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Brian Murray wants the Sens to be tougher, so how can you go wrong with a kid with a moniker straight out of a B-movie slasher flick?

In the fourth round of the '07 Entry Draft, newly minted GM Bryan Murray and his think tank took Ben Blood -- a 6'3", 212 lb. left-handed defenseman originally from Shattuck St. Mary's, however, Blood was recruited by the University of North Dakota late last year. The blueliner could join the Fighting Sioux as early as September, which means he would be playing alongside '05 first round pick Brian Lee (assuming Lee stays in school).

Brian Lee has been knocked in the past for his soft play, but it doesn't look like that will be an issue for Blood -- he comes with a physical game and an offensive presence. Ben played in 63 games in 2006-07 for Shattuck St. Mary's, finishing with 36 points (11 G, 23 A) and 144 PIM (he had only 32 in 2005-'06).

We're pretty into this kid, and his name alone caused The Driver to request a Ben Blood Senators jersey for Christmas this year. Goon's World, a UND-based blog, has always been one of our favourite haunts for Fighting Sioux news. They found a great interview detailing the recruitment of Blood to UND, as well as some valuable information on the Senators' prospect. Unfortunately, the piece doesn't have a byline, so we're forced to give credit to Umdpenaltybox.com. You can read the interview below in its entirety.


Say this for North Dakota: It doesn't rest on its laurels.

Yes it has, arguably, the most stunning building in all of college hockey. Yes it has a tremendous winning tradition, and yes, it sends many top talents to the NHL.

But ask 17 year-old Shattuck St. Mary's senior defenseman Ben Blood, and he'll tell you the Fighting Sioux just don't open their doors and expect young recruits to simply say yes.

"When I took my official visit last weekend, my family and I were just blown away over how prepared they were," explains Blood, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota. "They really put effort into it. Not that the other schools I was considering didn't, but when I was there (in Grand Forks), they had an itinerary all mapped out for me. I had a pre-game meal with the players, watched video, and met with the assistant coaches several times. They really kept the focus on me," adds Blood. "Then I had breakfast with all the coaches, (including head coach Dave Hakstol), and that's when they made me an offer."

Offer made, offer accepted. Blood will join the Fighting Sioux next September, or no later than the fall after that.

"They sold me, and that's why I'm going there," says Blood, who shoots left, and stands at 6-2 and 212 pounds.

"But even more than that, the guys are just tremendous there. They all have great character, and you see all the players that came before me, (Zach) Parise, (Drew) Stafford and alike. I knew I wanted to be a part of it, and perhaps one day become one of their players who make it to the NHL."

Though highly ranked on many scouting lists--he's an A prospect per NHL Central Scouting, and 128th overall by Red Line Report-- Blood says he's keeping his focus on self improvement, and moreover, the team.

"Team is what we're taught more than anything else at Shattuck, and most of that goes to coach (Tom) Ward," says Blood. "Being here has helped me mature, become more of a man, and taught me the importance of being a team player."

Blood is in his third season at Shattuck. Two years ago, a broken left leg limited him to about 30 games in his first season.

"That was one of the hardest times of my life," Blood admits, "I couldn't do anything for almost four months, but I was determined to come back as best as I could."

He has.

An offensive minded and physical type, Blood has seven goals, 14 points and 70 PIMs in 21 games thus far this year.

"I think I'm a physical player, a decent skater with a better than average shot," says Blood in self-assessment, "what I really need to work on is my foot speed."

While at summer hockey camp, Blood worked almost three hours a day on shooting. That type of effort, be it in season or off-season, is evenly matched by what he's done in school. A 3.4 GPA student, Blood's learned that success in the classroom usually translates into success on the ice.

"Coach Ward always says he can tell which guys are struggling academically by how they play and how they practice," Blood explains. "If things aren't going well off the ice, that can easily reflect on what happens once you get to the rink."

What parent wouldn't be proud of that!

"It isn't cheap, but sending him to Shattuck was the best thing we could have done," beams Mike Blood, Ben's father. "It's been an excellent experience for him, and for us. Shattuck's challenged him academically, he's made great friendships, and the hockey atmosphere is second to none."

Aside from Ben, the middle child, Mike and Carol Blood also have two daughters, one of whom, Erin, is a junior blueliner at Boston College. Last Saturday, Erin scored the game winning goal in a 5-4 holiday tournament victory over Wayne State.

"I've always been proud and looked up to her," says brother Ben. "When she committed to Boston College, I thought, that's just what I want to do, play college hockey."

Blood also considered schools like Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud. As for North Dakota, if he doesn't join the Sioux next fall, he'll likely play a year in Des Moines, which holds his USHL rights.

"Everyone's told me not to worry about it and just focus on the team," says Blood. "If it's next year, fine, but if not, that's ok too. All I have to do is keep working hard, and things I'm sure will work out."