The Bismarck Bobcats have announced that defenseman Ben Danford has committed to Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey) for next season.
He’s the fourth player who competed in last month’s Sherwood/NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division I school after the event.
“It’s a great feeling to know I’ll have a chance to play Division I hockey,” said Danford, the 10th current or former Bobcat who has committed to a Division I program this season, tied for most in the NAHL with the Wenatchee Wild.
“Getting to the D-I level has been my goal since I started in the NAHL; now that I’ve achieved that, I can focus on this season and winning the Robertson Cup with the Bobcats.”
Danford, who came to the Bobcats in a late-January trade with the North Iowa Outlaws, has 11 goals and 10 assists through 41 games this season, including a pair of power-play markers since arriving in Bismarck.
The 20-year-old Stillwater, Minn., native notes that it was a mix of hockey and academics that attracted him to the western New York institution.
“I’ve always been interested in going to school and playing out east, and Canisius is a really great academic school out in Buffalo,” said Danford, who plans on majoring in business finance at Canisius. “Plus, talking to (Golden Griffins head) coach (Dave) Smith and his staff, I knew I’d be in a great spot to contribute to a solid program.”
The other Top Prospects players who have committed to Division I schools since the event are: Bismarck Bobcats forward Casey Kleisinger (Air Force Academy); Janesville Jets forward Rui Encarnacao (University of Connecticut): Owatonna Express defenseman Jake Sloat (Bowling Green State University).
View the complete NAHL College List here.