Former UMD Forward, Cloquet Native Koby Bender Talks Moving On to the Pros

Former UMD men's hockey forward Koby Bender signed a tryout contract with the Bridgeport Islanders of the AHL.

BRIDGEPORT, Mass. – Former UMD men’s hockey forward Koby Bender signed a tryout contract with the Bridgeport Islanders of the AHL. The Cloquet native says he asked many of his teammates for advice, including what it’s like to live like a professional athlete.

“Going from college and living with roommates and all that stuff for the past five years. I mean obviously that was a really, really fun time in my life. So, yeah, making this transition to pro hockey and kind of that being your job basically is gonna be a little different as a lifestyle, for sure,” said Bender.

Bender added that he is thankful to everyone that has helped him along the way and is excited to keep putting his hometown on the map.

“I had so many great coaches growing up through youth. I think my dad even coached me for a bit through youth so got to shout out to him. Youth hockey in Cloquet was amazing. I was fortunate to play with guys like Karson and Westin and all those guys, playing with them and just growing up in Cloquet with such great coaches like Dave Esse my high school coach was awesome and I’m grateful for it,” Bender said.

Bender wrapped up his UMD career with 22 goals and 37 assists in 127 games.

Categories: Professional Sports, Sports, University of Minnesota – Duluth