Odessa, Texas (JAN 28, 2015) – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are excited to announce that center Hampus Sjodahl has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Division I Bemidji State University (WCHA) beginning in the 2016-17 season.
"Bemidji gave me an offer that was too good to pass up. It was an easy decision for me and my family. I know Bemidji has had a ton of success in the past, and I’m honored to join such a great program," said Sjodahl.
When asked about how Odessa prepared him for this opportunity, Sjodahl said, “Playing for the Jackalopes has helped me grow both as a person and as a player. I have developed a ton, and I am very thankful for the support I’ve been given by coach Gatto and the entire Jackalopes organization.
The Stockholm, Sweden native has been arguably Odessa’s best player this season in his second year with the club. Through 35 games, Sjodahl leads the team in goals (18), points (37), plus-minus (+11), power-play goals (6), power-play assists (5), shorthanded goals (3), shorthanded assists (3), and is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (2). At Bemidji State, Sjodahl will compete against current teammates Danny Kiraly and Cooper Zech (Alaska-Fairbanks) in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Sjodahl’s commitment makes him the eighth player on the Jacks roster committed to a Division I program, joining forwards Jon Russell (Harvard), Derek Brown (Niagara), Pierce Pluemer (Air Force), defenseman Danny Kiraly (Alaska-Fairbanks), Cooper Zech (Alaska-Fairbanks), Ben DiMaio (Dartmouth) and goaltender Dean Shatzer (Dartmouth).
“Hampus has taken his game to another level this year. Bemidji is getting one heck of a player and person. If he keeps developing he has a chance to play pro hockey one day with his skill set, work ethic and size,” said Jacks head coach Greg Gatto.
The Jacks return home this Friday and Saturday as they take on the Lone Star Brahmas for a pair of games on Jan. 29-30. Friday, Jan. 29 fans will get a Bud Light ice scraper and Saturday, Jan. 30 those in attendance will receive a Jacks rally towel courtesy of Johnny Carino’s and Coca-Cola.
In 2015-16, the Odessa Jackalopes will embark upon their fifth season in the North American Hockey League and 19th in the Permian Basin. Season tickets are on sale now! To reserve your seats, contact the Jackalopes’ ticket office today at 432-552-7825 or log on to www.jackalopes.org for more information.
Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter @LetsGoJacks all year long and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Odessa Jackalopes” fan page on Facebook.