Next year, for the first time in program history, UND will have more California natives on the squad than North Dakota natives.
Southern California native Rocco Grimaldi and Northern California native Dan Senkbeil both will be suiting up for the Sioux. Senkbeil, who recently committed to UND, talked a little bit about his decision and background.
Senkbeil was born and raised in Fremont, a suburb of Oakland and San Jose. He played for the Junior Sharks growing up.
How did he get into hockey? His father is a native of Kitchener, Ont., and played growing up. His sister also skated a lot and Dan would always be at the rink watching.
Senkbeil first got recruiting attention prior to making his debut in the USHL. Once he started in the USHL, recruiting became quiet. After a trade to the NAHL’s Alaska Avalanche, he found his game and recruiting picked up again.
Senkbeil said he chose UND over Bemidji State and Ferris State.
“When you take a tour of the school and the rink, you get a gut feeling of where you’re going to fit in,” Senkbeil said. “When you walk through those halls, they are so deep in hockey tradition. You want to play hockey on the biggest stage and you have that opportunity at North Dakota.”
When asked about his expectations at UND, Senkbeil said: “It’s just a great opportunity. I just want to work hard, find a place in the lineup and try to contribute to the team.”