Oklahoma defenseman Vig makes NCAA DI Commitment | North American Hockey League | NAHL
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Oklahoma defenseman Vig makes NCAA DI Commitment

February 26, 2024

Oklahoma Warriors defenseman Max Vig has committed to play Division I hockey at Bemidji State University.

At just 18 years old, Vig has made a splash in his rookie season at the junior hockey level. After leading his high school team in scoring for two consecutive seasons, Vig decided to forgo his senior year to join the Warriors. He has scored six goals and 18 points in 43 games.

“I would not have been able to do this without my teammates and the coaches I have had here in Oklahoma,” Vig said. “Garrett Roth and Nate Weossner have a lot of confidence in me, and that has built my confidence as well. They have provided me with the incredible opportunity to play here. I just took this opportunity and ran with it.”

The Bismarck, N.D. native began to garner interest from junior teams during the offseason. Head coach Garrett Roth, who worked for the Bismarck Bobcats for eight years and had an existing connection to Max, tendered him last June. Since then, Max’s game has developed significantly and his hockey career has taken off.

“The process of getting Max here to Oklahoma and seeing him earn his commitment has been a rewarding experience,” Roth said. “I have known Max and his family for a long time, and I have always had a ton of respect for Mitch and Kate with how well they instilled hard work and character into their kids. That work ethic and character has been the driving force behind Max’s development this year.”

Bemidji State took notice of Vig’s impressive rookie season. They reached out to Max in January and the process from then on went by speedily. BSU sent a coach down to meet him in person a few weeks ago, then hosted Vig on a visit last week.

“Just going on the visit, I got to see the town as a whole, the campus, the facilities, and I kind of fell in love with it right away,” Vig said. “Being from Bismarck, North Dakota, Bemidji is not too far away and the social aspect is not too far off either. I liked the small town environment where everything is a short drive away. Going to school there, you feel like you are a part of the community and the student body, you do not get lost in the numbers.”

Even though Vig is still taking high school classes and has two more years of junior hockey eligibility remaining, he had no qualms about coming to a college decision after just 43 junior games.

“Just getting to know (Bemidji State), I felt confident making the decision that I wanted to spend four years of college and play hockey there,” Vig said. “Overall, the process was really quick, but I think I made the right decision, and I am 100% committed to it. I am excited to have an opportunity there and very thankful for it.”

Vig already had quite a few people he could talk with about Bemidji, the northern Minnesota town of about 15,000, and its longstanding university. Roth and Weossner both attended Bemidji State University. Weossner grew up in Bemidji and continues to visit family there. Additionally, sophomore forward and Bismarck native Kirklan Irey is one of Max’s good friends.

“The facilities are top-notch and their rink is definitely better than most college programs,” Vig said, “But the culture and the tradition, how much the program means to the city … Playing hockey there, you truly become part of the city and part of the alumni base. That speaks volumes to their program and what they represent there. You are not only a hockey player, you are a Beaver.”

The Bemidji State Beavers, competing in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), have moved on nine players to the National Hockey League, including current Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud.

With his commitment in the books, Vig can focus entirely on making a playoff run with his Warriors teammates. The 6’2″ defenseman has played a larger offensive role during his team’s second-half push. Four of Vig’s six goals–and 10 of his 18 points–have come after the holiday break, an asset Roth believes will carry him a long way.

“(Vig’s) offensive instincts and physicality have been a huge part of his success on the ice,” Roth said, “But more importantly, the effort he puts forth in his training and what he means to our group off the ice is what will allow him to make a career out of hockey after college.”

For Vig, everything comes back to family, whether it is his Warriors family, his future Beavers family, or the one he has grown up with. Mitch, his father, played four seasons at the University of North Dakota. Charlie, his younger brother, leads the Century High School Patriots in scoring as a junior. Many of Max’s teammates and friends from back home have kept tabs on the Warriors, too.

“I would not be here without my mom and dad and the support they have provided me, whether it is through hockey or education,” Vig said. “I have learned a lot from them, and they helped make this decision pretty easy. They have supported me the entire season, which I am forever grateful and blessed for. My brother and sister have supported me through it all and have been cheering me on from home, which means a lot.”

Vig is the tenth current Division I commit on the Warriors roster. He is the second Bemidji State commit in franchise history; Vincent Corcoran, who played two years in Wichita Falls and captained the 2021-22 team, is a sophomore defenseman for the Beavers.

via oklahomawarriors.com

Click here for an updated NAHL to NCAA commitment list

 

 
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