Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson chases the puck along the boards against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson chases the puck along the boards against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Bears’ Helgeson commits to Division I Lindenwood

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson of Anchorage has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

According to the North American Hockey League press release, Lindenwood is a new NCAA program and will field a Division I team beginning in the 2022-23 season.

Helgeson, 20, has now played three seasons in the North American Hockey League. In the 2018-19 season, he played with the Janesville (Wisconsin) Jets and Jamestown (Pennsylvania) Rebels.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward then caught on with the Bears before the 2019-20 season.

“He has made the most of every opportunity during his time with the Brown Bears,” Kenai River head coach Kevin Murdock said in a statement. “After attending a Pre-Draft and Main Camp in the summer of 2019, he earned an opportunity with our team in Training Camp and hasn’t looked back since.

“We are really looking forward to following Max on the next step of his career.”

In the 2019-20 season, Helgeson had 18 goals and 26 assists in 50 games. This season, he has continued to shine for Kenai River. He leads the team in goals and points with 15 goals and 17 assists in 34 games.

“Max has come a very long way over these past two years,” Murdock wrote. “His work ethic has allowed him to continue to develop and earn this opportunity at the NCAA DI level. Max is a very smart and consistent player.”

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