UND expecting Dane Montgomery to be ready for start of 2023-24 season
The UND forward from Grand Forks missed all of last season with an upper-body injury.
GRAND FORKS — It was not an easy year for Dane Montgomery.
The UND sophomore forward and Grand Forks native suffered an upper-body injury during the 2022 offseason, which forced him to miss the entire 2022-23 college hockey season.
Montgomery didn't practice with his teammates until the last eight days of the season. Even then, he didn't participate in every drill and he was never cleared to play.
But Montgomery is making progress with his recovery and UND is expecting him to be ready for the start of the 2023-24 season.
"He's doing well," UND coach Brad Berry said. "It was a tough year for him. He didn't see any action. He took a couple steps forward, then a step back. Now, after talking to (athletic trainer) Mark Poolman, Dane feels comfortable to keep moving forward. He's been skating on his own and working out. He hasn't missed a beat. We're optimistic he can get back in the lineup and be part of our group."
Montgomery played in 16 games as a freshman, scoring one goal and tallying three points. His goal came at Minnesota Duluth during a seven-game winning streak, which culminated with UND winning the Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference champions.
Prior to that, Montgomery played three seasons with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League.
Montgomery was planning to play for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League in 2021-22, but Jasper Weatherby's late signing with the San Jose Sharks brought the Grand Forks native to campus a year early.
The 5-foot-10, 169-pounder played one season of varsity hockey at Grand Forks Red River, tallying 17 goals and 37 points as a sophomore. His linemates on that team also went on to Division-I hockey — Jackson Kunz at UND and Mason Salquist at St. Cloud State.
Montgomery's projected availability means UND might be done filling out its 2023-24 forward roster.
The Fighting Hawks currently have 15 lined up.
There are 11 returning forwards from last season's team — Montgomery, Kunz, Riese Gaber, Jackson Blake, Owen McLaughlin, Dylan James, Carson Albrecht, Louis Jamernik V, Jake Schmaltz, Ben Strinden and Griffin Ness.
UND will bring in two freshmen — Jayden Perron and Michael Emerson of the USHL's Chicago Steel. The Fighting Hawks also are bringing in two transfers — Cameron Berg from Omaha and Hunter Johannes from Lindenwood.
"We toyed around with adding a 16th forward," Berry said. "But we're expecting (Montgomery) to be healthy. We have 15 now and we want to give those guys an opportunity to play."