BROOKS, AB (June 23, 2017) – Brooks Bandits 1998-born defenceman Dennis Cesana (Providence, RI) has committed to attend and play for Michigan State University, it was announced today.
Located in East Lansing, Michigan, the Spartans play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Big Ten Conference, under incoming first-year head coach Danton Cole.
Cesana, 19, took the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) by storm in his first year of Junior ‘A’ competition in 2016-17. In 59 games played, the 5’10”, 190lb defenceman recorded 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists), while recording only 24 penalty minutes.
He was the second highest scoring defenceman in the AJHL behind only his defensive partner Cale Makar (Calgary, AB), and was named to the AJHL All-Rookie Team as well as sharing the Bandits’ team Rookie of the Year Award.
Cesana added sixteen further points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 13 AJHL playoff games as the Bandits captured the Gas Drive Cup, scored a dramatic shootout winner against Penticton at the 2017 Western Canada Cup, and was the second-highest scoring player at the 2017 RBC Cup with 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) in 6 games.
“Dennis has done an admirable job working at his game over the last year,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He’s taken his offence to a league leading level while refining his defence.
“He is one of the toughest players in our league to generate chances against while also being a threat with the puck every shift,” he added. “Dennis will return this season as our leader on defence and we are excited for him and his family that he’s achieved this commitment today.”
Cesana was recruited to the Bandits after spending three years at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire, where he recorded just under a point per game with 34 (7 goals, 27 assists) in 35 points in his final prep school season.
He is the 12th player from the 2016-17 Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I school, joining:
• Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
• Josh McKechney (Colgate University)
• Parker Foo (Union College)
• Joe O’Connor (Quinnipiac University)
• Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
• Ocean Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
• Orca Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
• Nick Prkusic (Robert Morris University)
• Oliver Chau (University of Massachusetts)
• Arnaud Vachon (Colgate University)
• Mitch Benson (University of Alaska Fairbanks)