Two members of the Okotoks Oilers ironed out their not too distant future.
Oilers forwards signed off on college commitments to two of the NCAA’s top programs last week as captain Carter Huber committed to North Dakota and rookie winger Ben Sanderson locked down a scholarship to Colorado College.
“It’s something that came on rather fast for my family and I over the last month or so,” Huber said. “There was a little bit of interest there from a couple schools, we just sat down as a family and had the discussion on where we felt was the best fit for us as a family.
“North Dakota is a dream come true for us.”
Huber, in his final season of junior eligibility, is heading to Grand Forks to begin his collegiate career in the fall.
He joins a program deeply intertwined with Oilers hockey.
Okotoks alumni on the Fighting Hawks include the likes of NHL draft picks Corban Knight, Bradley Eidsness, Derek Rodwell and current UND junior Rhett Gardner.
“I’m a bit of a thorough thinker so I reached out to as many people as I could,” Huber said. “Corban Knight, the former Oiler, and Rhett Gardner he knows my brother (Bennett). I wanted to get some background on things and everything I’ve heard is just phenomenal.”
Huber plans to enrol in the UND business program. The Calgarian takes his academics seriously and was named as the Oilers representative on the Inter Pipeline AJHL All-Academic Team.
Three years his junior, Sanderson’s journey to Colorado Springs was also a whirlwind.
“It came pretty quick for me. I heard great things about the school, that it’s a beautiful place,” Sanderson said. “I went down to check it out and fell in love with it.”
The fleet-footed 2000-born forward has 18 goals and 24 points in 46 games as an AJHL freshman.
Sanderson, the son of former NHLer Geoff Sanderson, wasn’t planning on deciding his future at this juncture.
Things changed in a hurry.
“I was kind of planning on keeping my options open,” he said. “Once I went there and met with the coaching staff and looked at everything there I fell in love with it. They have great facilities and it’s in a great town.”
The Calgarian is slated to start his NCAA career in the 2019-20 season and plans to study kinesiology.
It’s an honour just to be nominated and one several members of the green-and-gold earned.
The top team in the Alberta Junior Hockey League has its fingerprints all over the list of nominees for the 2017-18 Awards.
Finalists for league awards include: Tyler Deis (coach of the year), Riley Morris (goaltender of the year), Nick Blankenburg (rookie of the year) and Jacob Bernard-Docker (defenceman of the year, most dedicated player).
The award winners will be announced this, the final, week of the AJHL regular season.
For more information go to okotoksoilers.ca