The Fairbanks Ice Dogs are getting set to begin training camp, the NHL just began free agency, and the college hockey season isn’t until this fall. For one Dog, however, Thursday marked the biggest hockey news of his young life.
Brendan Miles, a right-handed defenseman, officially announced his college commitment on Thursday morning. In one of the most notable commitments for a member of the Dogs in some time, Miles will be continuing his hockey career at the University of Michigan. He’ll play one more season in Fairbanks this fall as he returns to the blue line.
An offer alone from Big Blue is an enormous accomplishment. Michigan made the NCAA Tournament on the ice last year and made NHL history last week. Owen Power was selected first overall by the Buffalo Sabres before Matthew Bernier was selected second overall by the Seattle Kraken. A third Wolverine was selected fifth overall when Kent Johnson was taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets and Luke Hughes was originally committed to Michigan before going fourth overall to the New Jersey Devils.
Now, Miles will hope to follow in the rather large footsteps those players left behind.
“This is huge,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart. “This is big time for our program and big time for Brendan. We’re super excited for him to have one more year of development with us before moving on to Big Ten hockey.”
In 45 games last year, Miles was responsible for 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) with eight points (two goals, six assists) coming on the power play. The Ice Dogs open their season on Sep. 10 at the Minnesota Magicians.