The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that defenceman Darby Gula has committed to Bemidji State University of NCAA Division I.
With his commitment, Gula is the 7th Pistons player to commit to a Division I program in its 9-year history. He joins the Pistons ranks of the 11 previous commitments to Division III hockey, 8 CIS commitments, and 4 Alberta College Athletic Conferences commitments.
Gula is really excited about the opportunity in front of him. “I’m confident that Bemidji is the right school for me,” he said. “Committing to a school was one of the goals I set for myself this season, so it feels great to have accomplished that early on.”
“It’s an exciting day for Darby and for our organization as well,” Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck said. “It’s been something that he has been working towards for several years, and he has put in a tremendous amount of work. We are tremendously excited for him.”
The third year Pistons defenceman has grown each season with the team, tallying 29 and 34 points in his first two seasons. He has taken a major step forward in his development this year, first by being named an assistant captain, and then scoring 20 points in 16 games so far this season. That total leads all MJHL defencemen, and places him 9th in the MJHL scoring race.
Gula believes that he’ll get the opportunity to play soon for the Beavers. “Bemidji State has a great program, really personable coaches who care about their players, and wants to improve (as a team)” he said. “It’s also super close to home, so it’s very convenient for my family and I.”
Gula will be the first Steinbach native to play for the Pistons and Division I hockey. “For young local players, I think it should be inspiring to see that the opportunities are there to play (at the next level),” Dyck explained. “Darby has been a great citizen on and off the ice, and he is very deserving of this.”
Gula said playing in his hometown in front of fans that he knew was icing on the cake. “I wouldn’t have wanted to play my junior years anywhere else,” he added. “The coaches and management have done such a good job of building a competitive team, while also taking huge strides to develop the program to give our players opportunities to reach the next level.”