UND’s newest recruit, Humboldt Broncos goaltender Matt Hrynkiw, was named the Canadian Junior A goalie of the year on Wednesday.
Hrynkiw, who will come to UND next season, posted a .935 save percentage and a 1.93 goals-against average in leading Humboldt to the SJHL regular season title.
His coach, Dean Brockman, says that Hrynkiw generated interest from both NCAA and CIS teams and says that maybe it is a bit of a surprise that UND was able to land him with the stiff goaltending competition already in place with Zane Gothberg and Clarke Saunders.
“Matt’s the type of player who has earned everything he’s gotten from midgets on,” Brockman said. “He’s the type to take on a challenge of that nature. That’s the kind of kid he is – trying to prove everyone differently. He sees a challenge there and that’s part of the allure of North Dakota.”
Hrynkiw got a great experience last year playing in the RBC Cup — the national championship series for Canadian Junior A hockey. The Penticton Vees of the BCHL ended up winning it, but Hrynkiw led the Broncos to an upset win over Penticton during the round robin portion.
“He kept us in that game,” Brockman said. “He’s as calm as a cucumber.
“He’s a very solid goaltender. He stays square to the puck. He won us some games on his own. He’s just a real character, quality kid who people will come to appreciate.”
Brockman said Hrynkiw is “mature beyond his years.”
Upon learning he was named CJHL goalie of the year, members of the Humboldt staff tried to pick out downfalls about Hrynkiw.
“We couldn’t think of anything,” he said. “I mean, he even keeps his locker stall spotless.”
Yes, there will be a challenge for Hrynkiw to get playing time at UND, but Brockman says it’s one that he thinks his goalie will embrace.