NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Sebastian Vidmar becomes the second Brahma this season to commit to defending NCAA Division I National Champions Union College.
Union made a recruiting trip to the Metroplex a few weeks ago to scout goaltender Jake Kupsky before eventually offering him a scholarship, but they flew back to New York with Vidmar as a player on top of their radar.
It became official Tuesday night. Sebastian Vidmar will be a Dutchman in 2015.
“I’m overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. I’m feeling good. Really, really, really excited,” Vidmar said through a grin.
And Union is really excited for the Malmo, Sweden native to arrive on campus in August. Vidmar is top seven in the league in nearly every offensive statistical category.
He leads the league in game winning goals (6), is second in goals (17) and short handed goals (2), third in points (33), fourth in power play goals (6) and power play points (14), sixth in plus/minus rating (16), and seventh in shooting percentage (26).
“We are incredibly proud of what Sebastian has accomplished and continues to do on the ice,” head coach Dan Wildfong said. “Union made a great commitment as he remains to be a top forward in our league who continues to improve.”
Vidmar is a second year Brahma along with a few other players. In 66 career games with the Brahmas, he has accumulated 26 goals, 32 assists, and 58 points. His 58 points are the most in the Brahmas NAHL tenure.
Vidmar says it has not sunk in yet that he will be playing Division I hockey next season for the reigning National Champions.
“It was not my expectation at all,” Vidmar said. “I came here (from Sweden) with a goal and that goal is half way accomplished. It’s really great knowing that hard work pays off.”
His other goals are to win a championship and play professionally, and both are a possibility with the Brahmas and Dutchmen. This Brahmas team is a threat to win the Robertson Cup and Vidmar has played a key role in that. And next season, he is going to a national powerhouse in Union College.
“(Winning the championship) would be the goal with the resume Union has. It’s nothing that not achievable,” Vidmar expained.
The 6-foot-2, 185 pound forward averaged a point per game in his last season in Sweden as an assistant captain for Malmo J20. This season, Vidmar is averaging 1.375 points per game through 24 games. When Union won the National Championship, only two players averaged a point a game or better. Though, that is also a credit to their depth and how well they develop their skaters.
Vidmar said, in addition to Union, there were three of four more schools interested in him, but he remained patient and could not pass up an offer to play for Union, especially with one of his Brahma teammates.
“These past two days have been really hard deciding. I’m really happy with my decision,” Vidmar said. “I talked to Jake (Kupsky) last night. It’s definitely one of the best guys to spend four years with.”
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Kupsky responded. “Going there with someone I know, let alone one of my best buddies, it’s going to be fun.”
As Kupsky walked away, he excitedly applauded Vidmar and could not control his excitement that he will play college hockey with the Swedish forward next year.
Vidmar is not thinking about the future quite yet. The team has some unfinished business to take care of on the ice and he knows he would have never had the chance to sign with Union if it weren’t for his coaches.
“The ones who helped me the most were coach Dan and coach (Jeff) Potter. They’ve been with me throughout this whole process,” Vidmar said.
There is not denying the coaching staff will miss Vidmar’s presence next year, but they are confident that more Brahmas and future Brahmas will get attention because of players like Vidmar committing to play for a highly ranked DI hockey program.
“It is promising to see a national champion, such as Union, take an invested interest in both Sebastian (Vidmar) and (Jake) Kupsky. It’s a strong testament to our organization and ownership group in the development of our athletes,” Wildfong said.
“Not only is he a leader on the ice, but he is a natural born leader in the community. He’s always gracious with fans and charity endeavors,” Vice President Chad Siewert added.
Just a heads up for Union, Vidmar will not only be a contributor on and off the ice, he’s ready to DJ. He’s brining his Swedish music and culture with him to upstate New York.
“We’ll let the Swedish music grow on them (his future teammates),” Vidmar said jokingly. “I’ll always know where I come from.”
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