Danbury defenseman Gudme makes NCAA DI commitment
The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce that defenseman Kyle Gudme has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of St. Thomas Tommies. He will join up with the team immediately for the spring semester as the team prepares to begin its season on January 30th.
Gudme, 20, served as captain for the Jr. Hat Tricks this season, anchoring the blueline and collecting a pair of assists in six games played during the 2020-21 campaign.
The 6’5/210 lbs. native of St. Clair, MI, brought sure-handedness and veteran leadership to the team, having played two previous seasons in the NAHL. He will finish his junior career with 12 points in 99 NAHL games. He previously played in the NAHL for the Corpus Christi IceRays, Austin Bruins and Springfield Jr. Blues.
Gudme was also selected to and played in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team.
“[The St. Thomas coaches] laid out the whole plan for me, it seemed like a great spot,” explained Gudme. “I’ve always had a dream to play Division I hockey.”
The St. Thomas Tommies announced their intention to join the NCAA Division I level for the 2021-22 season last July. They will play 11 games at the Division III level from January 30th to March 13th before making the jump at the end of the semester.
“[This coaching staff] has done a lot for me,” Gudme said of Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks head coach Billy McCreary. “With everything that happened with COVID, obviously it was a tough season, but I learned a lot from it. It kind of helped me to push through some adversity and grow as a player. It was an honor to be a captain. To look over guys and push them to be their best.”
Gudme is now the second Jr. Hat Tricks player to earn a NCAA Division I commitment, joining Sacred Heart Pioneer Cody Hoban.
“Kyle is a bit of a throwback,” praised Jr. Hat Tricks head coach Billy McCreary. “He’s a quiet, humble leader who has a high compete level and a professional mindset. His elite ability to defend and his high hockey IQ allow him to to consistently put his teammates in favorable positions.”
“We want to wish Kyle, as well as the Tommies, the best of luck as they transition into a Division I program.”