Braden Kindopp, who played for the Richland Youth Hockey boys junior gold team based in Sidney, signed his letter of intent to play on the Williston State College hockey team Thursday, June 10.
WSC head coach John Bowkus was in attendance for the signing.
Kindopp said he came down to two choices, Williston State and Dakota College at Bottineau, but ultimately he chose to be a Teton.
Part of the decision came down to the fact that Williston State is cheaper, which Kindopp said with a laugh is always great, but he added that he liked what Williston State offers.
“I really like the atmosphere. I really got along with all the guys really well when I went and skated there, and it’s just a great place to be I think,” he said.
Williston State is a team that Kindopp said he has gotten to watch a few times in the past, so it’s a program and atmosphere that is a bit familiar for him.
Taking this leap to the college level is something that Kindopp said he has always wanted to do.
“From when I was really young I really wanted to play in college at some point, so it’s pretty much a dream come true,” Kindopp said.
For the Rangers, Kindopp was a player that could do a little bit of everything. He could certainly get involved in the attack, but he mainly was a wall defensively and one of the leading defenseman in the state, which earned him an honor as a North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association First Team All-State Defense recipient this season.
Kindopp said some of the strengths he believes he will bring to Williston State are his vision on the ice and a sense for hockey that some others might not have.
Kindopp said that he does expect college hockey to be faster than high school hockey, but he said he is ready to go.
When he gets to Williston State, Kindopp plans to study information technology. He said that he likes working with computers, and he sees things becoming more technological as time goes on, which makes IT a good industry to get into.
An added bonus for Kindopp with Williston State is the proximity to Sidney. His family and friends, along with former Ranger teammates, won’t have to drive too far to come see home games, especially considering Bottineau was a possibility.