Earlier this month St. Cloud had two players sign tenders to play for the Norsemen next season: Wes Berg and Tyler Geyer.
A tender is an agreement signed between a prospective player and a team that states if the player is going to play in the NAHL the following season it will be for that organization. It does not prevent the player from playing in a different league if they so choose, but it does prevent them from playing for another NAHL organization unless their rights were to be traded. In essence it allows a prospective player to go to an organization they want to play for and not risk their rights going to any team in the NAHL draft. The tender process has worked for the Norsemen this season as last season they tendered Hogan Sinjem, a winger who had a 4-point night Saturday in Bismarck, and Evan Pahos, who has appeared in every Norsemen regular season game and has been a flexible asset, primarily playing defense but playing right wing as of late.
Wes Berg is a left-shot forward and an ‘05 birth year. Although born in Fort Myers, FL West considers Minneapolis, MN home. He is the son of Reggie Berg who hails from Anoka, MN and played four years at the University of Minnesota before he had a seven year professional hockey career, primarily with the Florida Everblades where he was a five year captain. Wes last season had a monster junior year for Gentry Academy in St. Paul, MN putting up 29-19-48 in 27 regular season games, second on the team in scoring behind only Seattle Kraken draft pick Barrett Hall. This year, his second season for Team TDS Transportation, Berg put up 15-6-21 in 20 GP in the Elite League.
St. Cloud Norsemen Head Coach Corey Millen said he had familiarity with Berg because Reggie, like Millen, played at the University of Minnesota. “He’s been a kid who’s done a really good job of growing his game and coming along so we’re excited,” Millen says about Wes signing the tender. “He’s a player that plays the game the right way; he’s intelligent, plays hard, has a knack for scoring, so he’s a guy that we’ve certainly been watching for a while and are excited that we got to tender him.”
The admiration goes both ways between Berg and Millen. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to play for the Norsemen and learn from Coach Millen” admits Berg. “He had an incredible career as a player and the experience he will be able to share is something you cannot get from many people.”
Tyler Geyer is also an ‘05 birth year who played his junior season last year for Gentry Academy but unlike Berg he is a right-handed shot and a defenseman. At 5’11, 165 lbs the 17-year old Blaine, MN native has got a frame that’s got room to grow and he takes care of the puck at both ends of the ice, putting up 2-12-14 in 27 GP for Gentry last season and 4-6-10 for 20 games with Team SIT Financial Services in the Elite League this year.
Millen notes that while both tenders were together at Gentry Academy last season, it was more of a happy coincidence because the players came from different paths but neither one was “accidentally” discovered while the Norsemen were scouting the other. “Tyler came to our main camp this past year and that was the first time I had gotten really substantial eyes on him and I was very impressed,” admits Millen. “Very solid two-way defenseman, plays the game the right way, defends hard, has an edge, has an offensive ability. He’s solid; just a really good performer. We’re really excited to get him obviously.”
“Signing a tender to St. Cloud is a dream come true. I always wanted to play hockey after high school and now I have the opportunity to. I wanted to be with the best organization possible and St. Cloud is definitely the spot for me,” beams Geyer. “Great coaching staff, great facilities, and a great atmosphere. As a Minnesota native it will be a really cool experience to play close to home as well.”
Geyer knows that many hockey players can struggle to get to where they want to be and has a few pieces of advice for young hockey players out there aspiring to reach their goals. Don’t let other people’s thoughts determine your mindset, just keep moving forward no matter who’s against you or in your way,” Geyer advises. “Another thing I tell myself everyday: Just be better than the day before. With that, success will come, just be patient and trust the process.”
Since both players are 2005 birth years they will have three years of eligibility left when they get to St. Cloud next season. All NAHL franchises are permitted up to ten tenders to be signed throughout the season, which means the organization still have plenty at their disposal and we’ll keep Norsemen Nation up to date if any other tenders are signed.