The good news kept coming for Noah Houle this week. Fresh off of being named the SJHL's defenceman of the month, Houle has committed to an NCAA Division I team for next year.
According to the Bombers and sports advisors Thunder Creek Hockey, Houle committed to join the Lindenwood Lions program this week. The Montreal, Que. born player, the brother of former Bomber star Donavan Houle-Villeneuve, is the first Bomber this season to commit to a university or college hockey program this season.
“We are very happy for Noah - he had many different schools interested in him. Noah will get a great opportunity to grow with the program,” said Bomber head coach and general manager Mike Reagan.
“We think it’s a great fit for Noah and he will thrive in Lindenwood.”
Lindenwood’s Division I program is entering its second year of play, but the Lions have already drawn heavily from both the Bombers and the SJHL as a whole. Houle is the fourth Bomber player to commit to the team in recent years, following in the skate tracks of Drew Kuzma, Jaeden Mercier and Cole Duperreault, who committed to the Lions but is not playing for the team this year.
The Lions also feature former Battlefords North Star forward Jake Southgate and Humboldt Broncos captain Ethan Zielke, as well as Aiden Yakimchuk, the older brother of current Bomber defender Pierce Yakimchuk. Ex-Notre Dame Hound forward Elliot Dutil, now playing in the BCHL, is also committed to the team for next season.
Houle is the third SJHL player to commit to an NCAA Division I program this year, following Nipawin’s Ronan Buckberger (going to Ohio State Univ.) and Kindersley’s Jaxon Herchak (en route to Colorado College). All three are defencemen. A fourth player, Battlefords North Star Carson Olsen, committed Tuesday to UMass-Lowell.
Several of the SJHL’s top players this season, including Sylvestre, Duguay, Bueckert and others, such as Flin Flon’s Anthony Piccininno, Ashton Paul, Kylynn Olafson, Brock Mueller, Joey Lies and Trevor Stenglein, are NCAA eligible but do not have scholarships agreed upon.