Hermantown junior defenseman Joey Pierce sent a Valentine in the direction of Minnesota Duluth on Friday, announcing his verbal commitment to the Bulldogs via Twitter.

The 17-year-old, 6-foot, 185-pound Ely native native is coming off a two-point night — a goal and an assist — Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Grand Rapids. He has 15 goals and 32 assists through 25 games this season. He put up 18 goals and 22 assists last year with the Hawks.

Pierce’s high school career began in eighth grade, though with Ely High School. He posted 14 goals and 20 assists in 2016-17 before joining the Hermantown bantams the following year.

Pierce is the latest in a line of Hermantown Hawks to commit and play for the Bulldogs. Teammate Blake Biondi, a senior forward for the Hawks this year, is also a UMD recruit along with 2019 Hermantown graduate Darian Gotz, who is in his first season of juniors with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League.

UMD’s current roster boasts three former Hawks in sophomore wing Cole Koepke, sophomore center Jesse Jacques and junior defenseman Dylan Samberg, in addition to second-year assistant coach Adam Krause.