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UND secures commitment from Luke Bast, defenseman Gabe's younger brother

GRAND FORKS — Luke Bast had a conversation with family friend Tyson Jost that stuck with him.

Jost, during his freshman season at the University of North Dakota, told the defenseman from Alberta: "You want to play your best — not because you're intimidated by the coaches or because you think they'll get mad — but because they care about you so much and their willingness to help you get to the next level is insane. You want to play your best because you know the coaching staff is giving you their best."

Bast thought: "I want to play for a coaching staff like that."

Soon, he will.

Bast gave a verbal commitment Sunday to play college hockey at UND, where his older brother, Gabe, just finished his rookie season.

Bast, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound defenseman, chose UND over Denver and Omaha after visiting all three schools.

"It was insane," Bast said of his May 5th visit to Grand Forks. "I've never seen anything like it. Obviously, the rink speaks for itself, but I really liked the group of guys they had. They welcomed me with open arms. It was nice."

Bast plays for the Brooks Bandits in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and he may even have a bit more offense to his game than his older brother.

Luke had eight goals and 31 points in 57 games last season. Only two 2000-born defensemen in the league had more points. One was Jacob Bernard-Docker, who will be a freshman at UND in the fall.

"My adjustment period at the start of the year was a lot longer than expected," Luke said of his first year in the AJHL. "It took longer than I had hoped. At the end of the year, it was really good, and I had a pretty good playoff run."

Bast hopes to be on campus within two years to play with his brother.

Luke and Gabe have never before been teammates.

"Hopefully we'll be able to win a national championship together," said Luke, who is going into his senior year of high school. "That would be pretty special."

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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