Whitecourt, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines are proud to announce that 20-year-old forward Erik Pedersen has committed to the Michigan Technological University (NCAA, DIV I) beginning in the 2016/2017 season.
The Airdrie, Alberta product Pedersen joined the Wolverines part way through the 2014/2015 AJHL season after being acquired in a trade from the Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL). In 15 games with the Wolverines that season he recorded three goals and seven assists.
Entering his 20-year-old season Pedersen was relied upon heavily to be one the team’s offensive catalysts and he did not disappoint. Despite suffering an upper body injury in January that forced him to miss 12 games, he was still able to lead the team in scoring, accumulating 68 points in 47 games. At the time of his injury he had a substantial lead in the AJHL scoring race.
“It was a long season and I started talking to teams late in the year but nothing really came of it,” says Pedersen on the initial interest he was receiving. “Finally at the end of the year Michigan Tech got back in contact with me and everything worked out.”
“I think every 20-year-old makes it their goal in their final year (to get a commitment) and I was just fortunate to play with some really good players and get some really good coaching that promote their players and helped me get to the next level.”
Pedersen not only led the Wolverines in scoring during the regular season, but also during the post-season helping the team reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. For his efforts he was named as the team’s Top Forward Award winner.
“For me I just focused on playing hockey and being around the guys a bunch so I could really enjoy my last year,” added Pedersen on his approach to his final season of junior hockey. “Having fun out on the ice led to a lot of success.”
Prior to beginning his junior hockey career, that included stints with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Calgary Canucks, Flin Flon Bombers and Whitecourt Wolverines, Pedersen played his midget hockey at the Edge School for Athletes located just west of Calgary, Alberta.
Pedersen will become the first Wolverine alumnus to play for the Michigan Tech Huskies. MTU is located in Houghton, Michigan. The hockey program has won three NCAA National Championships and six Western Collegiate Hockey Association Division Championships.
“Aside from it being a successful hockey program with a great staff and facility, it was the quality of education that really drew me to Michigan Tech,” cited Pedersen on his decision to commit to MTU.
The Huskies are guided by head coach Mel Pearson. Prior to being named the head coach at Michigan Tech in 2011, he spent 23 seasons as an assistant/associate coach under legendary NCAA head coach Red Berenson at the University of Michigan. This past season the Huskies were ranked 16th in the final national poll after finishing first in their division for the first time since 1981 with a record of 23-9-5 (18-7-3).
The entire Whitecourt Wolverines organization would like to congratulate Erik and his family on his selection of the Michigan Technological University for his college experience and wish him all the best in his academics and athletics.
In the last two years the Whitecourt Wolverines have sent 14 players onto collegiate careers at the CIS, ACAC and NCAA level. Erik is the 7th Wolverine on or previously on this year’s roster to earn a college commitment:
Taden Rattie – Western Michigan University
Joseph Nardi – Northern Michigan University
Justin Young – University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Brody Valette – Rochester Institute of Technology
Frederic Letourneau – Bowling Green State University
Tanner McCorriston – Concordia University of Edmonton
Erik Pedersen – Michigan Technological University