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Grand Forks Central's Caulfield picks UND for hockey

GRAND FORKS -- Area players had a big hand in the University of North Dakota''s 2016 national championship team. And on Monday morning, UND received a verbal commitment from another one who is generating buzz in the hockey world right now. Grand ...

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Judd Caulfield (14) celebrates his goal against West Fargo at Friday's game eight of the East Regional hockey tournament game at the Purpur arena in Grand Forks. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS - Area players had a big hand in the University of North Dakota''s 2016 national championship team.

And on Monday morning, UND received a verbal commitment from another one who is generating buzz in the hockey world right now.

Grand Forks Central sophomore forward Judd Caulfield says he will play college hockey for his hometown team in the future.

"I grew up watching the Sioux and I always dreamed of playing there," Caulfield said. "The facilities are all top of the line and the coaches are all nice guys.

"I am really excited about it."

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Caulfield, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound power forward, also had an offer from Notre Dame.

Caulfield played varsity for Central as a freshman, tallying 27 points in 27 games for the state's third-place team.

He really started attracting a lot of attention this summer, though.

The 2001-born Caulfield had an impressive performance at the Select 15s in New York. He was the youngest player selected to play for Great Plains in the Minnesota High School Elite League this fall-and he's been strong there, too.

Caulfield has eight points in 11 games at the Elite League, placing him fourth on his team in scoring.

"It's going well," Caulfield said. "Our team is doing pretty good, I guess. I'm the youngest on my team but all the guys there are nice guys, so it's not too bad being the youngest guy."

The Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks, who picked Caulfield in the 10th round of the WHL bantam draft, have tried to get him to sign. But Caulfield has resisted to keep his college options open.

"I knew right away that I always wanted to play college," he said.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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