GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota head coach Brad Berry announced on Tuesday morning that senior-to-be Austin Poganski has been selected as team captain of the men’s hockey program for the 2017-18 season.
Poganski scored a career-high 12 goals as a junior in 2016-17 and matched his career high with 25 points. The St. Cloud, Minn., native was named to his third straight National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Academic All-Conference Team and was an NCHC Scholar-Athlete for the second year in a row. Poganski will enter his senior year as UND’s active leader in career games played (118).
“Austin possesses all of the qualities you want in a team captain,” said Berry. “His attention to detail and preparation is elite. Above all else, his team-first mentality and care for the program are exceptional.”
Gardner, a fourth-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars 2016, had eight goals and 13 assists as a sophomore for a career-best 21 points. He also led UND with 388 faceoff wins and earned his second straight NCHC Academic All-Conference Team selection.
Olson, who hails from Duluth, Minn., enjoyed a breakthrough season as a junior last year, achieving career highs in games played (38), goals (6), assists (10) and points (16).
Simonson, a native of Grand Forks, will wear the ‘A’ for the second straight season. He appeared in 39 games as a junior in 2016-17 and registered two goals and six assists. He has played in 104 career games, joining Poganski as the only active Fighting Hawks to have reached the 100-game milestone. Like Poganski, Simonson is a three-time NCHC Academic All-Conference Team selection and a two-time NCHC Scholar-Athlete.
“Our leadership group consists of great people with a wealth of experience,” said Berry. “These young men have won a national championship and have been part of the yearly process that gives North Dakota a great opportunity to win championships. This group also takes pride in the classroom and within the Grand Forks community.”
UND went 21-16-3 overall in 2016-17 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 15th straight season, the second-longest streak in NCAA Division I men’s hockey history behind only Michigan’s 22 from 1991 to 2012.