DUBUQUE, Iowa — Fighting Saints defenseman Lucas Ölvestad has committed to the University of Denver (NCHC). The first-year Saint is poised to join a Pioneer program that made the NCAA tournament every year in the 2010s, and made it to the Frozen Four in three of the last six seasons.
Ölvestad, out of Stockholm, Sweden, put forth a strong effort in preseason with four points in three games, two game-winning goals, and a plus-five rating. The 19-year-old blueliner was selected in the fifth round, 62nd overall, in Phase II of the 2021 USHL Draft.
Ölvestad, on committing to Denver: I have been a fan of Denver for a long time, so getting the opportunity to go to school and play hockey there was always a dream scenario for me. The whole process went very smoothly, and I got a great feeling from talking to the coaches and players there.
GM Kalle Larsson: Lucas displays everything we stand for here in Dubuque. He’s a great player, but also very dedicated to his off-ice habits. Those attributes will translate well to college hockey and allow him to have an immediate impact once he arrives at DU.
Head Coach Greg Brown: Lucas has been impactful from his first practice here in Dubuque. He adjusted to his new environment seamlessly and had a strong training camp. We are very happy for him that he accepted an offer to continue his education and hockey career at the University of Denver.
Ölvestad comes from a hockey family. His father, Jimmie, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1999 NHL Draft and played 111 games at the NHL level. He played an additional 502 more at the highest level of Swedish pro hockey. His uncle, Robin Jalkerud, also played Swedish pro hockey.
The Fighting Saints organization has seen Denver be the springboard for some of its top alumni. Jim Montgomery won a national championship with the Pioneers and moved his career to the NHL level. Dylan Gambrell utilized a strong career to become an NHL regular. And most recently, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Cole Guttman is currently serving as captain with the Pioneers.
Teammates Paxton Geisel and Tristan Lemyre are also committed to Denver.