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Former UND forward Brendan Budy headed to RPI

The winger spent two seasons with the Fighting Hawks.

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UND's Brendan Budy pokes the puck past Bulldogs goaltender Ryan Fanti (39) for a third period goal to boost the Fighting Hawks to a 2-1 lead at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Brendan Budy is headed to play for RPI next season.

The Engineers recently announced their 10-player incoming class and it includes the former UND forward.

Budy spent two seasons with the Fighting Hawks, scoring five goals and 10 points in 56 games.

Last season, the junior from Langley, B.C., had one point in 22 games. It was a key one, though. He scored the game-winning goal in the third period against Minnesota Duluth in November.

Budy missed the entire month of January with an injury and was a healthy scratch for the team's NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame.

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Budy was a nominee for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for his work in raising money and awareness for diabetes. Budy is a Type 1 Diabetic. Prior to UND, he played one season at the University of Denver before going back to junior hockey.

"We are really excited about the addition of 10 new players to our program," RPI coach Dave Smith said. "We have a mix of transfers and first-year players with a lot of hockey experience. Two of our objectives were to increase our team speed as well as our overall skill level. Coach [Chuck] Weber and Coach [Mathias] Lange have done a great job getting these high character players to RPI.

"Being a student-athlete at Rensselaer is a special experience that each of these men recognize and they will be positive contributors to our overall athletic and academic community. Our staff is excited to get started with this group."

UND spent the spring months trying to manage its large forward list.

The Fighting Hawks lost just one forward to graduation in fifth-year senior center Connor Ford.

The returns of Gavin Hain and Mark Senden to play fifth years — coupled with the explosive performances in the United States Hockey League by four forward commits ready to come to school (Jackson Blake, Owen McLaughlin, Dylan James and Ben Strinden) — led to three departures.

Budy and Ashton Calder went to the transfer portal, while recruit Cole Spicer opted to de-commit instead of play another year of junior hockey.

Budy committed to the Engineers, who play in the ECAC. Calder committed to Penn State of the Big Ten. Spicer committed to Minnesota Duluth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

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UND will have 16 forwards on the roster this season — one more than in recent years.

All four freshmen forwards have been drafted — Blake by the Carolina Hurricanes, McLaughlin by the Philadelphia Flyers, James by the Detroit Red Wings and Strinden by the Nashville Predators.

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 bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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