Austin forward Brandt makes NCAA commitment
May 16, 2018
The Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced that forward Justin Brandt has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at Tufts University. Although he still has a year of Junior eligibility left, Brandt is making the jump to college hockey.
Brandt, 19, joined the Bruins after parts of two seasons in Brookings and stops with the Northeast Generals and Springfield Jr. Blues. He was one of multiple Bruins to come out of the Little Caesars AAA program. He appeared in 50 games with the Bruins, scoring five goals and adding 12 assists.
“Coming to Austin really helped me learn to play a more systematic game,” Brandt said. “I had always played a ‘run and gun’ style which doesn’t necessarily transfer great to the college level. I also learned to battle adversity and play different roles. I had a chance to play in both the top six and the bottom six and toward the end of the season I think it showed I had learned how to do both.”
Tufts is a private research university located in Medford, Massachusetts that enrolls just over 11,000 students. Their hockey program is NCAA DIII and competes in the NESCAC. (New England Small College Athletic Conference) The Jumbos have a storied history dating back to 1917 but have never appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Pat Norton has been the head coach for the last three seasons.
“After visiting Tufts and taking with coach Norton I knew this was a great option for me,” said Brandt. “Tufts allowed me to fulfill a childhood dream while attending a top academic program.”
Brandt will be looking to help Tufts bounce back from a rough season, in which they only won five games. “I’d like to thank all my coaches, teammates, friends, and family – most of all my mom for all the help over these 19 years allowing me to accomplish my goal of playing college hockey. I look forward to stepping in and making an immediate impact at Tufts.”