Chilliwack Chiefs captain Nathan Kelly has netted himself a scholarship to Union College for the 2020-21 NCAA season.
The defenceman announced his commitment Wednesday, joining a program that won the ECAC tournament three years running, from 2012 to 2014. Union College won the NCAA championship in 2014, beating the University of Minnesota by a 7-4 count in the Frozen Four final.
The Dutchmen play in the East Coast Athletic Conference, facing off against the likes of Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth. Kelly’s future team is off to a slow start this season, with a record of 2-4 in ECAC play and 3-11 overall.
Two seasons ago the Dutchmen were second in the conference with a 16-5-1 record, so there is plenty of recent success.
“I chose Union College for their commitment to academics and success on the ice,” Kelly said. “I believe it is the best fit for me and I am super excited to be a part of their program.”
Kelly is in his second season with Chilliwack after coming over from the Powell River Kings in a trade.
The five-foot-11 and 190 pound blueliner is a smooth skater and sharp passer who has one goal, five points and 12 penalty minutes in 22 games this season.
In 142 career BCHL regular season and playoff games, Kelly has nine goals, 40 points and 49 PIMs.
“We are all very proud of Nathan and happy he was able to land this commitment,” said Chiefs head coach and general manager Brian Maloney. “He is a great person with an incredible work ethic and it is great to see him rewarded for his efforts.”