BROOKS, AB (October 25, 2016) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are ecstatic to announce that 1996-born forward and team captain Nick Prkusic (Medicine Hat, AB) has committed to attend and play for Robert Morris University, beginning in the 2017-18 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey season.
Located in Moon, Pennsylvania, the RMU Colonials play in the NCAA’s Division I Atantic Hockey Conference under 13th year head coach Derek Schooley, under whom the Colonials have won back-to-back conference regular season titles, most recently tying the program’s win record this past season.
The 6’3”, 205lb forward is currently off to the quickest offensive start of his Junior A career, having registered 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 13 games in the 2016-17 AJHL campaign, ranking 12th in the AJHL in goal scoring.
“We are very happy for Nick today,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He’s developed tremendously as a hockey player and has continued to be a great person since joining us 3 years ago.
“This opportunity is what he set out to create for himself and through his efforts it’s come to fruition.”
Prkusic, 19, is coming off of a career year, as he registered 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 59 games in the 2015-16 AJHL season, with 181 penalty minutes, and 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) in 13 AJHL playoff games as the Bandits won their third AJHL championship. He added 4 assists in 6 games at the 2016 Western Canada Cup, as the Bandits earned their way to their second RBC Cup national championship tournament.
In his first season of AJHL competition in 2014-15, Prkusic scored 14 points (9 goals, 5 assists) with 50 penalty minutes in an injury-shortened 28-game regular season campaign, while adding a further three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 12 playoff games, with 37 penalty minutes, as the Bandits reached the AJHL Final.
He joined the Bandits as an affiliate player in 2013-14 while simultaneously serving as captain of the South East Athletic Club (SEAC) Tigers of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL), dressing in one AJHL game and regularly practicing with the team, while recording 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists) in 35 games.
“Nick has been through plenty over the years and has always remained focused,” Papaioannou added. “We are looking forward to this last season with him as our captain and are hoping our players can learn from his daily pursuit of excellence.”
Originally from St. Albert, Prkusic played for the St. Albert Bears Bantam AA team, recording 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 31 games in 2010-11, before graduating to the St. Albert Flyers Minor Midget AAA squad in 2011-12, where he scored 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 37 games. His first year in the SEAC system in Medicine Hat was 2012-13, where he scored 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 26 games for the Southeast Tigers midget AAA team.
He is the 9th player on the current Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I institution, joining:
• Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
• Josh McKechney (Colgate University)
• Parker Foo (Union College)
• Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
• Dennis Cesana (Army)
• Devon Daniels (Mercyhurst University)
• Ocean Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
• Orca Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
The Bandits’ are next in action on the road Thursday night in Fort McMurray, taking on the Oil Barons at 7:00 PM.