BISMARCK, N.D.–The Bismarck Bobcats, proud member of the North American Hockey League, have signed Brendan Bottem to a tender agreement for the 2023-24 season.
Bottem already has junior experience under his belt. The 2003-born forward played in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for the Niverville Nighthawks this past season. Bottem finished second on the team in scoring with 51 points in 57 games.
“Brendan is coming off a fantastic rookie season in junior hockey, with close to a point per game in a good league,” assistant general manager Niko Kapetanovic said. “Since we will lose some veteran pieces up front, we expect Brendan to be able to come in and replace what guys like Hanson, Holt, and Jantunen did for us in point production.”
The native of Thief River Falls, Minn. put together an excellent senior season at the high school level as well. In 2021-22, Bottem scored 28 goals and 51 points in just 28 games.
Bismarck is losing seven players due to age, six of them forwards, all of whom had played at least two seasons of junior hockey. While most tender signings across the NAHL are from would-be rookies, the Bobcats are hoping Bottem’s veteran presence can give them a push towards a championship.
“Bottem is a big forward who skates well and has a great skill set to match his compete level,” Kapetanovic said. “We could not be more excited to make him a Bobcat. He is a great piece to the puzzle to get us back into playoffs.”
A tender agreement is a contract giving a North American Hockey League team the rights to a player for the upcoming season. If a tendered player decides to join the NAHL, he would join the Bobcats. Tendered players who were rookies on the 2022-23 team include Julian Beaumont, Ian Engel, Nick Baer, and Kade Kohanski.