UND picks up commitment from right-handed defenseman Tanner Komzak
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound blue liner from the Alberta Junior Hockey League will come to Grand Forks in the fall.
GRAND FORKS — UND is going to have a lot of turnover on the blue line next season.
Three of the eight defensemen are out of eligibility — Chris Jandric, Ty Farmer and Ryan Sidorski. Two more could turn pro — Tyler Kleven and Ethan Frisch. And in this day and age, you never know who could end up in the transfer portal.
So, there will be a load of rookies coming in the fall.
The potential newcomers on UND's commitment list are all left-handed — something the Fighting Hawks took a step to address over the weekend.
UND picked up a new commitment from a big, right-shot defenseman in Tanner Komzak from the Whitecourt Wolverines in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Komzak is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound blue liner, who will provide a different element than UND's other incoming recruits like Jake Livanavage and Andrew Strathmann, who are both sub-6 foot left-handers.
"He's big and he's very mobile for his size," Whitecourt coach Shawn Martin said. "He works extremely hard and he plays extremely physical."
Komzak has erupted offensively this season in the AJHL.
As a 19-year-old last season, he had two goals and eight points in 58 games. This season, he has 11 goals and 43 points in 44 games.
"Pretty much from the start of the year, I wanted to come in and make a statement in the league," said Komzak, who is from West Kelowna, B.C. "I knew I was coming into my 20-year-old season. I wanted to go out with a bang. I feel like I've done that."
Komzak is playing an average of 25:14 per night.
"Last year, his first year with us, he focused a lot on the defensive side of the game," Martin said. "Over the course of the summer and early this year, he focused on the offensive side. He's done a great job producing points."
UND's interest in Komzak picked up recently.
Fighting Hawks coach Brad Berry called Komzak on Friday to give an offer. Komzak committed on the same phone call.
"After coach Berry reached out to my coach to ask about me and what I was like as a person, he reached out to me," Komzak said. "He started asking about my personality, family, then started talking about my play style and what he liked about my game. Things went from there. They escalated pretty quickly. Getting the offer was unreal. I was pretty excited about it."
Komzak, who also was being pursued by RPI, likely will slot in as a replacement for Sidorski, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-shot defenesman. Komzak ages out of junior hockey after this season, so he's guaranteed to come to UND in the fall.
"I just plan to work as hard as I can and fight to make the lineup every night — put in my best effort to be an impact on the team," Komzak said.