Bulldogs men continue to get older, add 20-year-old forward from Minot of NAHL

Winger Braden Fischer of Winnipeg will join UMD in 2023-24 after playing junior hockey for four seasons in Manitoba, British Columbia and the U.S.

college men play hockey
Minnesota Duluth players gather around Minnesota Duluth goaltender Matthew Thiessen (36) before playing Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — The Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program continues to add veteran pieces to its 2023-24 roster, the latest being 20-year-old wing Braden Fischer of Winnipeg and the North American Hockey League’s Minot Minotauros.

The Minotauros announced the commitment of the 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward on Thursday.

Fischer, who turns 21 in October, played in just 27 games this season due to a knee injury that kept him out of Minot’s lineup between Oct. 9 and Feb. 10. He finished with six goals and 13 assists as Minot was ousted in the opening round of the NAHL playoffs.

Braden Fischer
Contributed / Minot Minotauros

Prior to this season, Fischer played two seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and British Columbia Junior Hockey League. He posted 44 goals and 44 assists in 62 games to be named the MJHL most valuable player 2021-22 while playing for the Virden Oil Capitals. He had 19 goals and 27 assists in 62 games with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues in 2019-20 to land on the league’s all-rookie team.

Fischer spent the pandemic season of 2020-21 with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL, tallying a goal and an assist in 16 games.


Fisher is one of two 20-year-old junior veterans coming to UMD next season along with winger Anthony Menghini of Baxter, Minnesota, and the United States Hockey League’s Fargo Force. He’ll turn 21 in December.

UMD is also adding two transfers in 24-year-old Penn State wing Connor McMenamin and 22-year-old North Dakota defenseman Luke Bast. McMenamin will be a fifth-year senior while Bast, who turns 23 in November, will be a junior.

The Bulldogs were one of the youngest teams in college hockey last season after bringing in 10 freshmen and 12 sophomores. With an average age of 21.4 years old, the Bulldogs were the sixth-youngest team in NCAA Division I men’s hockey according to College Hockey News. UMD missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013-14 — ending a streak of seven straight bids — and suffered its first losing season since 2012-13.

Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said this week he is likely done adding players from the transfer portal. The rest of the roster will be built through incoming recruits. Fargo Force forward and Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 fifth-round draft pick Zam Plante is signed to a National Letter of Intent for next season, though it is possible he still returns to juniors for another season. Plante, the Hermantown native who turns 19 in August, has battled injuries the past two seasons in high school and juniors.

UMD is looking to replace a trio of fifth-year seniors (defenseman Derek Daschke and forwards Tanner Laderoute and Jesse Jacques), two transfers (wingers Isaac Howard and Luke Mylymok) and defenseman Wyatt Kaiser, who signed with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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