UND received a verbal commitment from an offensive defenseman from Elk, River, Minn., on Saturday.
Matt Kiersted, a sophomore, made a visit to UND on Saturday, received an offer and committed.
“Ever since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of going to North Dakota and playing for the Sioux,” Kiersted said. “When I played for the Minnesota Machine, we would go up to Winnipeg and play and we’d always stop on the way in Grand Forks and get a tour of the arena. I fell in love with the town and the school ever since then.”
Kiersted expects to play next season with Elk River. He will get picked in the USHL draft next month. There’s a good chance he could play his senior year in the USHL with whatever team picks him.
Last season, Kiersted had 25 points (6 goals, 19 assists) in 27 games for Elk River, which lost in the section final to Duluth East.
He’s a 1998-born defenseman who stands at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds. Kiersted said he likes being the fourth guy in the rush and adding offense. He plans to work on his defensive game and being gritty in the corners and in front of the net next season.
His UND arrival date is up in the air.
“Coach (Dave) Hakstol said it will depend on my development,” he said.
Kierstad said he’s happy with his decision.
“Even going up there today, I like how it’s not a huge college and not a small college. It’s right in the middle,” he said. “I like the class sizes. It just seemed like a good fit for me. I like the small-town feel.”