Former Moorhead Spud Harper Bentz stays close to home with the Fargo Force

Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:44 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Harper Bentz has been busy clicking his skates together, thinking there’s no place like home.

“It’s a really cool opportunity for me, ya know, to stay at home and obviously further my hockey career, and we have a great group of guys here, so it’s a cool opportunity for me,” Bentz said.

The Bentz name may ring a bell for most in the F-M area, the Moorhead native was a former Mr. Hockey finalist with the Moorhead Spuds, and was the 29th overall pick in the USHL Phase II draft this past May to the Fargo Force.

“A lot of times when high school players make the jump to junior hockey, it seems like there’s a lot you still need to work with and teach them, and Harper’s been well-coached all the way through,” head coach Nick Oliver said. “His work ethic everyday is second-to-none, his habits are already really strong and continuing to get better. He’s a player that’s really contributed to us in a lot of ways this year.”

This contribution has indeed been across the board with the forward racking up seven assists and a pair of goals for the Force, but he tells us he still wants those numbers boosted.

“I think I’ve been playing alright, I would like to contribute a little bit more on the scoresheet, kinda get on there, score a few more goals, I think that’s a big part of my game,” Bentz said.

With five players on Fargo’s roster from overseas and another 10 from outside the region, Bentz is still one of six Minnesota players on the Force, learning to adapt to a very geologically diverse yet familiar roster.

“It’s awesome, ya know, we got a great group of guys from all over, we all come together, we’re all - we come together and we’re a great team,” Bentz said.

“I think that’s the beauty of coaching at this level, is, number one, you’re working with a lot of people that’re living away from home for the first time, right, and they’re going through a lot of new experiences and new challenges. And I think they all really feel at home, and they feel like they’re cared for, and they’re supported from their housing families, to their teammates, to the front office, to the coaching staff, to the community, really. And I think it’s a really good environment for players to feel comfortable and have a really good hockey and life experience.”

Bentz is one of only six players uncommitted as he continues his journey to be the next Division I Spud.