Stecher, Olson continue to skate

Both UND defenseman Troy Stecher and forward Trevor Olson continues to skate at practice as UND prepares for this weekend’s showdown against Nebraska Omaha in the CenturyLink Center.

It’s not out of the question that they play one or both games this weekend as No. 1 UND takes on No. 5 Omaha.

Stecher hasn’t played since Dec. 6, when he injured his leg in a game against Lake Superior State. He has missed the last eight games (UND is 6-2 without him). The original timeline pegged his return for around this time.

If Stecher does not play against the Mavericks, he will have an extra week to heal up as UND is off next weekend before hosting Denver.

Stecher rejoined practice last week but was unavailable for the games against Colorado College.

Olson also rejoined practice last week after being out with mono. He returned to practice quicker than the team originally thought.

Olson hasn’t played since Christmas break, missing the last six.

Colten St. Clair, who had missed eight games with a concussion, returned to the lineup Saturday night against the Tigers and tallied an assist.

Stecher out roughly 6-8 weeks

UND defenseman Troy Stecher will be out for roughly 6-8 weeks after sustaining a lower leg injury during Saturday night’s win over Lake Superior State.

It’s a big loss for UND as Stecher has been one of the team’s best two-way defensemen this season. He has been a huge part of the penalty killing unit that will be put to test by the NCHC’s top power play this weekend.

Stecher also has been able to add offense. He has nine points in 17 games so far this season, putting him in a tie for eighth in the NCHC among defenseman scoring.

In his absence, UND will look to either Nick Mattson or Andrew Panzarella to step into the lineup. Mattson gives UND more of an offensive presence, while Panzarella adds to the team’s physicality.

Stecher named D-man of the week

UND sophomore Troy Stecher is the defenseman of the week in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Stecher had four assists — two in each game — as UND earned a win and a tie against No. 5 Providence last weekend. The Richmond, B.C., product also was part of a penalty-killing unit that went 14-for-15 on the weekend.

For the season, Stecher is tied for the team lead with six assists and a plus-four rating.

UND at NHL camps

A total of 18 past and current UND players are attending development camps, including Troy Stecher, an undrafted free agent invitee of both the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks and Drake Caggiula, an undrafted free agent invitee of the Buffalo Sabres.

Here’s a list, thanks to College Hockey Inc.

Signed players

Dillon Simpson, Edmonton Oilers
Rocco Grimaldi, Florida Panthers

Current players

Shane Gersich, Washington Capitals
Drake Caggiula, Buffalo Sabres
Jordan Schmaltz, St. Louis Blues
Austin Poganski, St. Louis Blues
Michael Parks, Philadelphia Flyers
Keaton Thompson, Anaheim Ducks
Wade Murphy, Nashville Predators
Zane Gothberg, Boston Bruins
Mark MacMillan, Montreal Canadiens
Gage Ausmus, San Jose Sharks
Brendan O’Donnell, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tucker Poolman, Winnipeg Jets
Nick Schmaltz, Chicago Blackhawks
Nick Mattson, Chicago Blackhawks
Luke Johnson, Chicago Blackhawks
Troy Stecher, Vancouver Canucks
Troy Stecher, Chicago Blackhawks

Sometimes, interesting info comes out of these camps as to who is playing well. Sometimes, there are stories from the local media, too.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a feature on the Schmaltz brothers. You can read that here.

Stecher, Thompson earn NCHC honor

A pair of rookie defensemen for UND have earned weekly NCHC honors.

Troy Stecher is the defenseman of the week, while Keaton Thompson has been named the rookie of the week in the league.

Stecher was UND’s only blue liner to register a plus both nights against St. Lawrence last weekend. He was a plus-one each night. He also assisted on Connor Gaarder’s go-ahead goal late in the second period Saturday.

Thompson, of Devils Lake, scored his first-career goal Friday and registered a plus-one rating. He leads the team with a plus-two rating.

UND takes on Western Michigan this weekend.

UND in weekly honors

Nov. 19 — Dillon Simpson, NCHC defensive player of the week
Dec. 2 — Troy Stecher, NCHC defensive player of the week
Dec. 2 — Keaton Thompson, NCHC rookie of the week

Stecher named BCHL D-man of the year

UND’s most recent recruit just received a top honor from the BCHL.

Troy Stecher was named the defenseman of the year for the Interior Conference. Stecher, the team captain, tallied 47 points in 52 games for the Penticton Vees.

Stecher is expected to come to UND next season.

The Vees, who also feature UND recruit Wade Murphy, are about to start the BCHL playoffs. They open against Salmon Arm in a best-of-seven series on Friday.

UND picks up D-man recruit

Troy Stecher, a 1994-born defenseman from the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, has verbally committed to UND and will join the team next season.

Stecher previously was committed to Omaha, but de-committed after Mike Hastings left for Minnesota State.

Stecher is an offensive defenseman, but says he takes pride in playing in his own end first, and likes to think of himself as a two-way defenseman.

He made visits to both UND and Western Michigan, ultimately deciding on Grand Forks. He’ll come along with his teammate and friend from Penticton, forward Wade Murphy.

For a full story on Stecher’s commitment, including quotes from him, read the story in the Herald.