BROOKS, AB (June 10, 2018) – Brooks Bandits defenceman Luke Bast (Red Deer, AB) has committed to attend and play for the University of North Dakota, in the NCAA’s Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), it was announced today.
Bast, 17, was named to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) South Division All-Rookie team this past season, his first in Junior A, after being the third-highest scoring rookie defenceman in the league with 31 points (8 goals, 23 assists) in 57 games played.
His point production increased significantly in the post-season, where he led the Bandits in playoff scoring with 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists) in 15 games, tying him for fifth in the league among all players in playoff points, and second among defencemen.
“Luke put a great deal of thought and research into this decision and is very deserving of his future opportunity at UND,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “This past season he grew from being an inexperienced first year player to leading our team in playoff scoring.
“He put in a tremendous amount of work to get to this stage, and I believe his game and maturity will continue to develop at a high rate.”
Prior to his debut season in Brooks, Bast was named the winner of the Brian Benning Award as Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) Top Defenceman, and was named to its First All-Star Team, after leading all defencemen in the province in scoring with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 34 games played.
“We are facing an exciting season in Brooks as hosts of the National Championship and Luke will be looked upon as a veteran player to lead our team,” Papaioannou added.
He went on to play in five games with the Bandits that year as an affiliate player, scoring his first Junior A goal at the 2017 RBC Cup in Cobourg, Ontario.
Bast is the twelfth player on 2017-18 Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I school, joining:
• Mitchel Benson (Colgate University)
• Nic Hamre (University of Vermont)
• Brandon Scanlin (Colgate University)
• Cale List (University of Massachusetts – Lowell)
• Matt Cassidy (Quinnipiac University)
• Simon Boyko (University of Vermont)
• Dennis Cesana (Michigan State University)
• Conner Jean (College of the Holy Cross)
• Arnaud Vachon (Colgate University)
• Will Garin (Bentley University)
• Shane Bear (R.P.I.)