Vees Gropp chooses Grand Forks

PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce forward Ryan Gropp (96) has committed to the University of North Dakota (UND) for the 2014-15 season.

Vees President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson, says he’s excited to help prepare Gropp for the next step, “It has been an eventful past couple of days for Ryan and his family; the invitation to U-18 selection camp and now a commitment to UND. Ryan has had a lot of options to choose from over the past year and our organization is extremely proud of Ryan and look forward to helping him grow as a player."

Gropp, 16, is coming off an impressive rookie campaign with the Vees, where he was crowned the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) Rookie of the Year. The Kamloops, BC product recorded 12 goals and 31 points in 50 games, and was the youngest player in the league last season. In the Fred Page Cup Playoffs, Gropp kept up with his regular season pace, scoring four goals and finishing with nine points in 15 games, as the Vees fell to the Surrey Eagles in the Fred Page Cup Final.

Thursday Gropp was one of 42 players to be invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer U-18 selection camp for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Gropp will head to Toronto, Ontario at the end of the month and compete for a spot on the 22-man roster for the August tournament.

UND is one of the most decorated and storied programs in men’s college hockey. UND has appeared in the NCAA tournament 27 times and the Frozen Four 19 times, and won has seven NCAA Division l Championships, 15 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular Season Championships and 10 WCHA Tournament Championships. North Dakota is set to play in the newly created National Collegiate Hockey Conference this fall.

Gropp is the fifth Vee in recent years that will play for the program joining Mark MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell, Troy Stecher and Wade Murphy.

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