Top recruit Gersich commits to UNDGRAND FORKS — Christmas has come early for the University of North Dakota men’s hockey program.
By: Brad Schlossman , Forum Communications
GRAND FORKS — Christmas has come early for the University of North Dakota men’s hockey program.
Shane Gersich, arguably the top uncommitted 1996-born player in the country, called the UND coaching staff Thursday night and gave his commitment to play for UND in a few years, surprising many from around the country.
Gersich’s father, Frank, and uncles Neal and Aaron Broten, all suited up for the University of Minnesota.
Gersich, a sophomore forward at Holy Family Catholic High School in the Twin Cities, said his decision came down to UND and Minnesota.
“To be honest, I wanted to go my own way and carve my own path,” Gersich said. “It was definitely a tough process. When I came and visited (UND), I fell in love with the small town and campus. Obviously, I love the rink. And I really, really wanted to play for that coaching staff — that’s what it came down to.”
Gersich racked up 30 goals and 60 points as a freshman forward last season for Holy Family. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the United States Hockey League’s Futures Draft during the spring.
“He’s a great hockey player and an even better young man,” Omaha Lancers coach Mike Aikens told the Omaha World Herald at the time.
Gersich was selected to participate in the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic, where he teamed with forward Austin Poganski — the St. Cloud (Minn.) Cathedral standout who committed to UND earlier this week.
When news of Poganski’s commitment broke on Wednesday night, Gersich tweeted a congratulatory message to Poganski. Then, he broke his own news Thursday night, tweeting: “After a long hard decision I’m very proud to announce that I will be playing my college hockey at the University of North Dakota #Sioux.”
Gersich, who turned down an offer to play for the National Team Development Program this year, says he’s focusing on his season with Holy Family and hasn’t made any decisions on where he will play next season.
“I just want to finish this season strong and I’m just playing it by ear,” he said.
But the college decision is out of the way now.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Gersich said.