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Defenseman Brendan Bushy will be returning for a fifth season with SCSU

The 23-year-old from Thief River Falls plans on finishing off his MBA in 2022-23

St. Cloud State defenseman Brendan Bushy (18) and St. Cloud State forward Nolan Walker (20) make an assault on the Miami goal during the third period Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Bushy, a 23-year-old defenseman from Thief River Falls, has said that he plans to come back for a fifth season with the Huskies in 2022-23.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — There were many things that lined up nicely for Brendan Bushy to say, "Yes."

Bushy, a 23-year-old defenseman from Thief River Falls, said on Monday that he plans on returning to play a fifth season for the St. Cloud State men's hockey team in 2022-23. Bushy had five assists, six points, 21 penalty minutes, 26 blocked shots and was a plus-4 in 36 games this season.

Players who played in the 2020-21 season were granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA due to the pandemic.

BrendanBushy21 edit.jpg
Brendan Bushy

"I think all along, it was something that I had planned on doing if I could," said Bushy, who received his undergraduate degree as a finance major in 2021. "Being a college hockey player is a special opportunity. For myself specifically, I think I have more room to grow and I feel like I still have something to prove.

"I still feel like I can prove that I'm a top defender in this league, a top defensive defenseman," said Bushy, an undrafted free agent who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds and would like to play pro hockey after he finishes his eligibility. "I just want to grow more into my game as much as I can. Why not take that opportunity with some guys you love to be around? It was a no-brainer for me."


Bushy is finishing up his first year working on his Master of Business Administration degree. He has one more year left to get that degree, which also played into his decision.

"All of the stars just kind of aligned for me to come back," Bushy said.

Getting an MBA is no small task. How has the first year of graduate work gone?

"It's difficult, but it's more application and real world based," he said. "I'm in the program with (teammates) Kevin Fitzgerald and Aidan Spellacy, so it's helped to be with them. It's different because a lot of your classes are with adults. Most of the people in your classes are 40-50 years old and have kids and come to class at night when they're done with work.

"It's working with different people. It's a good program and it's definitely good experience."

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Brother is in the BCHL playoffs

Bushy would not comment on whether or not his brother, Evan, will be a part of the Huskies roster next season.

But he did say that the 20-year-old is enjoying his time playing for the Trail Smoke Eaters in the British Columbia Hockey League. Evan will play in Game 3 of Trail's best-of-seven series against Penticton on Monday night.


"He loves it up there," Brendan said of Evan, who has 25 assists and 31 points in 54 games. "I feel he's had an outstanding year. He's saying he's doing what he can and feels like he's gotten a lot of opportunity.

"He's putting up some good points and is getting to play all the time — power play and (penalty kill). He feels like he's developed into an all-around defenseman and is a confident hockey player. He's loving the experience of living out in British Columbia. I told him that in 20 years, you're going to think that it's pretty freaking cool that you got to play out in British Columbia."

Former Thief River Falls standout began season sitting out games for Sioux City in USHL, hooked on with NAHL's Minnesota Wilderness, had the season get paused, worked for his billet family and gotten workouts on the Midway River in Esko. The 18-year-old defenseman will play for the Wilderness on Wednesday in the first home game for the St. Cloud Norsemen since Oct. 30,

Evan has one more season of junior eligibility left. Last season, he had 15 points and was a minus-15 in 55 games with the Minnesota Wilderness in the North American Hockey League.

Brendan said that he has had an opportunity to watch the first two of Evan's playoff games since SCSU's season ended and has seen improvement in Evan's play.

"I'm pretty impressed," he said of Evan. "His confidence all over the ice and he plays such a complete game. Offensively, he has the confidence to make plays on the power play.

"It's the little things that you see a confident player make, knowing that they've got that extra half-second to make a play. He's defending hard and defending physically," Brendan said of Evan, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. "He's not as big as I am, but he's definitely a big kid and uses his size to his advantage. He's becoming more of a smart, efficient defender."

Watch Family Ties, the first episode in season 2 of The Rink Live Presents video series.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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