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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co. , Published August 19 2012

Former UND goalie Eidsness picks law school over pro hockey

GRAND FORKS – For Brad Eidsness, the professional hockey offers were rolling in.

He heard from teams in the East Coast Hockey League, the Central Hockey League and in Europe.

“I was really excited,” said Eidsness, who recently finished his career at the University of North Dakota.

Then, a few weeks ago, he got the best offer yet – an opportunity to attend law school the University of Victoria in British Columbia, one of the most prestigious programs in Canada.

After discussing it with his parents, his agent and some friends, the two-time All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association goaltender decided against playing professional hockey and will instead enroll in law school this fall.

“I definitely had opportunities to go play, but when U-Vic gave me an offer, that changed things,” Eidsness said. “I started weighing a lot of things.

“I had really good memories of hockey the last four years. Wherever I would have gone, it wouldn’t have been as good of an experience as the last four years. I wanted to go to law school eventually and I made the decision to do it a couple years earlier than I originally planned. The last four years would be tough to top. I decided it’s time and I’m really excited to go to law school.”

Eidsness always has been about more than hockey.

The Chestermere, Alberta, product earned his undergraduate degree at UND in just three years. As a senior, he earned his master’s in business administration.

Eidsness won the NCAA Elite 88 Award as the player with the best grade-point average at the NCAA Frozen Four two years ago, and he finished it by winning the WCHA’s top honor, the student-athlete of the year award last year.

“He’s a guy that took advantage of every opportunity that was in front of him and made the most of every one of them,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said.

Eidsness, a fifth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2007, made an immediate impact with UND’s program as a freshman. He quickly won the starting job and led UND to the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA champions.

Eidsness lost his starting job to Aaron Dell as a junior but still played in seven games and helped UND to the MacNaughton Cup, Broadmoor Trophy and NCAA Frozen Four. As a senior, he battled Dell for the No. 1 job all season, posting a .920 save percentage and a 2.17 goals-against average.

As UND made its surprising run down the stretch, Eidsness quietly was applying to law schools. He was accepted to the University of Calgary around the time of the Final Five, but he declined their offer.

“I was having a pretty good year and I was really enjoying hockey,” he said. “I was planning to play pro hockey at that point.”

But once the Victoria offer rolled in, Eidsness shifted gears. He talked to family friends who went to law school at Victoria, and it received high praise. Eidsness said he plans to work in business law or tax law with his business background from his UND degrees.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.