BREEZY POINT, Minn. – The North Iowa Bulls’ 2020-21 season is underway, and three Bulls players find themselves one step away from starting the North American Hockey League season with a roster spot. Caleb Huffman, Isaac Lindstrom and Carter Eha are putting in their time and efforts at the Kenai River Brown Bears’ training camp in hopes of making the NAHL team’s opening-night roster on November 6.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for those players to go to a coach that we trust, and a team that’s turned things around in the recent past,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “They competed hard here, and they did well in a couple of exhibition games and a regular-season game, so the time to come down and get some reps was a smart move on their part too.”
Thanks to the ongoing COVID situation across junior hockey, things are very different for the Brown Bears to start the new season. Kenai River is starting the season at the Breezy Point Hockey Center in Breezy Point, Minnesota in anticipation of returning to Alaska after the start of 2021. Kenai River is scheduled for five home games prior to the holiday break, with all five to be played in Breezy Point, which previously hosted the NA3HL’s Breezy Point North Stars.
“We’re looking forward to having the guys at camp,” said Brown Bears head coach Kevin Murdock. “It was a great opportunity for them to spend the last few weeks down in North Iowa in preparation for our camp.”
Eha is a Bulls veteran, notching 23 points in 22 games last season after joining the team from the NAHL’s Jamestown Rebels. His four game-winning goals was a team-high, and his body of work was enough to land an NAHL tender in March with the Minnesota Magicians. He opened 2020-21 play with a pair of assists in last week’s 9-1 win over the Alexandria Blizzard.
Lindstrom began his season in Mason City after a tremendous prep career at Chippewa Falls High School in Wisconsin, notching a career-high 56 points in his final season of high school hockey. He led Chippewa Falls to its first state tournament since 1999, and christened his junior career with a goal and an assist last Friday in his junior debut.
Huffman was a Bulls draft pick in April, after playing the previous two seasons for the famed Meijer AAA program out of Michigan. He notched a goal and two assists last Friday in his first junior outing.
“Whether we have the guys for a short period of time or a long period of time, it’s our goal to always move guys up,” said Sanden. “We hope that those guys stick, and if they don’t, we’d be more than happy to have them back in a Bulls uniform.”
The move leaves North Iowa in good shape to add to an impressive resume of player advancement, with more than 50 Bulls players moving on to NAHL teams as the team kicks its 10th Anniversary season into high gear.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Caleb Huffman, Isaac Lindstrom and Carter Eha on landing a spot in the Kenai River Brown Bears’ preseason camp, and wish them the best as they compete for spots on the team’s regular-season roster.