MOORHEAD -- Moorhead senior forward Carter Randklev got a University of North Dakota hockey jersey for his ninth birthday. It was around that time people were telling him he was too small to play hockey.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Randklev committed to play hockey for UND on Wednesday.
“UND has always been a part of my life,” Randklev said. “It was only a dream to go there until it became a reality.”
Randklev verbally committed to Arizona State in April, but opened his commitment back up in November. He was contacted by UND, St. Cloud State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Northern Michigan and Bemidji State.
“It really narrowed down to UND and St. Cloud,” Randklev said. “I never thought I’d be in the situation I’ve been in. I am beyond humbled and honored to get recruited by either one of those schools, but for me UND felt more like home.”
Randklev helped lead the Spuds to the Class 2A championship game last season. He had 60 points in 31 games for Moorhead last season. He has 105 points in 64 games so far for his career at Moorhead. In seven United States Hockey League games with the Fargo Force this season Randklev has two goals and five assists.
“Carter is an extremely intelligent hockey player,” Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. “It is obvious that he is extremely talented, but the way he thinks about the game is outstanding. More importantly, he's a great kid. He's genuine and tries his best to do things the right way.”
Randklev was aware of his size at a young age, so he focused on other skills to set him apart.
“I’ve been stickhandling since I was 12 years old,” Randklev said. “When I’m at home and bored I’d rather stickhandle than watch a movie. Stickhandling is going to get you somewhere whereas a movie isn’t.”
Randklev has been going to UND games since he was 9 years old. It took a lifetime of work to get the opportunity to have people go to UND games to watch him. Moorhead Youth Hockey Arena manager Dennis Bushy says Randklev is one of his frequent callers to ask to open up for ice time.
“It’s just giving up your day-to-day lifestyle,” Randklev said. “First thing on my mind is you got to get better at hockey. Not everyone thinks that way because they’re a kid, especially when you're a teenager. You want to hang out with friends. You got to put a lot more work than people expect. Getting up every day and going in the gym and shooting pucks and being on the ice as much as you possibly can. If you’re not the biggest guy you have to spend hours on the ice to improve the skills.”
Randklev joins teammate and Moorhead junior Ethan Frisch, who also committed to UND.
“Ever since I was like 10 years old I could only of dreamed to go to UND, and then once it became a reality it was really hard to let myself go to another college,” Randklev said. “They’ve had my heart ever since I was a kid.”