Photo Courtesy of Xander Holcomb, Blackfalds Bulldogs.
The Blackfalds Bulldogs are proud to announce the commitment of Brett Meerman to Augustana University. Meerman will continue his hockey career in the NCAA, playing division one hockey in the United States. Meerman, 20, started his AJHL career with the Grande Prairie Storm in the 2019-20 season and has played 139 AJHL games since then. The Blackfalds native and Blackfalds MHA alumnus joined the Bulldogs and was made captain for their inaugural season.
Meerman scored 25 goals and 62 points last season, leading the Bulldogs to a playoff appearance. So far in the 2022-23 season, Meerman has scored at a 100-point pace nearly a third of the way through the regular season. Much like the 2021-22 Bulldogs, Meerman will join an Augustana Vikings team in their inaugural 2023-24 season in the NCAA, and take his experience in Blackfalds’ first season with him.
“I know what to expect, it’s a rollercoaster in your first year, you never know what’s going to happen, but obviously with Blackfalds I’ve done it before,” said Meerman. “It’ll be good to be able to talk guys through (the inaugural process).”
Bulldogs head coach Doug Quinn spoke highly of his captain, pointing to Meerman’s experience leading the ’21-22 Bulldogs as precedent for his ability to take charge of a group of players who have never played together.
“He was part of a group last year where we needed to develop culture and team dynamics. He helped us take a start-up team and take it to that next level where you’re competitive with anyone. I believe that’s a reason they signed him, not just his skill as a hockey player, but having the experience of building a new program, and I suspect he’ll be one of the leaders in building that new culture (at Augustana).”
Quinn also spoke highly of Meerman’s play. “He started off great this year, he’s one of the top players in the league, so teams were starting to recognize that he could play at the next level,” said Quinn. “It is going to be hard when (he) moves on.”
Meerman expressed his excitement at the prospect of not just playing NCAA hockey but the opportunity to move and discover a new area.
“I’m excited to enjoy life somewhere else… It’ll be nice to meet some new people.”
Meerman’s linemate Jason Siedem also expressed his excitement for his on and off-ice friend.
“It’s super exciting. Since the first day I got to Blackfalds, I’ve played with Brett in basically every game,” said Siedem. “He’s one of my good friends and he’s a great player. To see him get an opportunity like that is pretty exciting.”
The Bulldogs have started the season 12-5-1, earning a victory in their previous game, 2-1 on Friday night against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Meerman, who has spent time this season as the AJHL points leader, currently sits fourth in league scoring.
The entire Bulldogs organization would like to congratulate Brett and his family on his commitment and wish him the best of luck at Augustana!