The St. Louis Bandits have announced that defenseman Tyler Elbrecht and goaltender Keith Kinkaid, both of whom participated in last month’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, have made Division I commitments for the 2009-10 season.
Elbrecht, a 20-year-old from Edwardsville, Ill., will attend Minnesota State-Mankato (WCHA), and Kinkaid, a 19-year-old from Farmingville, N.Y., will play at Union College (ECAC).
“On behalf of the St. Louis Bandits organization, we would like to congratulate these two young men on reaching their goal of playing major college hockey,” said Bandits head coach Jeff Brown. “From our owners, management, coaching staff and players, we’re all very, very proud of these two players.”
Elbrecht, the captain of the Bandits, has a goal and eight assists to go along with a plus-12 rating and 103 penalty minutes after 30 games this season.
“Tyler is the leader of our team and sets a great example to all of our young kids on how to conduct themselves on and off the ice,” said Brown. “He’s a reliable defenseman who will do whatever it takes for our team to win.
“He’s playing in a great conference (the WCHA) that’s seen many players move on to the NHL. Mankato has gotten themselves a great player and an even better person.”
Kinkaid, the GDI Goaltender of the Month for October, ranks third among NAHL netminders with a 1.95 goals-against average and leads the league in shutouts with five.
“Keith has proven that he’s an elite goaltender in the NAHL and he’ll have a great college career,” said Brown. “He’s going to a program that’s well-respected and we have no doubt he’ll be successful.”
Kinkaid and Elbrecht are the third and fourth players from this year’s Bandits team to commit to a Division I program, joining Andrew Hamburg (Colorado College) and Clinton Bourbonais (Air Force).
“Keith, Tyler, Clint and Andrew are all very important players for our team,” said Brown. “They’ve proven that our organization brings in top-notch talent and will continue to develop and prepare these kids for the next level.”
Kinkaid and Elbrecht and the second and third players who competed in last month’s Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a school after the event, joining Springfield Jr. Blues forward Trent Frey (Mercyhurst).