Sherwood Park, AB - The Sherwood Park Crusaders are proud to announce that 2002-born defenceman Michael Benning (St Albert, AB) has committed to the University of Denver of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in Division One of the NCAA.
"They (Denver) showed a lot of interest in me as a hockey player and a student,” said Michael Benning. “They have a great hockey program developing players and getting them onto the next level as well as there academics are strong. They have a nice smaller college compared to others, which helps me focus more on hockey as much as possible.”
The Pioneers, coached by first-year Head Coach, David Carle, are eight-time NCAA National Champs (tied for second-most in the NCAA) with their most recent coming in 2017. They have produced 75 NHL players over the years including former Edmonton Oiler and NHL Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson.
"A huge congratulations on behalf of the Sherwood Park Crusaders towards Michael and his family”, said General Manager Kyle Chase. “Michael has been nothing but accessional since the day he got here. He’s hard-working, attentive, and a good teammate. We are extremely happy to have him in our organization.”
Benning is entering his first season in Alberta Junior Hockey League after spending last season with Northern Alberta X-Treme Elite 15s of the CSSHL. He finished the 2018 campaign with 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists) in 29 regular season games which were the most by a defenceman in the league.
Benning is the second player on the Crusaders 2018-19 roster to commit to a post-secondary institution with Carter Savoie also heading to the University of Denver for the 2020-21 season.
“It’s great that himself and Carter (Savoie) are going to be joining each other at the University of Denver,” said Kyle Chase. “Denver is getting two quality individuals and two great hockey players”.
Crusaders fans can catch Benning and the rest of the team at home since Sunday, September 2nd, against the Olds Grizzlys.