BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey program today announced the addition of Jack Burgart (Fort St. James, British Columbia), Brendan Harris (Henderson, Nev.), Dylan McCrory (Kirkland, Quebec), Hampus Sjodahl (Stockholm, Sweden) and Zach Whitecloud (Brandon, Manitoba). All players have signed the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their BSU hockey careers in the fall of 2016.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Jack Burgart (G, 6-5, 207; 8/14/1995; Fort St. James, British Columbia) recently completed his third year playing for the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Burgart backstopped the Red Wings to a first place finish in their division and was the top goalie in the league in 2015-16, finishing second in wins with a record of 27-10-4. The Viterra division top goaltender and MVP award winner led the SJHL in save percentage (.935) and goals against average (1.97) and was the only net minder in the league to own a GAA of less than 2.00 per game. The SJHL Goaltender of the Year and MVP Finalist was tough to beat in 2015-16 as he never allowed more than four goals in a game and registered three shutouts. Burgart was also a two-time SJHL Goaltender of the Month honoree and a three-time Goalie of the Week recipient. Burgart was also one of five finalists for the Canadian Junior Hockey League's 2016 Top Goaltender Award.
In 2014-15 Burgart also had success as a top-five goaltender in the SJHL. He was a workhorse, playing in 41 games for the Wings with a stat line including five shutouts, a .926 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.
“Jack has all the qualities we look for in a goaltender,” said BSU Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ted Belise. “He is competitive, athletic and has a history of success. On top of that he is 6-foot, 5-inches tall. We are quite excited about Jack.”
* Brendan Harris (F, 5-9, 161; 7/10/1996; Henderson, Nevada) is a three-year junior hockey veteran. In 2015-16, Harris helped the Wenatchee Wild transition to their first season in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). He was Wenatchee’s leading scorer and Team MVP with 56 points (14g-42a) in 57 games played. Harris proved to be a playmaker as he led the Wild to the second round of the BCHL playoffs, recording 11 assists in 10 games. The centerman also recorded two four-point games and two three-assist games.
The Wenatchee Wild was previously a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where Harris spent time in two seasons, also suiting up for the Bismarck Bobcats. In 103 career games in the NAHL, Harris racked up 69 points with 23 goals and 46 assists.
Before joining the NAHL ranks, Harris was a member of the California Titans of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) where he was a teammate of early signing period member Ethan Somoza. Harris was the third-leading scorer in league and the second-leading scorer on the Titans behind Somoza, registering 41 points in 20 games played. The Nevada native will become the second to play for the Beavers, following former Beaver Cory Ward (2012-16).
“Brendan is a exciting offensive prospect,” said Belisle. “He excels in distributing the puck in all areas of the ice. When he has the puck on his stick something good happens. We look forward to having Brendan’s play making ability on our team.”
* Dylan McCrory (F, 5-9, 165; 4/13/1995; Kirkland, Quebec) is in his first season playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with the Brooks Bandits. McCrory was the lone Bandit to appear in all 60 regular season games and was the leading scorer with 70 points (24g-46a). The sixth-leading scorer in the AJHL guided Brooks to a South Division title and a 49-9-2 record as he recorded five game-winning goals and 18 points on the man advantage. McCrory opened his debut season in the AJHL scoring six points (2g-4a) in the first two regular season games, earning AJHL Player of the Week. McCrory owned a season-best eight-game point-streak from Nov. 1-Dec. 3 with 11 points (4g-7a) and also recorded three points in eight games, including one hat trick.
Brooks is currently competing for the Western Canada Cup as the AJHL champion. McCrory was named the AJHL Finals MVP after leading the Bandits over the Spruce Grove Saints and has matched a team record with 11 goals and 15 points (11g-4a) in 13 playoff games this season.
In 2014-15, McCrory played for the Brockville Braves in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). He finished as the Brave’s sixth-leading scorer and third-leading goal scorer with 38 points (21g-17a) in 45 games played.
Before joining the junior hockey ranks, McCrory spent two years playing for Kent School in the Founders League, part of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). McCrory scored 45 points (20g-25a) in 42 games over two seasons, which included a Founders League championship in 2014.
“We are excited about Dylan. He is a fast-twitch player who has really developed into an offensive weapon in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.” Belisle added, “He has a very good shot, can make plays and handle the puck.”
* Hampus Sjodahl (SHOW-dawl) (F, 6-2, 197; 9/27/1995; Stockhom, Sweden) is a two-year veteran of the NAHL. Sjodahl finished the 2015-16 regular season as the NAHL’s second-leading goal scorer with 35 goals and the third-leading scorer with 69 points (35g-34a) in 60 games played. Sjodahl established himself as one of the Jackalopes’ all-time greats as his 35 goals and 69 points are both franchise single-season records. He also received team MVP and leading scorer awards. The sixth native of Sweden to play for the Beavers had a big month of March as he racked up 15 points (9g-6a) in 10 games played to earn NAHL Forward of the Month laurels. A member of the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, Sjodahl recorded a season-best 11-game point streak Feb. 5-March 11, posting 17 points (10g-7a). Sjodahl also registered 21 multi-point games, including one hat trick. A proven finisher, Sjodahl had a .215 shot percentage along with three shorthanded goals and three game-winners. He was also the Jackalope’s leader on the man advantage with 23 points (11g-12a). His 11 power-play goals ranked third-best in the NAHL. Following the season Sjodahl was named to the All-NAHL Team and was the South Division MVP/Forward of the Year and a member of the All-South Division Team.
In 2014-15, Sjodahl was Odessa’s fourth-leading scorer with 34 points (19g-15a) in 55 games played and led the team with one shorthanded goal. In two seasons in the NAHL, Sjodahl compiled 103 points with 54 goals and 49 assists in 115 games played.
The Odessa Jackalopes finished the regular season with a 27-29-4 record and were knocked out of the NAHL playoff division semi-finals by Wichita Falls.
“Hampus is another exciting prospect for us. His size and ability to make plays really excite us,” said Belisle. “He is a very good two-way centerman, who has taken a positive step offensively this season in Odessa. We think he possesses skills that will translate well to our team and future success in college hockey.”
* Zach Whitecloud (D, 6-1, 200; 11/28/1996; Brandon, Manitoba) recently completed his second season with the Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). As an alternate captain for Virden, Whitecloud was the top scoring defender for the Oil Capitals and ranked fifth among MJHL defensemen with 40 points (6g-34a) in 59 games played. A MJHL Second Team All-Star, Whitecloud recorded 25 power-play points (4g-21a) to lead all MJHL defenders in power-play assists. Whitecloud also received the Oil Capital's Top Defenseman Award.
Virden finished fourth in MJHL league standings in 2015-16 with a record of 37-21-2.
In 2014-15, Whitecloud played in 57 games and registered 10 points with three goals and seven assists. In 118 career MJHL games, Whitecloud posted 50 points with nine goals and 41 assists. Whitecloud is also a talented golfer as he was the runner-up at the 2015 Tamarack Provincial golf tournament.
“Zach brings a tremendous amount of feel for the position to his game as a defenseman,” said Belisle. “His poise with the puck and calm demeanor allow him to consistently make the right play. Because he makes plays from the blue line and has a good shot, we think he has a chance to contribute offensively.”
BSU’s regular period signees join Tommy Muck (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), a defenseman for the Fargo Force (USHL) and Bloomington Thunder (USHL) forward Ethan Somoza (Simi Valley, Calif.), who both signed NCAA National Letters of Intent with the Beavers during the early signing period.
The Beavers, who recently completed their 2015-16 campaign with an overall record of 17-16-6 and an 11-12-5 mark in league play to finish fifth in the WCHA standings. BSU’s 17 wins was the most since its’17 wins in 2011-12 and its first winning record since 2009-10.
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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).
- Burgart’s 2015-16 Stats
- Harris’s 2015-16 Stats
- McCrory’s 2015-16 Stats
- Sjodahl’s 2015-16 Stats
- Whitecloud’s 2015-16 Stats
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