WEST POINT, N.Y. – The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are privileged to announce that defenseman and captain Sean Vlasich has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Army at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, a member of Atlantic Hockey. His commitment is the team’s third NCAA Division I commitment in the North American Hockey League era.
“Being able to play Division I hockey for them was always a dream,” said Vlasich. “Hockey is the constant – it’s what I’ve been playing my whole life. Everything else that Army has to offer – setting me up for life with a great job, a great education, the respect you get for going there, everything they teach you at Army – is what put them over the edge.”
The move to West Point also marks a return to the East Coast for Vlasich, who hails from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey and played three seasons for the Northern Highlands High School program prior to his junior career. Now, he’ll play hockey and attend school just 25 miles from his hometown. He posted four goals and 14 assists last season with the Amarillo Bulls, and has already surpassed that with three goals and 17 assists this year at North Iowa. Vlasich was also recognized as a member of the South Division’s All-Rookie team last season, and earned a spot on the South Division roster at the North American Hockey League’s Top Prospects event over the summer.
“As a second-year Bull, Sean Vlasich has proven himself as a dependable leader on and off the ice for our team, and those leadership qualities will serve him especially well at Army,” said North Iowa head coach and general manager Todd Sanden. “We’re proud of Sean for taking this important step in his academic and hockey career.”
The Black Knights are working toward their third straight winning season under head coach Brian Riley. Last year’s team finished 15-6-1, taking second in the Atlantic Hockey standings and reaching the conference tournament semifinals, while this year’s team went into the Christmas break at 7-7-2.
Vlasich’s commitment adds to a long list of collegiate alumni from the North Iowa organization. During the team’s first decade on the ice as an NA3HL member, more than 110 players reached the NCAA ranks after suiting up for the Bulls. 11 of those players eventually reached the Division I level. Vlasich joins teammates Jack Mesic and Michael Mesic in announcing an NCAA Division I destination this season, North Iowa’s debut campaign in the NAHL.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Sean Vlasich on his commitment to the United States Military Academy and the Army NCAA Division I hockey program, and wish him continued success on and off the ice in his final season of junior hockey.