NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – After three full seasons playing in the North American Hockey League, the Lone Star Brahmas currently have 44 alumni playing NCAA DI and DIII hockey and a handful of other players still competing across the country.
LoneStarBrahmas.com will help the fans keep tabs on our alumni. In our second installment of Brahmas Alumni brought to you by Thumbtechs, we take a look at some of the leaders at the mid-way point of the season.
Sebastian Vidmar leads all Brahmas alumni in the NCAA with 20 points through Union’s first 16 games. The Sweden native is playing on arguably the most explosive forward line in the NCAA considering his two linemates are first and second in Division I points.
It will be a tough start to the 2017 portion of the schedule as three of Vidmar’s next four opponents are ranked inside the top eight according to NCAA.com – Harvard (4), Boston (5), and North Dakota (8).
Derek Barach (Mercyhurst) leads all Brahmas NCAA alumni with 16 assists and is second behind Vidmar with 19 points.
Martin Mellberg (American International), Nick Ford (Elmira) and Connor Hutchins (SUNY-Brockport) have been the most successful freshmen this season based on point production. Mellberg has five goals and ten total points in 18 games and both Ford and Hutchins have six goals and six assists in their first dozen games of collegiate hockey.
Freshman Alex Berardinelli is second on Colorado College with eight points.
After a successful freshman season of his own, goaltender TJ Black wrapped up a hot first half of his sophomore campaign playing for St. Norbert. Black is 7-0-1 with a .949 save percentage and an unbelievable 0.87 goals against average. Black and the Green Knights have climbed to number two in the Division III rankings according to d3hockey.com.
For all other alumni statistics, please view the PDF document linked below.
Brandon Estes is currently the only Brahmas alumni playing in the United States Hockey League. Estes has tallied six points with the Phantoms, but has been one of the more steady blueliners for former Brahmas assistant coach Jeff Potter.
Next year, the he is set to join some former Brahmas at Union College.
Goaltender Darion Hanson and former teammates AJ Vanderbeck and Johan Steen are three notable alumni playing in the BCHL for the 2016-17 season.
Since being acquired from the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) before Thanksgiving, Hanson has been stellar for the Vernon Vipers. Going 6-1-0, the Pennsylvania kid ranks first with a 1.91 goals against average (minimum five starts) and is the best netminder with a .944 save percentage. Hanson began his BCHL career shutting out opponents for the first 138:18 minutes in net.
Vandy has been on a tear this season playing for the second place team in the division. The Colorado native has 22 goals and 38 points through 33 games this season. He ranks fifth in the league in goals and first place with five game-winning goals. Next year, Vanderbeck is off to Colorado College to play up front with Alex Berardinelli.
Playing for Austin Kamer’s former team, Johan Steen and the Powell River Kings are sixth best in the BCHL. He is second on the team in defenseman scoring with 17 points through 37 games. He saw a season-high three assists on September 28th.
Johan Lundgren, Anton Santesson, and Samu Suominen are three notable alumni playing overseas.
Lundgren is playing with Helsingborgs Hockey Club in Sweden and he already has eight points in 12 games. The former 40-point scorer in the NAHL hopes to continue the upward trend in his home town.
Believe it or not, Santesson and Lundgren are now teammates with Helsingborgs HC. The former Brahmas defenseman leads the team with a plus-10 rating and is tied for second on the team with eight assists pacing him to ten points through 20 games.
Suominen has six points for TUTO Hockey (Finland) through 27 games and sports an impressive plus-8 rating. Despite Suominen being the youngest player on his team, he is not showing signs of being too in-experienced for the league and has played in all but two of the games.