Forward recruit Brett Bruneteau graduated from his Omaha high school this spring and just arrived in Indianapolis, where he will play a season in the USHL. The season will start in late September with the USHL Fall Classic, but Bruneteau and the Indiana Ice will play before that. The Ice are part of the USHL-QMJHL series that will take place in two and a half weeks (Sept. 7-8). They will play Quebec and Rimouski.
The Quebec game will be extra special for Bruneteau, who will play against Angelo Esposito and Kelsey Tessier. All three players attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s at the same time.
Q. How did your second season in the USHL go?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: It was a good year. I thought I developed a lot. I would expect that, though. I was a veteran player and a leader on the team. That was a new position for me. Coming into the USHL (in 2005-06), I wasn’t heavily depended on. Last year was a 180 from that. I had a lot more responsibility. It was a good learning experience.
Q. After the season you requested a trade from Omaha. What was the reason for that?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: The big reason was the style of play. I thought my style of play would fit a little bit better in a different type of system. I thought if I had a chance to play on a bigger ice sheet, to be a little more creative and to have a little bit more freedom, it would be better for my development.
Q. What do you expect out of this season?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: The No. 1 goal is to win a Clark Cup league championship. That’s what we’re striving for. Even when I got here on Friday, you could tell everyone was working for that. If I achieve anything personally along the way, that’s awesome, too.
Q. When Indiana announced the trade, it seemed clear in the press release that the organization expects a lot from you this season.
BRETT BRUNETEAU: Nobody has higher expectations than they do. I’m a third-year guy, I’ll be taking on a large role. I hope to have a huge year and accomplish our goal of winning a championship.
Q. You were not ranked in the Central Scouting Bureau’s final draft rankings, but went in the fourth round to the Washington Capitals. Did that surprise you?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: It came out of left field. I was actually sleeping in when I got drafted and my parents came and woke me up and told me about it. I was incredibly shocked and excited. It was a good thing my parents woke me up and told me, because it took me an hour to come back down to earth and I had time to compose myself before Washington called. It was a nice way to start the day.
Q. You went to their prospect camp, too, right?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: Yes. It was a phenomenal experience. I got to meet Joe Finley and play with him. He’s a great guy. I loved playing with him down there. Overall, it was a great learning experience. I met guys from all over the world. It was a really fast-paced game and it made me a better player. I learned what it takes to play at that type of level.
Q. I never had a chance to ask you when you committed — why UND and what other schools were you considering?
BRETT BRUNETEAU: My final three were North Dakota, Michigan and Denver. There were others I was interested in, but none matched up to those three. I like North Dakota’s style of play. North Dakota’s always competing for national championships. They have a history of sending guys to the next level — that’ll attract anybody. I was flattered to have the opportunity to meet the coaching staff and the guys. When I was offered, it was a phenomenal feeling. It shocked me at first, to be honest.