitment.

2013-2014
Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Carter Struthers (D, Weyburn Red Wings, SJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Las Vegas native, Aberdeen forward Cory Ward makes commitment to Bemidji State hockey

Cory Ward of the Aberdeen Wings, left, goes after the puck as John Simonson, center and C.J. Smith, right, of the Austin Bruins close in during a Nov. 24, 2011 game at the Odde Ice Center. Aberdeen American News Photo/Jon Davis.

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team has received a commitment from forward Cory Ward, a Las Vegas native playing for the Aberdeen Wings (South Dakota) in the North American Hockey League.

According to a Thursday, Dec. 8 report from the Aberdeen American News:

“Wings coach Pete Sauer said Ward signed a scholarship offer Wednesday. Sauer said the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes and New Jersey Devils have been to Aberdeen to scout Ward.”

Ward, an 18-year-old captain, was one of 11 NAHL players to be recognized by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau as a ‘Player to Watch‘ for the 2012 Draft in October’s preliminary listing.

Listed at 6-foot-0 and 200 pounds, Ward has 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 24 games this season. He scored 32 goals and had 25 assists for 57 points in 58 games to lead the Wings in scoring last season.

Here’s what Sauer said about Ward in feature last November in the American News:

“He is mentally and physically beyond his years,” said Wings coach Pete Sauer. “When you see him play you don’t believe he’s a high school player. He’s a very skilled player.”

You can see more photos of Cory Ward on the Aberdeen News flickr Photostream.

Here are some videos of Ward scoring goals:

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

2012-13
Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Cory Ward (F, Aberdeen, NAHL), verbal commitment.

2013-2014
Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Thunder Bay’s Graeme McCormack makes Bemidji State hockey commitment official

Nanaimo defenseman Graeme McCormack (18). Photo via http://www.theonews.com

Graeme McCormack made his verbal commitment to the Bemidji State men’s hockey team official Wednesday by signing a National Letter of Intent on the last day of the NCAA early signing period.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound defenseman from Thunder Bay, Ontario will join the Beavers 2012-13. He currently plays junior hockey for the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League.

“Graeme is a very exciting prospect for us,” Bemidji State assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ted Belisle said in a press release. “He brings an offensive game and potential to produce on the power play as a defenseman. He has great hands, his intellectual game is high end and he is a threat on the ice whenever he has the puck.”

McCormack has five goals and 19 assists for 24 points through 19 games this season for Nanaimo, his second year with the team.

“He makes assertive plays and gets a lot of pucks to the net and that is where he generates a lot of his points,” Belisle said. He has a history of producing offensively, but has also become a very good defender.”

McCormack had 10 goals and 31 assists for 41 points in 56 games in his first season with Nanaimo. He was selected to the BCHL Coastal League’s All-Star team as a defenseman.

He made a verbal commitment to Bemidji State last February.

McCormack began his junior hockey career in 2008-09 with the Thunder Bay Bearcats of the Superior International Junior Hockey League where he had 13 goals and 46 points.

He moved to the BCHL in 2009-10 and had nine goals and 28 points with the Victoria Grizzlies.

McCormack is the first to make an official commitment for the 2012-13 season. Brad Robbins and Brady Riesgraf have made verbal commitments to BSU for the same year.

Robbins is a 5-foot-8, 165 pound forward and has six goals and 12 points in 12 games so far for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. The Murrieta, Calif. native had 13 goals and 34 points last season.

Riesgraf is a 5-foot-11, 155-pound forward appeared in three games for the Fargo Force of the USHL, was waived last week and is now playing with the Coulee Region Chill of the North American Hockey League. The Chaska native who played high school hockey at Holy Family does not have a point so far this season.

McCormack is the 21st early-period signee at Bemidji State since the program made the jump to Division I in 1999.

That group includes senior Darcy Findlay, juniors Jordan George, Matt Hartmann, and Aaron McLeod, sophomores Radoslav Illo and Jeff Jubinville, and freshmen Matt Prapavessis and Sam Windle.

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team is home this weekend to face North Dakota in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. Game times are 7:07 p.m. Saturday and 5:07 p.m. Sunday.

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

2012-13
Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.

2013-2014
Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.