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MEN’S HOCKEY: Baudry signs with Kings' AHL affiliate

BSU senior Justin Baudry (29) looks to pass the puck in a November 2018 game against Merrimack College at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

ONTARIO, Calif. -- Former Bemidji State defenseman Justin Baudry is headed to southern California.

The Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League announced Wednesday that Baudry has signed an amateur try out contract to play out the remainder of the 2018-19 season. The Reign are the top minor-league affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

“I think he’s going to be a heck of a pro defenseman,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “I think he could go far in pro hockey. It’s nice to see him start off in the American League.”

Baudry could make his debut with Ontario, a suburb east of Los Angeles, as soon as Wednesday, March 13 when the team travels to face the Colorado Eagles.

Baudry will once again be teammates with former BSU forward Kyle Bauman (2014-18). Bauman has posted 16 points (4g-12a) in his rookie season with the Reign.

Ontario sits in seventh place in the AHL’s Pacific Division with a record of 21-27-5-2. The Reign have 14 games left in the regular season.

Baudry recently completed his senior season with the Beavers. The native of La Broquerie, Manitoba, was the team’s top scorer in 2018-19 with 31 points (9g-22a). He set career highs in both points and assists while equaling his career high in goals.

The senior captain contributed on both the power-play and penalty-kill units this season. Baudry led BSU with 13 points (3g-10a) on the man advantage, and helped the penalty kill rank among the top 15 teams in the nation while leading the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with its 89.2 percent (83-for-93) efficiency.

Baudry ranks 11th on the WCHA scoring charts and is second among league defensemen.

After recording just four points in Bemidji State’s first 11 games, Baudry notched 27 points over the team’s last 27 games while logging at least one point in 21 games.

“I think he was the best defenseman in our league, but I’m biased,” Serratore said. “When you take a look at what he does offensively, he had nine goals, he ran our power play and he generated offense from the blue line. The backside of his game is very strong. You can play him against top players. He’s a good penalty killer.”

Baudry is a three-time recipient of the WCHA’s Scholar-Athlete Award, a three-time WCHA All-Academic Team member and was named to the AHCA All-America Scholars list prior to the 2017-18 season. He also won the league’s Defensive Player of the Week award Feb. 11 and received the league’s Defenseman of the Month award for February after recording eight points in six games.

In 146 collegiate games, Baudry finished his career with 68 points (21g-47a) and is tied for 22nd on the program’s Division I-era scoring list (since 1999-2000). He ranks third among defensemen on the list.

Baudry’s 31-point senior season is only the fourth 30-point campaign by a Beaver defenseman in the Division I-era. His 22 assists are tied for sixth in that span and are the most since Matt Read’s 22 in 2009-10.

BSU ended its 2018-19 season with a 15-17-6 overall record and a 13-13-4-2 mark against league foes.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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