1997 birth-year forward Bradley Hofelich will move on from the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to play for an elite, powerhouse, Division 3 National Collegiate Athletic Association program.
HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed that Hofelich has a commitment to play for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons effective the 2017-2018 season.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Hofelich is in his second NOJHL season with the Eagles. Thus far this season, the product of Novi, Michigan is second on the Eagles in scoring with 21 goals, 31 assists, 52 points.
Hofelich will head to a UW-River Falls program that has made it to the NCAA championship tournament 12 times in the past 16 seasons. UW-River Falls is coached by Steve Freeman, who is in his 21st season with the program and has been named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference coach-of-the-year 12 times.
Eagles co-coach/general manager Bruno Bragagnolo referred to Hofelich “as a young man who has really improved in his second season with us. He is going to one of the best D3 programs in the nation and it’s a credit to Brad that Wisconsin-River Falls committed to him.
“We are extremely happy and proud for Brad as he is an excellent hockey player but more important an exceptional person with great character and dedication to his team and to the community,” Bragagnolo added, in further praise of Hofelich.
Hofelich, from his end, offered his take on the planned move to the next level.
“I am very excited to be a part of a great hockey program and continue my education at a top tier school. I want to thank my coaches, Jim Capy and Bruno Bragagnaolo, for giving me the opportunity to play for the Soo Eagles organization and helping prepare me for next level,” Hofelich stated.
UW-River Falls has a prior history with Bragagnolo and the Eagles.
Two former Eagles from their days in the North American Hockey League — standout senior defenseman Michael Lant and freshman forward Mitchell Vanderburg — are student-athletes with the UW-River Falls hockey program.