The Surrey Eagles didn't hide their excitement this summer when Grayden Slipec pledged to play his junior hockey with their British Columbia Hockey League team.
"I'm very excited," coach Cam Keith said, "for the local fans to be able to watch a special kid like this play every night. He's an NHL prospect right now."
The UND coaching staff might be feeling a similar excitement this weekend.
Slipec posted on Instagram on Sunday afternoon that he has given a verbal commitment to play college hockey at UND.
"I'm extremely proud to announce my commitment to play hockey at the University of North Dakota," Slipec wrote. "I would like to thank my family, coaches, friends and teammates and everyone else who has helped along the way!"
Slipec, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound center, played in his first two BCHL games this weekend, tallying a pair of assists.
When he arrives at UND, it will start a brotherly rivalry in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Slipec's older brother, Jacob, committed to Omaha last month.
The commitment period for Grayden and other high school juniors opened Aug. 1. He made a visit to campus last weekend during UND's exhibition game against Bemidji State.
Slipec is the third 2005-born player to give a verbal commitment to the Fighting Hawks. The others are Chicago Steel forward Jayden Perron and Tri-City Storm defenseman Andrew Strathmann.
|Ethan Bowen||2002||F||Chilliwack, B.C.||Chilliwack (BCHL)|
|Ben Strinden||2002||F||Fargo||Muskegon (USHL)|
|Dylan James||2003||F||Calgary||Sioux City (USHL)|
|Jackson Blake||2003||F||Eden Prairie, Minn.||Chicago (USHL)|
|Jaksen Panzer||2004||F||East Grand Forks||Minot (NAHL)|
|Cole Spicer||2004||F||Grand Forks||U.S. Under-18 Team|
|Bowden Singleton||2004||F||Calgary||Okotoks (AJHL)|
|Jayden Perron||2005||F||Winnipeg||Chicago (USHL)|
|Grayden Slipec||2005||F||White Rock, B.C.||Surrey (BCHL)|
|Nate Benoit||2002||D||Bow, N.H.||Tri-City (USHL)|
|Tyler Dunbar||2003||D||Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.||Muskegon (USHL)|
|Trey Ausmus||2004||D||East Grand Forks||Madison (USHL)|
|Jake Livanavage||2004||D||Gilbert, Ariz.||Chicago (USHL)|
|Andrew Strathmann||2005||D||Beach Park, Ill.||Tri-City (USHL)|
|Hobie Hedquist||2003||G||Heron Lake, Minn.||Alberni Valley (BCHL)|