PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Nicholas Jones (96) has committed to the University of North Dakota, the team announced Monday.
Jones is the fifth player on the Vees roster to commit to UND and will join the Fighting Hawks for the 2017-18 season. Gabe Bast, Dixon Bowen, Tyson Jost and Colton Poolman are the other four Vees that have committed to the program.
Jones says UND’s reputation speaks for itself, “We have four good guys going there and it’s a fantastic program with a great group of coaches, and I feel UND gives me the best opportunity to be in a winning program and become a pro hockey player.”
The 19-year-old finished fifth in team scoring in the regular season, averaging a point and a half per game, with 21 goals and 63 points in 42 games. The Edmonton, Alberta, product most recently won the Vees’ Most Sportsmanlike award and came to the team in late October, after playing parts of two seasons at Ohio State University.
Prior to joining Ohio State, Jones had a decorated junior career with the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). In the 2013-14 season with the Crusaders, Jones finished third in AJHL scoring with 72 points in 52 games and his 41 goals was the most in the league; he also had a league-best 16 power-play goals. That season, Jones was a unanimous selection to the AJHL’s North Division All-League Team. In two seasons in the AJHL, Jones compiled 52 goals and 96 points in 100 career games.
UND plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and under Head Coach Brad Berry, they’ve already clinched a share of the NCHC regular season championship. UND is ranked second in both national polls this season and have played in the last two Frozen Four Tournaments.
Jones is the 15th player on this season’s roster to secure an NCAA Division l commitment. Alumni that have recently played at UND include Troy Stecher, Mark MacMillan and Brendan O’Donnell.