Jesper Hofling was the model of what made the Rochester Grizzlies so tough to stop last season.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pound forward from Gavle, Sweden, was tough to play against on both ends of the ice. He was one of nine players to record 30 or more points for the North American 3 Hockey League's Central Division champions.
Hofling's hard work and perseverance has paid off. Saturday he announced he has committed to play college hockey at NCAA Division III Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
"Jesper's growth on and off the ice this year was great to see," Grizzlies head coach Chris Ratzloff said. "We look forward to seeing him continue this path at Gustavus. We're proud of him and are looking forward to watching him at the next level."
Hofling, 21, had eight goals and 25 assists for the Grizzlies in his only season with the team, helping them finish 37-8-2 in the regular season. The Grizzlies had the No. 1 seed in the Central Division playoffs, and were on the bus to start their first-round playoff series in mid-March when the league put a halt to the season due to the coronavirus.
Hofling played four seasons in his Sweden, playing for Valbo HC at various levels of junior hockey including U18 and U20. He made an immediate impact in Rochester, registering a point in his first three games with the Grizzlies.
He was selected to play in the NA3HL's Top Prospects Tournament last February. While competing against the league's top uncommitted talent, Hofling earn an assist in three games played.
"We are excited for Jesper," Ratzloff said. "He has worked hard this year and will be a great addition to Gustavus. Coach Peterson is getting an outstanding person that will excel in the classroom and on the rink."
Hofling will join two of his Grizzlies teammates at Gustavus. Porter Haney, a Duluth native and a two-year Grizzlies forward, committed to the Gusties in April. Defenseman Noel Parker also recently committed to Gustavus. Parker had originally committed to St. Olaf, but changed his commitment after St. Olaf went through a coaching change.
Hofling is the fifth player from the 2019-20 Grizzlies to make a college commitment, joining Haney, Parker, defenseman Michael Heitkamp (Wisconsin-Stout) and goalie Mathias Backstrom (Nichols College).
In just two seasons as a franchise the Grizzlies have had 10 players commit to play college hockey.