Moorhead standout Gavin Lindberg commits to Colorado College
Lindberg is the second Spud in just over a week to announce his collegiate commitment
MOORHEAD — Another Moorhead High School hockey player has announced his commitment to play at the collegiate level.
Spuds senior Gavin Lindberg posted on social media Monday that he'll be continuing his hockey career at Colorado College.
The Spuds' top-line center finished with 69 points in 31 games during his senior season in 2021-22, tied for the team lead with junior linemate and right winger Harper Bentz.
After finishing out his high school career, Lindberg joined the Waterloo Black Hawks for the final six weeks of the United States Hockey League regular season. He skated in 19 games for the Black Hawks in both the regular and postseasons, recording three goals and two assists for five points.
The 18-year-old said he knew Colorado College was the right choice for him the moment he stepped on campus.
"The recruiting process is obviously pretty long," he said. "It started at the beginning of the year and then when the season ended I had the opportunity to visit, and I just loved the staff, I loved the college and I knew it was the right fit."
The Tigers compete at the Division I level in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and are led by head coach Kris Mayotte, who just completed his first year with the program. Mayotte brings a wealth of collegiate and United States National Team coaching experience to the table along with Tigers assistant coaches Peter Mannino and Mark Stuart, both of whom have played in the National Hockey League. Mannino has had coaching stints in the USHL and college while Stuart was previously a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Vermont.
Lindberg plans on playing another season with Waterloo before joining the Tigers for the 2023-24 season.
"Unless things go downhill next year," Lindberg said. "But if I have a good year, I'll head to CC after that."
Barring injury, however, a down year for Lindberg almost seems improbable. There's a reason the Spuds captain was named the team's Most Valuable Player and tied for the lead in team scoring — as well as the 18th-highest point-getter in Minnesota.
"The past year for Gavin has been incredible. He is someone who has worked hard, been persistent, and as a result has been rewarded," said Spuds head coach Jon Ammerman. "He is just scratching the surface of his potential. He is an honest, two-way center who can play in all situations. Responsible, has great attention to detail, and is a very savvy player with the puck on his stick."
Lindberg is the second Moorhead player in a little over a week to announce his commitment to play college hockey. Junior defenseman Joe Schiller announced last week his commitment to play at Northern Michigan University and was drafted 114th overall by the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders less than 24 hours later.
It's argued in the college hockey landscape that the NCHC is the best conference there is. The history provides evidence, with the league producing five national championship-winning teams — the most recent being Denver this past April — since its first season in 2013-14.
The Tigers have not won an NCHC regular season or tournament championship. The program's last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2011, and CC concluded this past season with a record of 9-24-3. Its last winning season was in 2011-12.
Lindberg hopes to contribute to changing that dynamic sooner rather than later.
"I'm excited," he said. "I feel like maybe they've had some down years and with the staff, I feel like I'll be supported enough to be a valuable player."
The level of individual talent the NCHC brings to the table doesn't faze Lindberg.
"It'll be best-on-best and there will be pro scouts at every game," he said. "So it'll be great."
Lindberg finished by thanking those in Moorhead who helped paved the way for him over the last several years.
"The support has been unbelievable," he said. "Since I've been here, I've been a squirt and then coming up all the way through high school, the support from all of the coaches — especially coach Ammerman and (Moorhead assistant) coach (Tony) Kunka, it's just been great."