HANCOCK, Mich. – As the only 1998-born player on the North Iowa Bulls’ roster, Jack Giddings knew his junior hockey career was done when he stepped off the ice for the final time in March at the Fraser Cup championship tournament. The only decision to be made following that national semifinal against the Texas Brahmas was where he would take his talents at the college level next season.
NCAA Division III Finlandia University is the answer to that question, with Giddings finalizing his commitment this week. He becomes the seventh player from this year’s team to make a college commitment, and only the second North Iowa alumnus to commit to the Lions’ program. Timothy Santopoalo committed to Finlandia following the 2013-14 season, before moving to Aurora University in Illinois for the final three years of his college career.
Giddings enjoyed an outstanding career at Anoka High School, including an appearance in the 2016 Minnesota state high school tournament. This year, he quickly became one of the Bulls’ more dependable forwards, picking up 29 points over 39 appearances. Those points had a tendency to come in bunches, though, with seven multi-point games.
The Anoka, Minnesota native only added to his resume in the postseason. His first-period goal in Game 2 against the Alexandria Blizzard proved to be the game-winner, as the Bulls punched their ticket to the Fraser Cup tournament. He also added points in both of North Iowa’s pool-play outings in Chicagoland.
He’ll play for a Finlandia team that won eight games this past season, more than they won in their previous three seasons combined. Lions head coach Joe Burcar recently wrapped up his 12th season as the program’s head coach and led the team to its first NCHA Harris Cup playoff appearance since 2012.
More than 100 North Iowa players have moved on to play college hockey, including more than 70 who made their college commitments while playing for the Bulls. Seven North Iowa alumni have played for NCAA Division I programs, with an eighth making his Division I commitment this past season.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Jack Giddings on taking this next step in his athletic and educational career, and wish him the best in his pursuits at Finlandia University.