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Bomber Duperreault joining up with NCAA Division I Lindenwood, will join Kuzma, Mercier

Cole Duperreault is the latest Bomber to receive an NCAA Division I scholarship - and he'll have some friends with him when he plays next season.
Cole Duperreault and Jaeden Mercier embrace following a goal at the Whitney Forum earlier this season. Both players will suit up for the Lindenwood Univ. Lions in NCAA Division I hockey next season.

Cole Duperreault is the latest Bomber to receive an NCAA Division I scholarship - and he'll have some friends with him when he plays next season.

Duperreault committed to join the Lindenwood Univ. Lions for the 2023/24 season March 15, according to a statement issued by the Bombers. The Martensville, Sask. native is in his third season as a Bomber and is a career point-per-game player for Flin Flon, putting up 103 points in 102 regular season games.

Duperreault was a nominee for the SJHL's Player of the Year award and finished the season with 64 points, including 37 goals, in 44 games. Despite missing a stretch late in the season due to injury, Duperreault still finished sixth in the SJHL's year-end scoring race. He was also named the Bombers' community ambassador for this season and was an assistant captain for the club.

At Lindenwood, Duperreault will be one of a trio of Bombers in the lineup. Drew Kuzma, who played with the Bombers last season and during the team's playoff and Centennial Cup runs, joined the Lions this season, forgoing his final season of junior A. Kuzma has seven points in 30 games as a Lion this year.

The Lions also have another Bomber committed to join them next season - Jaeden Mercier, Duperreault's long-time sidekick, linemate and powerplay quarterback. Mercier had 50 points for the Bombers in 38 games, including an assist per game on average - he also fought injuries but still finished in the league's final top 20 scorers.

Duperreault and Mercier were part of the SJHL's most lethal powerplay unit this year. Duperreault led the SJHL in powerplay goals with 18 and led all SJHL players with 31 points with the extra man, while Mercier had 29 points with a man advantage - only teammate Reece Richmond, who ended the year with 29 powerplay assists and 30 powerplay points, did better than Mercier.

Lindenwood has recruited heavily from the SJHL since joining the NCAA Division I ranks this season. In addition to their trio of Bombers, the team has also added former Notre Dame Hound forward Elliot Dutil, Battlefords North Stars captain Jake Southgate and Humboldt Bronco Ethan Zielke to their ranks.

The Bombers now have four players committed to play NCAA Division I hockey from this year's roster - in addition to Duperreault and Mercier, Jeremi Tremblay has committed to play with Sacred Heart Univ., while Jacob Vockler has committed to Merrimack College.

A total of 27 former SJHLers have played more than 10 games in NCAA Division I hockey this year - eight of those players are Bombers. That list includes Calvon Boots (Rochester Institute of Technology [RIT]), Donavan Houle-Villeneuve (Univ. of Maine), Cade Kowalski (Ferris State Univ.), Kuzma, Xavier Lapointe (RIT), Tristan Lemyre (Denver Univ.), Caleb Moretz (RIT) and former prospect Owen Ozar (Denver Univ.).

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