Wilderness forward Portz makes NCAA D1 commitment
November 4, 2019
The Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce forward Nick Portz has committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for the University of North Dakota in NCHC.
Portz, 19, is currently playing his second season of junior hockey, the majority of which has been spent in the NAHL with the Wilderness. The 5’11/176 lbs. native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, began the 2019-20 season with the Wilderness, recording 11 points in seven games.
On October 7th he was named the Central Division Star of the Week thanks to six points in two wins during the week. As a result, Portz got the call to the USHL by the Tri-City Storm, where he has recorded seven points in seven games since.
"You look at all the tradition and all the stuff they have as far as facilities," Portz told the Grand Forks Herald. "When I went there, there was no way I could say no. The coaching staff was great to me. The players were great to me. At the end of the day, it was a pretty easy decision. I'm excited about it.”
Portz appeared in 54 games with the Wilderness during the 2018-19 season, recording 32 points in the process. Overall in 61 career NAHL games, Portz has recorded 43 points.
“I’ve been very impressed with Nick’s professionalism in our community and at the rink. We chose him as part of our leadership group to start the season because he embodies the hard work ethic mentality that we believe in. He plays with tremendous tenacity around the puck and his commitment to the fine details of the game is excellent. He has the ability to make players around him better and isn’t afraid to sacrifice his body to help the team win,” said Wilderness head coach Jon Vaillancourt.