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UND commit E.J. Emery shines at All-American Prospect Game

Jan. 15—GRAND FORKS — NHL Network commentators E.J. Hradek and Craig Button, a former NHL general manager, were highlighting E.J. Emery during Monday's All-American Prospect Game.

They raved about Emery's defensive play.

They explained how he was able to skate with some of the speediest prospects on the ice and eliminate their rushes.

Button said he views Emery as a 15-year pro.

Just as their discussion started to tail off, Emery struck.

The future UND defenseman jumped into a rush and scored on a rebound in the second period to help his team to a 5-4 overtime win at the All-American Prospect Game at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich.

Emery's play was one of the highlights of the game, which featured top NHL Draft-eligible prospects from the United States Hockey League and the U.S. Under-18 Team.

Emery didn't dominate the game the way Jake Sanderson did in 2020. There wasn't the same offensive presence. But Emery's ability to defend players who are expected to go at the top of the 2024 NHL Draft showed why he's expected to be a top prospect himself and a key contributor on next year's UND hockey team.

"Going to North Dakota and playing for Brad Berry is going to be terrific for E.J. Emery," Button said.

Emery was recently ranked as the No. 39 North American skater available for the draft, which would put him as a second-round pick.

Emery wasn't the only UND commit to participate in the event Monday. Four others competed in the game.

Moorhead's Sam Laurila was on the same defensive pairing as Emery.

On the other side, forwards Sacha Boisvert and Mac Swanson were teammates. Swanson even set up Boisvert for a Grade-A chance on a power play.

They'll both come to UND in the fall.

Goaltender Caleb Heil played behind Boisvert and Swanson. Heil is still a couple of years out.

Denver had six commits playing in the game to lead all NCAA teams. UND had five.

The MVP of the event was James Hagens, who is committed to Boston College. Hagens had a goal and an assist.