BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the addition of four Minnesotans during the NCAA’s signing period. Gavin Enright (G, Farmington, Minn.), Austin Jouppi (F, Duluth, Minn.), Aaron Myers (F, Thief River Falls, Minn.) and Jack Powell (D, Alexandria, Minn.) have each inked the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their Beaver Hockey careers in the fall of 2020.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Gavin Enright (G, 6-2, 161; 8/26/1999; Farmington, Minn.) is in his third season of junior hockey. After playing for the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, he is currently a member of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United State Hockey League. In 12 appearances this season, Enright is 5-5-1-1 with a 3.54 goals against average and a .895 save percentage and has one shutout. Facing 392 shots, he ranks 12th in the league in shots faced. This season he has at least 30 saves on six occasions, which includes a season-best 47 stops versus the United States Under-18 Team, Oct. 18. In addition, he backstops a Gamblers’ penalty-kill unit that ranks second in the USHL’s Eastern Conference and fourth in the league at nearly 87 percent.
Green Bay is currently fifth in the USHL’s Eastern Conference with a record of 11-10-1-3.
With the Brown Bears, Enright made 87 appearances in two seasons and logged a .921 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average. He also spent three seasons playing for Farmington High School, twice leading it into the postseason, including a 2016 Class AA Minnesota State Tournament appearance.
“Gavin is an extremely competitive goaltender,” said BSU Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Eddie Olczyk. “His athleticism, work ethic and ability to track the puck were a few of the initial things we loved about him. We also really like how he reads the play, how he will come out and challenge shooters and his ability to play the puck. Olczyk added, “Gavin has a lot of junior hockey experience after playing two seasons with Kenai River in the NAHL before moving on to Green Bay. We are really looking forward to seeing Gavin in green and white next season.”
* Austin Jouppi (F, 5-8, 170; 4/18/2000; Duluth, Minn.) Now in his second season for the NAHL’s Bismarck Bobcats, Jouppi has 21 goals and 43 assists for 64 points in 80 games for the Bobcats. Following a 2018-19 season during which he logged 41 points (14g-27a) in 56 games, he was named to the NAHL’s All-Central Division Rookie Team. This season, the Duluth, Minn. native has played in 24 of the team’s 26 games and is tied for third on the team in scoring with 23 points. (7g-16a) and is second on the team with 16 assists. An asset to the Bobcats on special teams, he has two goals and five assists on the power play. In addition, he carries a +5 plus/minus rating.
Bismarck is currently 17-5-1-3 to own second place in the NAHL’s Central Division standings.
Jouppi also has a history playing high school hockey in Minnesota. In two seasons with Duluth East High School, he totaled 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points in 50 games, each season helping the Greyhounds to the post season where he logged five points (2g-3a) in nine games.
“Austin is a hard-nosed, 200-foot hockey player,” commented Olczyk. “He has a big-time motor on the forecheck and an extremely high battle level. He plays fast and has the ability to make plays in all three zones. A lot of his goals are within the five to 10 feet from the net, which show his willingness to get to the hard areas and pay the price.” He added, “We are excited to add another player from Northern Minnesota to this class and think Beaver Hockey fans will really respect the way Austin plays.”
* Aaron Myers (F, 5-11, 176; 9/28/1999; Thief River Falls, Minn.) In his second season for the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness, Myers has proven himself as a scorer. Following a 2018-19 season that saw him net 50 points (17g-33a) in 57 games, he was selected to the NAHL’s All-Central Division Team, the All-Central Division Rookie Team, was voted as the NAHL’s Central Division Rookie of the Year, and was picked to the NAHL’s All-Rookie Team. This season he has logged time in 10 games for the Wilderness, but already has two goals and 11 assists and has a point in six of the team’s last seven games (1g-7a).
Minnesota is currently 14-13-1-0 and sit fifth in the NAHL’s Central Division.
Myers also has history in the Minnesota State High School Tournament. He helped lead Thief River Falls High School to a Class A, third place finish in 2016.
“Aaron is a well-rounded two-way center man,” said Olczyk. “He can make plays in all three zones and has a really quick stick. Aaron plays in all situation, has always had a history of producing and his hockey sense and versatility made us want to make Aaron a Beaver. He’s a high-character kid and a Northern Minnesotan and we can’t wait for Aaron to get to campus this fall.”
* Jack Powell (D, 5-11, 181; 9/11/1999; Alexandria, Minn.) is in his second season with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. A defender with a nose for scoring, Powell has accumulated 18 points (4g-14a) in 28 games for the Wings this season to rank among the top 10 NAHL blueliners. He is a vital piece to an Aberdeen power-play unit that is converting more than 20-percent of its chances. Of his 18 points, nine (2g-7a) have come on the man advantage. In addition, he is third on the team with a +13 plus/minus rating. As an NAHL rookie he totaled six points (1g-5a) in 13 regular-season games, but was part of an Aberdeen team that won the Robertson Cup.
At 18-4-4-1, the Wings currently lead the NAHL’s Central Division and have rattled off five straight wins.
Prior to embarking on his NAHL career, Powell was a standout at Alexandria High School. In three seasons and 70 games for the Cardinals, Powell amassed 52 points, which included 16 goals and 36 assists. He helped lead his team into postseason play in all three seasons and led the Cardinals to an appearance in the 2018 Class A Minnesota State Tournament, where it finished second and Powell was named to the all-tournament team.
“Jack is a smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman who has the ability to generate offense through his vision with the puck,” said Olczyk. “He engages defensively, has a really good stick and can get himself out of trouble with his feet and hockey sense. As a staff, we like his ability to find the middle of the ice and use deception to generate offense on the power play as well as five on five.” Olczyk added, “Jack has a big-time work ethic and we’re excited to add another Northern Minnesotan to our roster next year.”
Beavers finished the first half of the 2019-20 schedule 8-5-3 overall and 8-3-1-0 in WCHA play to hold down second place in the league standings with 25 points. After a break for the holidays, the Beavers return to play Dec. 29-30 when they travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to compete in the Mariucci Classic. BSU opens the event with a 7 p.m. match up versus the University of Minnesota Saturday at Mariucci Arena and will play either Minnesota State or St. Cloud State University Sunday at 4 p.m.
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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).