A chat with UND freshman defenseman Luke Bast

The rookie blue liner had an assist last weekend against Colorado College and will be in the lineup Friday night at Minnesota Duluth.

UND freshman defenseman Luke Bast carries the puck up the ice in a January 2022 game against Cornell.
Nick Nelson / UND athletics

DULUTH, Minn. — UND freshman defenseman Luke Bast is beginning to hit his stride in his first college season. He had an assist last week against Colorado College and is expected to be in the lineup again Friday night at Minnesota Duluth. Bast spoke to the Herald this week on a number of topics.

Q. When you were being recruited, did you have interest from other teams or did you commit early to UND with your older brother, Gabe, being here?

A. It was between here, Denver and Omaha. It really ended up coming down to here and Denver.

Q. In junior hockey, you moved from the Alberta Junior Hockey League to the United States Hockey League before coming to school. What were the differences between the AJHL and USHL?

A. Size and strength was a big thing. The parity in the USHL compared to the AJHL is night and day. I played in Brooks (AJHL) and we were a bit of a powerhouse my second year. You went into games knowing you would win, it was just a matter of by how many.The USHL was very different. Every night was a match.


Q. You’ve played a lot more minutes in the second half of this season. What has that been like? Has it changed your approach?

A. Obviously, the comfort level has improved significantly. At the end of the day, you have to bide your time. I knew that coming in. I understood that. My mindset of having a daily approach never changed whether it was the start of the year and I wasn’t playing a lot of minutes until now, when I’ve been fortunate enough to play a few more minutes and be relied upon more heavily. The daily approach never changed.

Q. How many years apart are you and Gabe?

A. Four years. He’s a ‘96 (birthday). I’m a 2000.

Q. Have you ever played together on the same team?

A. No. Last year would have been the only opportunity we would have had. I missed him by a year. . . whether that’s for the good or the bad. I don’t know if we could have been in the same locker room together. There might have been a few brotherly arguments.

Q. In what ways are you guys similar?

A. Off the ice, we’re both outgoing people. We like to be the life of the party, so to speak. We like to stir the pot, some would say.


Q. What has this journey been like for your parents, who will now be closely following UND hockey for eight years in a row?

A. I remember they were saying there were so many senior parents from last year. They created great relationships with those parents. They would tell my parents how lucky they were to be able to come to Grand Forks and experience UND hockey for eight years. They were saying how lucky they were to experience it for so long. Those other parents wished they could have four more. They love it. They love coming down here. The biggest thing is the other parents were envious that my parents had the opportunity to experience it for eight years.

Q. What’s your favorite food?

A. Pizza.

Q. What’s your favorite restaurant in Grand Forks?

A. Harry’s or the Toasted Frog.

Q. What’s one restaurant Grand Forks needs to get?

A. Earl’s.


Q. What’s your favorite movie?

A. The Other Guys.

Q. Who is your favorite actor or actress?

A. Will Ferrell.

Q. What’s your favorite TV show?

A. Yellowstone.

Q. What’s your favorite part about Grand Forks?

A. For sure Friday and Saturday nights. I know it’s cliche. But you can’t picture a better place to play hockey. Playing in The Ralph is second to none.

Q. If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose?

A. Michael Jordan, Will Ferrell and Margot Robbie.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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