The Lloydminster Bobcats are pleased to announce that rookie defenceman Daniel Hilsendager has committed to play hockey for the University of Western Michigan Broncos of the (NCAA Div. 1) National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).
“I would like to thank all the current and previous coaches and managers that have helped me and made this possible for me to achieve. Western Michigan has a great program that I'm very excited to be a part of,” said Hilsendager. “The only way you can get better is by playing against the best players and getting outside of your comfort level, that's what I look forward to most.”
Hilsendager is a native of Lloydminster who has spent time developing in the city's minor hockey system. Last year Hilsendager split time between the Lloydminster Rage Minor Midgets and the Bobcats Midget AAA team that competed for a national championship.
“The Bobcats organization is proud of the decision that Daniel has made to attend Western Michigan University and we are excited to continue to help him develop as he eventually makes the transition to NCAA Division 1 hockey,” said Head Coach and GM Travis Clayton. “Through hard work, dedication and a willingness to compete, Daniel became our top defenceman this season. He is a young man who leads by example and shows his passion for the game by giving 100 percent every single time he is on the ice, even in practise.”
In 59 games this year, the 6'0'', 176 pound blue-liner scored six goals and 15 assists for 21 points and 91 penalty minutes. Over his final seven games of 2016-17, Hilsendager had four multi-point outings, picking up six assists and two goals.
The Western Michigan Broncos have a winning record in five of their last six season. The team has been led by former L.A. Kings and St. Louis Blues Head Coach Andy Murray since the 2011-12 season. Murray is currently a finalist for the Herb Brooks Coach of the Year award, an honour voted on by NCHC coaches.
Hilsendager is the second active Bobcats player to secure an NCAA commitment, joining forward Rob Johnson who has signed with Air Force.