Gladstone, Manitoba product Carson Buydens will be an NCAA Division 1 hockey player. The Virden Oil Capitals forward has committed to Princeton University and says he couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity. He outlines how the situation came about.

“My advisor sent them some film of mine and I guess they watched it because they reached out to me and we started talking from there,” Buydens explains. “They liked me and I liked a lot about that school and what they represent, and I was lucky enough to commit there.”

While Buydens has a big opportunity ahead, the 17-year-old forward is spending this season in the MJHL where he just won two awards for his play early this season. He won both the league’s Rookie of the Month award for September, where he put up three points in four games, and he was named one of the MJHL’s Stars of the Week for his four-point performance over two games last weekend.

The rookie describes what it felt like to be recognized so early in his junior hockey career.

“It feels good, it’s a great achievement,” says Buydens. “I guess I have had a good couple of games, hopefully, I keep it up.”

Buydens last full season was played at the U18 AAA level with the Central Plains Capitals where he racked up 15 goals, and 25 assists for 40 points over 45 games. He outlines why his transition to the next level has looked seamless.

“Things are just going my way,” Buydens explains. “I’ve been clicking with my linemates and our power-play unit played well too, we’re moving the puck a lot out there. I just feel confident out there with my linemates, I feel like I can make plays with them, and they can make plays with me.”

Buydens is back on the ice tomorrow as he and the Oil Capitals head to Neepawa for a meeting with the Titans. Buydens will play his first game in Portage against the Terriers on January 8, 2022.