Hershey Bears Sign College Free Agent Will Graber

Photo: Dartmouth College

The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed defenseman Will Graber to an American Hockey League contract for the 2020-21 season.


Graber, 24, joins the Chocolate and White from Dartmouth College. In his senior year in 2019-20, the Colorado native finished second on the team in points (27) and goals (11), while ranking third in assists (16). A versatile player, Graber played both forward and defense for the Big Green, tying for the team lead in game-winning goals (3), while also ranking third on the club in blocked shots with 44.

N Over his four seasons at Dartmouth, Graber had 97 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in 123 games. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound skater was selected to the 2017-18 All-Ivy League Second Team after a 26-point campaign that year. He collected 25 or more points for the Big Green in three consecutive seasons.

Prior to his time at Dartmouth, Graber played junior hockey with the Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), as well as the Sioux Falls Stampede, Muskegon Lumberjacks, and Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League (USHL). In 134 USHL games, Graber collected 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists). In Sioux Falls, he was teammates with defenseman Tyler Nanne, who the Bears signed to an AHL contract on Monday.


When he first stepped onto the ice at Dartmouth College one aspect of his game was particularly evident to head coach Bob Gaudet ’81.

β€œHe’s incredibly competitive,” Gaudet said. β€œI saw that day one on the ice with him as a freshman.”

Graber said that his competitive drive helped him adapt to an unfamiliar position when, in his freshman season, he was moved from center to defense.

When asked about Graber’s strengths on the ice, Gaudet cited his versatility as a player.

β€œSomeone who can play forward and defense is really rare in this game,” Gaudet said. β€œHe was able to transition from position to position pretty seamlessly through the year, from the weekend before playing center for us to the next weekend playing defense, so I think we’ll really miss his skill level and his versatility as a player.”

β€œHe’s an extremely bright kid,” Gaudet said. β€œTo be able to go through that course load, play Division I hockey and be as versatile as he was and adaptable to play different positions, is difficult and he managed it really well.”


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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