Ogden Mustangs second-year forward Kerry Kruzel has decided to forgo his final season of junior hockey eligibility and has committed to Buffalo State College for the 2019-20 season.

“I’m very excited to continue my athletic and academic career,” Kruzel said. “I just felt like I had an opportunity unlike most to go to college a year early. It wasn’t an easy decision. I love Ogden and everybody here, but I just felt that I was ready to compete at the next level, so might as well go a year early.”

Kruzel joins current Mustang teammate John Shively who has also committed to Buffalo State for next season as well. But the decision to head to Buffalo was about much more than joining a teammate. Kruzel grew up attending Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills games each year with his father.

“Buffalo, as a city, has sentimental value to me,” Kruzel said. “So it was really special to have this opportunity to play there.”

Kruzel has had a solid second season for the Mustangs, racking up 25 goals and 38 assists, more than doubling his point total from last season.

Buffalo State is located in Buffalo, New York and competes in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) of the NCAA. Kruzel and Shively are the first Mustangs to head to Buffalo State.

The Mustangs continue to lead the WSHL in NCAA placement. They’ve had the highest NCAA placement rate in the Western States Hockey League over the past seven seasons, since joining the league.

Kruzel is the fifth player from this season’s team with an NCAA commitment, joining Rhett Rampinelli (Wentworth), John Shively (Buffalo State), Ian Currie (St. Mary’s) and Owen Zdunski (SUNY Cortland). The Mustangs had five NCAA commitments last season, including Matus Spodniak who went to NCAA DI American International College.