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Pietila picks Michigan Tech University

Three-year Austin Bruin defenseman Jed Pietila has committed to Michigan Tech University.

Pietila, 21, recently wrapped up a three-year career in the NAHL which began with short stints in Aberdeen and Minot before finding his home in Austin with the Bruins. The one-time forward was converted to a defenseman and swiftly became one of the blue-line leaders.

“It was an absolute pleasure to watch Jed grow into the player that he is now,” said Austin head coach Steve Howard. ‘We took a chance on him three years ago and he ran with it! He transitioned from forward to a top-end defenseman. He was a great leader for us this year and will do great at Michigan Tech next season.”

Austin’s Jed Pietila harasses the Chippewa Steels’ Jacob Dirks during the first period at Riverside Arena. Herald File photo

Pietilla, a native of Howell, Michigan, native finished out his junior career with 17 goals and 64 assists for 81 total points. With 29 points in 2019-20, Pietila was on his way to a career-high in points in a season before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellation of the NAHL season caused him to fall short of breaking his personal best record by just three points.

“I am very excited and I can’t wait to get started at Michigan Tech”, said Pietila. “I’ve wanted to go to Michigan Tech my whole life and this is really a dream come true. I have a lot of family up north that are currently going and previously have went to Tech. I want to thank the entire organization in Austin and especially the coaching staff. I can’t say enough great things about the organization and people that work for and support the Austin Bruins. Thank you for everything, Austin!”

Thanks to his efforts in 2019-20, Pietila was named to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament where he logged a goal and was honored as one of the Central Division’s players of the game.

Pietila was widely known as one of the leaders both on and off the ice. Following the 2019-20 season he was honored by the team’s coaches  with the ‘Bruins Award’ for exemplifying a positive attitude and demonstrating leadership qualities.

For the Bruins, Pietila becomes the fifth player to announce an NCAA Division-I commitment this season following Ben Almquist (University of Minnesota-Duluth), Hugh Larkin (Western Michigan), Connor Mylymok (University of Alaska-Anchorage), and Josef Mysak (Niagara University).