Just like the last two summers, I’ll try to feature every recruit either in the newspaper or with a Q&A here. We’ll get it started with goalie recruit Brad Eidsness.
Eidsness was named the MVP of the AJHL (ironically beating out the Canadian Junior A Player of the Year, Joe Colborne). He finished with a league-leading .933 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average. His record: 29-4-4.
Q. How did you feel your season went overall?
BRAD EIDSNESS: It was a good season. We had a strong team and I had a good year as well. It was a lot of fun and I was able to do a lot of cool things like play in the World Junior A Challenge. I was out for the first month with mono, but I was able to rebound faster than expected.
Q. What was the highlight of the year?
BRAD EIDSNESS: It might have been playing for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge. It was a good experience. There were a lot of good hockey players there and it was good to experience winning at a higher level. It maybe shows you a little bit more what it takes.
Q. You got to team up with Sioux recruit Andrew MacWilliam at the Junior A Challenge, right?
BRAD EIDSNESS: Yeah, I know him pretty well. He’s a big, tough, physical D-man. That’s his role. He hadn’t scored a goal all year, but at the AJHL All-Star weekend, he won the shootout competition. It was a timed event and he’d go and shoot and score. Everybody else was trying dekes. After he won, we were all giving him a hard time about it. We were just joking around, though. He’s a good guy.
Q. Are you looking forward to having a big, physical guy like that playing in front of you?
BRAD EIDSNESS: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. We had a real run-and-gun team this year. We played an exciting style of hockey. That meant I got to face a lot of quality shots. It will be nice to have a couple of defensive specialists on the team.
Q. Were you able to follow the Sioux much this season?
BRAD EIDSNESS: Yeah, I got updates every week from the coaching staff. It sounds like they had a real good season again there and it sounds like Lamoureux had quite a strong year as well.
Q. What are your thoughts about coming to UND this fall?
BRAD EIDSNESS: It’s really exciting coming in knowing that I have a chance to play during my first season. When Grieco left there, I knew I might get a chance to play a little more this season. It maybe helped motivate me a little bit more. That’s one of the reasons I’m coming down this summer — to get in the swing of things and be prepared right off the bat.
Q. So you will be in Grand Forks early?
BRAD EIDSNESS: Yeah, for sure. I want to be ready. If I get there in the summertime, it will maybe help lessen the gap between juniors and college. Freshmen go through a learning curve. I’m going to do a lot of work to try to lessen that.
Q. What are your expectations for the season?
BRAD EIDSNESS: I don’t think expectations are going to change for the team. They are always high. For me personally, I want to come in and hopefully take over the starting job… if that’s attainable. I think I’m definitely in the running.
Q. Are you happy you played an extra year of juniors?
BRAD EIDSNESS: I had an opportunity to go to a lot of programs as an 18-year-old. But I chose to go to North Dakota. In the end, I think (the second year of juniors) will be really beneficial for me. I grew a lot as a player and I’m more mature off the ice. I’m probably more ready for the things that are going to come at me. I was able to shore up a lot of areas and able to dominate at a level. The second year was really good for my confidence. I got to play a lot and got to see a lot of shots. It was a lot of fun and it helped prepare me. We liked to open it up and I was seeing 30-plus shots a night and saw a lot of good scoring chances. I think staying was a real good decision.