Chilliwack Chief Hudson Thornton commits to defending NCAA champs

The defenceman will likely spend at least two years in the BCHL before moving on.

A young defenceman with the Chilliwack Chiefs has already commited to an NCAA program despite being just 16 years old.

Winnipeg native Hudson Thornton will one day skate for the back-t0-back Frozen Four champion University of Minnesota Duluth. Until then, he’ll develop his all-round game in the BCHL.

“I am very proud and excited to commit to the University of Minnesota Duluth,” the teenager said in a Chiefs news release. “UMD offers an outstanding program that has had much success in winning and developing defensemen to the next level. This is a very exciting time for my family and I, and we are looking forward to the future.”

Thornton made his BCHL debut on the weekend, suiting up for Chilliwack’s 5-3 road win over the Langley Rivermen.

The younger brother of Chiefs goalie Kolby Thornton spent the past two seasons playing for the RINK Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. The five-foot-10 and 170 pound blueliner caught the eye of UMD with his knack for getting pucks through and creating offense from the point.

“The Chiefs are extremely proud of Hudson and look forward to being part of his development for years to come,” said Chiefs associate coach and assistant general manager Brad Rihela. “Hudson is a kid with great instincts and ability with a work ethic to match, he will be a big part of the future in Chilliwack and at UMD.”

The Chiefs are on the road this weekend with games in Powell River (Friday), Cowichan Valley (Saturday) and Nanaimo (Sunday).

Chilliwack fans can get their first home-ice look at Thornton Sept. 20 when the Chiefs host the Prince George Spruce Kings.

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