The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are proud to announce that 1995-born forward and team captain Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN) has committed to attend and play for the University of Vermont, beginning in the 2016-17 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season.
Located in Burlington, Vermont, the Catamounts play in the NCAA’s Division I Hockey East conference, under 13th-year head coach Kevin Sneddon, under whom the team has appeared in three NCAA tournaments in the last seven seasons, reaching the Frozen Four in 2009. The team most recently completed just its third ever back-to-back 20 win campaigns.
“Derek is very deserving of this opportunity with Vermont,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “Since joining our organization last season he has had nothing but a positive impact every day.
“His leadership is at the core of our success, and he will one day provide the same for the Catamounts,” he added.
Lodermeier, 20, was named the first-ever American captain of the Bandits just prior to the 2014-15 regular season, his second campaign with the organization. Thus far, he has scored 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games, ranking third on the Bandits and fifteenth in the entire AJHL. Lodermeier is also tied for 12th in the AJHL in goal scoring.
“On the ice, his game has continued to develop. as he is an all-situations player for us, and is our go-to on faceoffs,” Papaioannou noted. “I am looking forward to the upcoming playoff run with Derek as our captain.”
The 6’3”, 210lb forward scored 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 52 games in his debut with the Bandits last season, before accelerating his playoff pace with 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 20 post-season games, ranking third on the team, including 5 goals and 4 assists in the team’s 7-game win over the Camrose Kodiaks in the AJHL South final.
Prior to his time in Brooks, Lodermeier played for the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in 2013-14, registering 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) in 54 games, and prior to that played three years for Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota, where he scored 129 points (69 goals, 60 assists) in 74 games.
“I’m excited to commit to the University of Vermont,” said Lodermeier. “I would like to thank the Brooks Bandits organization, especially the coaches, as well as my family and friends who have supported me on my journey to play hockey at the Division I level.”
At Vermont, Lodermeier will be the third former Bandit playing for the Catamounts, joining 1993-born forward Anthony Petruzzelli (Federal Way, WA) and 1992-born defenceman Chris Muscoby (Airdrie, AB).
The Bandits now have 14 players committed to NCAA Division I institutions, including, in addition to Lodermeier:
• Shane Bear (University of Massachusetts)
• Kyler Nachtigall (University of Massachusetts)
• Parker Foo (Union College)
• Tristan Thompson (University of Alaska-Fairbanks)
• Austin Wright (Rochester Institute of Technology)
• Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
• Jeff Malott (Cornell University)
• Joe O’Connor (Quinnipiac University)
• Jared Cockrell (Colgate University)
• Jarrod Gourley (Arizona State University)
• Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
• Josh McKechney (Colgate University)
• Logan Mick (Quinnipiac University)
The Bandits return home January 1 for a New Year’s Day matchup at the Centennial Regional Arena against the Olds Grizzlys. Puck drop is at 7 PM, with tickets available online at tickets.brooksbandits.ca.