Cranbrook Bucks 2003-born forward Kellan Hjartarson has announced his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey at Bentley University.
The rookie from Calgary, AB, has enjoyed a strong first taste of junior hockey with the Bucks.
At the time of his commitment, Hjartarson ranks fifth on the team with 13 goals, sixth with 14 assists, and third with 27 points in 38 games this season.
His stats come as a result of finding success playing a prominent role in Cranbrook’s top-six forward group.
For most of the last several weeks, Hjartarson has found himself as the team’s second line centre, creating a strong one-two punch up the middle with leading-scorer Tyson Dyck.
Hjartarson’s success as a first-year BC Hockey Leaguer comes on the heels of COVID-19 restrictions limiting him to just five games last season.
That being said, he made the most of the games he was afforded with his Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAA team in the Alberta Elite Hockey League a year ago.
Hjartarson scored five goals and added six assists for 11 points in those five contests. He wrapped up his two-year stint with the U18 AAA Buffaloes having tallied 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in 37 career AEHL contests.
The first full season of Hjartarson’s junior hockey career has gone well, and now he’s earned himself a post-junior career in the form of a college commitment.
Hjartarson became the second player to earn an NCAA Div. I commitment while playing in the Bucks program, joining forward Noah Quinn who committed to Bemidji State University in November.
Former Bucks forward Reece Henry also landed a spot with Minot State University of the American Collegiate Hockey Association following the 2020-21 BCHL Pod Season.
Henry, Quinn, and Hjartarson joined the following list of players who came to Cranbrook with their school plans already mapped out;
- Jacob Zacharewicz — Brown University
- Jason Marsella — Yale University
- Drake Burgin — St. Lawrence University
- Briggs Gammill — Yale University
- Dane Dowiak — Penn State University
- Bryce Krauter — Salve Regina University
- Liam Hansson — Air Force Academy
- Theo Thrun — Western Michigan University
Hjartarson was not the first player to earn a commitment in Cranbrook, and he certainly won’t be the last, as there are several eligible Bucks enjoying success with the second-year franchise.
For now, the focus for Hjartarson and his teammates remains an intense Interior Conference playoff push.
The Bucks — who sit fifth in the Interior — are off to Vernon where they will play the back half of four-straight games against the sixth-place Vipers this weekend.