EDMONTON, Alberta – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Edmonton Oilers and General Manager Craig MacTavish announced the organization agreed to terms with former Bemidji State University defenseman Brad Hunt Sunday. The contract will make him part of the Oilers’ organization through the 2014-15 season.
In accordance with team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hunt originally inked a professional Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Chicago Wolves, the American Hockey League’s (AHL), affiliate of Hunt’s hometown Vancouver Canucks, following the completion of his senior season at Bemidji State. In 14 regular season games with the Wolves, Hunt piled up five points (1g-4a), while the rookie led all Chicago defensemen and ranked fourth on the team with four points (1g-3a) in five Calder Cup playoff appearances. Following the season he was re-signed and posted 33 points on four goals (two on the power play) and 29 assists in 65 games to tie for fourth on the team in 2012-13 and rank as the Wolves’ top-scoring blueliner. He was named to the American Hockey League’s Western Conference All-Star Team and scored a goal in the game.
Hunt will become the eighth former Beaver to skate in the NHL and follows; Matt Climie (2004-08), Jim McElmury (1967-71), Andrew Murray (2001-05), Joel Otto (1980-84), former BSU teammate Matt Read (2007-11), Dale Smedsmo (1969-72) and Gary Sargent (1972-73). Hunt will also become the first defenseman of BSU’s Division-I era to make his way to the NHL level.
One of eight BSU players to see time in all 38 games of the 2011-12 campaign, the alternate captain led the Beavers with 21 assists, while tying teammate Shea Walters for second on the team with 26 points (5g-21a) as a senior. Hunt led BSU with seven multi-point games in 2011-12, which included a team-best five multi-assist efforts. He was named Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Defensive Player of the Week after having a hand in three goals, including the two decisive goals, leading the Beavers to a three-point weekend at St. Cloud State University, while collecting his 100th collegiate point.
In a Bemidji State record 150 games played, the Ridge Meadows, B.C. native, accumulated 24 goals and 88 assists for 112 points. He left the BSU hockey program as its top-scoring defenseman of all time, while he holds BSU’s NCAA Division I-era mark (since 1999-2000) for assists.
Seeing time on both BSU special teams units, Hunt set a BSU Division I-era mark for career power-play goals by a defenseman (16) and was a key contributor to a Beaver penalty-kill that consistently ranked among the leagues’ stingiest.
He was a two-time All-College Hockey America pick and won the league’s Rookie of the Year award in 2009.
While at BSU, Hunt helped lead the Beavers to an overall record of 74-61-13, a pair of CHA championships, two trips to the NCAA Tournament, which included a magical ride to the 2009 Frozen Four, and an upset of eventual national champion Minnesota Duluth in the 2011 WCHA/Red Baron Final Five. He was also a member the last BSU team to skate in the storied John S. Glas Fieldhouse and the first to make its home in Bemidji’s new Sanford Center as a member of the WCHA. Equally as talented in the classroom, Hunt was a two-time Academic All-WCHA selection, a WCHA Scholar Athlete and an Academic All-CHA pick in 2010.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).