The Surrey Eagles didn't hide their excitement this summer when Grayden Slipec pledged to play his junior hockey with their British Columbia Hockey League team.

"I'm very excited," coach Cam Keith said, "for the local fans to be able to watch a special kid like this play every night. He's an NHL prospect right now."

The UND coaching staff might be feeling a similar excitement this weekend.

Slipec posted on Instagram on Sunday afternoon that he has given a verbal commitment to play college hockey at UND.

"I'm extremely proud to announce my commitment to play hockey at the University of North Dakota," Slipec wrote. "I would like to thank my family, coaches, friends and teammates and everyone else who has helped along the way!"

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Slipec, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound center, played in his first two BCHL games this weekend, tallying a pair of assists.

When he arrives at UND, it will start a brotherly rivalry in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Slipec's older brother, Jacob, committed to Omaha last month.

The commitment period for Grayden and other high school juniors opened Aug. 1. He made a visit to campus last weekend during UND's exhibition game against Bemidji State.

Slipec is the third 2005-born player to give a verbal commitment to the Fighting Hawks. The others are Chicago Steel forward Jayden Perron and Tri-City Storm defenseman Andrew Strathmann.

UND hockey committed recruits As of Oct. 10, 2021
Name Birth year Position Hometown Team
Ethan Bowen 2002 F Chilliwack, B.C. Chilliwack (BCHL)
Ben Strinden 2002 F Fargo Muskegon (USHL)
Dylan James 2003 F Calgary Sioux City (USHL)
Jackson Blake 2003 F Eden Prairie, Minn. Chicago (USHL)
Jaksen Panzer 2004 F East Grand Forks Minot (NAHL)
Cole Spicer 2004 F Grand Forks U.S. Under-18 Team
Bowden Singleton 2004 F Calgary Okotoks (AJHL)
Jayden Perron 2005 F Winnipeg Chicago (USHL)
Grayden Slipec 2005 F White Rock, B.C. Surrey (BCHL)
Nate Benoit 2002 D Bow, N.H. Tri-City (USHL)
Tyler Dunbar 2003 D Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Muskegon (USHL)
Trey Ausmus 2004 D East Grand Forks Madison (USHL)
Jake Livanavage 2004 D Gilbert, Ariz. Chicago (USHL)
Andrew Strathmann 2005 D Beach Park, Ill. Tri-City (USHL)
Hobie Hedquist 2003 G Heron Lake, Minn. Alberni Valley (BCHL)
SOURCE: Grand Forks Herald