UND senior defenseman Ethan Frisch turns pro

The former Moorhead Spud will begin his pro career with the American Hockey League's Barracuda, the top minor-league affiliate of the Sharks.

NCAA Men's Hockey 2023: Omaha v North Dakota MAR 04
UND alternate captain Ethan Frisch snipes a shot past Omaha goalie Jake Kucharski for a go-ahead goal in the third period March 4, 2023, in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Russell Hons / UND athletics

GRAND FORKS — Ethan Frisch is set to begin his pro career.

Frisch, a senior defenseman from Moorhead, has signed with the San Jose Barracuda, the top minor-league affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, and will begin playing with the American Hockey League squad this season.

Frisch, an alternate captain, had the option to use his free COVID-impacted year and come back for a fifth year next season. But like most of UND’s defensive core, he will move on.

Frisch was a mainstay on UND’s back-to-back-to-back Penrose Cup-winning teams in 2020, 2021 and 2022, increasing his role each year as the Fighting Hawks became the first National Collegiate Hockey Conference team to win three-straight regular-season titles.

The 5-foot-11, 192-pound right-handed blue liner's production jumped from 5 to 10 to 15 to 18 points during his four seasons in Grand Forks.


Frisch was named the NCHC’s defensive defenseman of the year in 2022. He was a nominee for the award again in 2023.

Frisch logged an average of 22:23 per game this season, second on the team behind fellow defenseman Chris Jandric.

He was a key player on UND’s power play, switching between the first and second units. Frisch finished tied for third on the team with five power-play goals.

Frisch’s signing continues the exodus of UND’s back end.

With junior Tyler Kleven signing with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, UND only has one returning defenseman — junior Cooper Moore.

Jandric, Ryan Sidorski and Ty Farmer were fifth-year seniors whose eligibility expired. Sophomores Luke Bast and Brent Johnson entered the transfer portal this week.

UND is expected to bring in five rookie defensemen — Abram Wiebe of the Chilliwack Chiefs, Jake Livanavage of the Chicago Steel, Andrew Strathmann of the Youngstown Phantoms, Nate Benoit of the Waterloo Black Hawks and Tanner Komzak of the Whitecourt Wolverines.

The Fighting Hawks also will have to dip into the transfer portal and grab at least two blue liners.


Up front, UND will look fairly similar to last season.

The Fighting Hawks got a big boost this week when 20-goal scorer Riese Gaber said he will return for his senior season.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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