SiouxÂ junior defenseman Ben Blood says he’s coming back for his senior season, rather than signing with the Ottawa Senators.
“I talked to everyone important in my life since the season ended,” Blood said, “and after discussing everything with them, I came to the conclusion yesterday evening that I wanted to come back for my senior year and play for coach (Dave) Hakstol. I think I can learn a lot from him. I’m excited to finish my time the right way, taking advantage of the resources here with the coaches, the gym, the rink. . . everything.”
Blood,Â who has developed into a top shutdown defenseman,Â led the nation in plus-minus last year with a plus-32 rating. That generated interest among the Senators, who drafted Blood in the fourth round in 2007.
“I’m just really excited,” Blood said, “and it’s a relief to be done with that. I’m excited to get back in the gym with the boys next Tuesday, working toward another successful season.”
A day earlier, UND goalie Aaron Dell said he would return for his junior year at UND. With Blood and Dell back in the fold, defense should be the strength of next year’s Sioux team.