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Gavin Hain is back on skates after season-ending knee injury

The Fighting Hawks fifth-year senior forward is participating at development camp with the Philadelphia Flyers.

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UND's Gavin Hain carries the puck during a game Dec. 4, 2021, against St. Cloud State at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live
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GRAND FORKS — Most of the UND hockey team was back on the ice Tuesday, informally skating in Ralph Engelstad Arena's Olympic Rink.

As summer scrimmage season opened, the best sign of the day for the Fighting Hawks was seeing forward Gavin Hain as a full participant.

Hain went through drills and played in the short scrimmage that followed. His participation came one week after he skated at Philadelphia Flyers development camp.

These are good signs for the fifth-year senior, whose season was cut short due to a knee injury in January. Hain missed the final 19 games after getting tangled up awkwardly with a Cornell player deep in the offensive zone during a Jan. 7 contest.

Hain tore his ACL and MCL. He had it surgically repaired soon after.

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"That was awful," Hain previously told the Herald. "There's no other way to put it. It was extremely hard right away. After a couple days, you get over it. Then, as soon as surgery happens, you start the road back."

Hain, of Grand Rapids, Minn., was playing his best hockey when the injury happened. He had been UND's leading goal-scorer over the previous two months and had scored in four-straight weekends.

His value to UND goes far beyond goals, though.

He's also been one of UND's best shutdown forwards. Since his freshman year, he's played alongside classmate Mark Senden, routinely drawing the assignment of other teams' top players.

Hain, who has 20 goals and 37 points in 105 career games, is expected to be a key player on UND's 2022-23 roster. He's proven as one of the best bottom-six forwards in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, but he could wind up in the top six if his production picks up where it left off last season.

Players still trickling in

A pair of UND's incoming transfers have arrived in Grand Forks.

Fifth-year seniors Drew DeRidder, a goalie, and Ty Farmer, a defenseman, are in town. Neither attended an NHL development camp this summer. They are both undrafted free agents.

The other fifth-year senior transfer, defenseman Ryan Sidorski, will not arrive until later. He's currently doing an internship in New York City.

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Three of the four rookie forwards are in town — Owen McLaughlin, Jackson Blake and Ben Strinden. McLaughlin and Blake will depart this week, along with junior defenseman Tyler Kleven, for the USA Hockey's World Junior summer camp in Plymouth, Mich.

The other freshman on the roster, forward Dylan James, has not yet arrived in Grand Forks. He just completed NHL development camp with the Detroit Red Wings and is headed to participate in Hockey Canada's World Junior summer development camp beginning Friday in his hometown of Calgary.

Quick hits

UND junior forward Riese Gaber participated in NHL development camp with the Boston Bruins, then met with the Detroit Red Wings on his way back to Grand Forks. Gaber is expected to gain a lot of interest from NHL teams as a free agent whenever he decides to leave school.

The Ottawa Senators recently traded for Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat, a five-year NHL veteran. In Chicago, DeBrincat wore No. 12. In Ottawa, that number belongs to Shane Pinto. But the former UND forward called DeBrincat and offered up his No. 12 to the newcomer. That means Pinto will be wearing his third different number in three seasons. He wore No. 57 as a rookie in 2021-22.

Former UND star Jake Sanderson was development camp with the Senators but did not participate on the ice. He's still recovering from a pair of hand surgeries after an injury he sustained during the first round of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs against Colorado College. Sanderson is expected to be ready to go for opening night.

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 bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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