What ever happened to that one player from back in the day?
That’s a common question for any sports fan to ask, and it’s no different with Bemidji State hockey.
Now that hockey leagues all over the world have canceled their seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the NHL has suspended its season with an eye on potentially returning this summer, let’s use this moment to take a look at where former BSU greats are now.
A total of 33 former Beavers played professionally in 2019-20, with 29 men and four women lacing up their skates in 17 leagues across 11 countries.
From the NHL to South Korea, here’s a rundown of where BSU hockey has taken root around the globe.
A pair of Beavers have suited up in the NHL this season: defensemen Brad Hunt, of the Minnesota Wild; and Zach Whitecloud, of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Hunt, 31, came out of the gates with a head of steam last fall. The blueliner tallied 10 points off of five goals and five assists through the Wild’s first 17 games before cooling off.
Still, this campaign has seen the journeyman defenseman record career highs in points with 19 (8g-11a) and games played with 59. Hunt has also posted three multi-point games.
Whitecloud has made a splash in his first extended stay in the NHL. After being recalled from the AHL Jan. 31, the 23-year-old blueliner became a mainstay in the team’s lineup by playing in 16 games before play was suspended March 12. He notched his first NHL point Feb. 28 when he assisted on a Reilly Smith goal.
Recently, Whitecloud signed a two-year, $1.45 million contract extension to remain in Vegas through the 2021-22 season.
In her first season with the NWHL’s Minnesota Whitecaps, Stephanie Anderson totaled 10 points (4g-6a) in 22 games with her homestate team. The forward was a shot-blocking machine in a 1-0 overtime win over the Metropolitan Riveters last month to advance to the Isobel Cup Final. The title game has been postponed due to the pandemic.
Elsewhere in North America, NHL veteran Matt Read racked up 25 points (13g-12a) in 48 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, though has not been called up by his parent club as of yet.
Justin Baudry was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team after leading all first-year defensemen with 38 points (11g-17a) in 61 games for the Cincinnati Cyclones. Fellow 2019 graduate Jay Dickman posted five points (3g-2a) in 14 games with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel and Wichita Thunder.
Another 2019 BSU graduate, Dillon Eichstadt, crossed the pond to play his rookie season of pro hockey with the Coventry Blaze in the United Kingdom. The Bemidji native finished 11th among EIHL defensemen with 29 points (4g-25a) in 47 league games to help guide his team to a third-place finish.
No pro Beaver produced as many points this season as Jordan George. The forward accumulated 59 points (30g-29a) in 52 games for Lausitzer Füchse of the German second division.
Kaitlyn Tougas put up 49 points (14g-35a) for HV71 in Sweden to finish as the top scoring women’s hockey alumna.
Former South Korea Olympian Matt Dalton led all BSU goaltenders in the pros by recording a 1.58 goals against average and .937 save percentage for Anyang Halla of the Asia League. Anyang was named league co-champion after the finals were canceled due to the pandemic.
Defenseman Ruslan Pedan appeared in 10 games without a point for Spartak Moscow of the KHL, often considered the best hockey league in the world outside of the NHL. He tallied three assists for Khimik Voskresensk in the Russian second division.
Finally, the longest tenured former Beaver in pro hockey appeared in his 19th season in 2019-20. Miikka Lindholm, 39, played only one season at BSU in 2000-01, but he’s still going strong as the captain of KJT Haukat in the Finnish fourth division, totaling 28 points (12g-16a) in 23 games.
Where are they now? Beavers in the pros
Dan Bakala; Indy (ECHL), Mora (Sweden); 17gp, 2.43 GAA, .925 SV% (ECHL)
Justin Baudry; Cincinnati (ECHL); 61gp, 11g-27a-38p
Kyle Bauman; Iowa (AHL), Allen (ECHL); 37gp, 3g-5a-8p
Brett Beauvais; three teams (ECHL); 34gp, 2g-7a-9p
Michael Bitzer; ETC Crimmitschau (Germany); 43gp, 3.41 GAA, .889 SV%
Jack Burgart; HK Nitra, HK Levice (Slovakia); 4gp, 2.75 GAA, .899 SV% (Nitra)
Matt Climie; Bratislava (Slovakia) 4gp, 2.72 GAA, .909 SV%
Matt Dalton; Anyang Halla (South Korea); 30gp, 1.58 GAA; .937 SV%
Jay Dickman; Indy, Wichita (ECHL); 14gp, 3g-2a-5p
Dillon Eichstadt; Coventry (UK); 54gp, 4g-26a-30p
Gerry Fitzgerald; Lehigh Valley (AHL), Reading (ECHL); 39gp, 6g-4a-10p
Myles Fitzgerald; three teams (Hungary, Germany); 38gp, 21g-18a-39p
Jordan George; Lausitzer Füchse (Germany); 52gp, 30g-29a-59p
Brendan Harms; Cincinnati (ECHL), Lillehammer (Norway); 30gp, 14g-19a-33p
Brad Hunt; Minnesota (NHL); 59gp, 8g-11a-19p
Miikka Lindholm; KJT Haukat (Finland); 23gp, 12g-16a-28p
Jamie MacQueen; Schwenninger, Iserlohn (Germany); 41gp, 17g-17a-34p
Phil Marinaccio; Storhamar, Frisk Asker (Norway); 41gp, 14g-18a-32p
Graeme McCormack; HK Dukla Trencin (Slovakia); 51gp, 5g-36a-41p
Aaron McLeod; ESC Moskitos Essen (Germany); 29gp, 13g-19a-32p
Charlie O’Connor; Norfolk, Kansas City (ECHL) 46gp, 9g-8a-17p
Brance Orban; MAC Budapest (Hungary) 55gp, 10g-26a-36p
Ruslan Pedan; Spartak (KHL), Khimik (VHL); 34gp, 0g-3a-3p
Matt Pope; Cardiff (UK); 56gp, 15g-23a-38p
Matt Prapavessis; Storhamar (Norway); 42gp, 12g-35a-47p
Matt Read; Toronto (AHL); 48gp, 13g-12a-25p
Cory Ward; Cincinnati, Tulsa (ECHL); 50gp, 9g-10a-19p
Riley Weselowski; Wichita (ECHL); 53gp, 2g-13a-15p
Zach Whitecloud; Vegas (NHL), Chicago (AHL); 51gp, 2g-6a-8p
Stephanie Anderson; Minnesota (NWHL); 22gp, 4g-6a-10p
Emma Terres; Eisbären Juniors Berlin (Germany); 23gp, 13g-8a-21p
Kaitlyn Tougas; HV71 (Sweden); 36gp, 14g-35a-49p
Hayley Williams; SK Gorny Ukhta (Russia); 28gp, 11g-11a-22p