For Grand Rapids native and Minnesota Duluth forward Avery Peterson, the 2017-18 season will be his last in college hockey.
Peterson — who will be a senior academically and NCAA eligibility-wise in 17-18 — transferred to the Bulldogs in January of 2016 after a year and a half at Nebraska-Omaha. Peterson made the move in order to be closer to his family, specifically his older brother, Evan, who has a terminal brain disease.
Peterson petitioned the NCAA in 2016 for a hardship waiver due to the circumstances of his transfer. He was seeking to not only be eligible to play right away in the fall of 2016, but hoped to gain another year of eligibility as well. It was denied at the time, and while he could try and petition the NCAA again for another season of eligibility, Peterson said he won’t.
“I haven’t really thought about it after it didn’t go through the first time,” Peterson said Tuesday by phone from St. Paul, where he is attending the Minnesota Wild development camp. “I’m just focusing on having a good year and helping the team.”
Peterson was drafted by the Wild in sixth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He’s on track to graduate in May with a degree in criminology and will be 23 at this time next year.
Peterson, who had to sit out the spring and fall semesters of 2016 per NCAA transfer rules, posted seven goals and eight assists in 25 games (0.60 points per game) for the Bulldogs playing just the second half of the 2016-17 season. He surpassed his offensive output from his rookie season with the Mavericks when he had 11 goals and 10 assists in 39 games (.54 points per game).