Student-Athlete of the Month: Ludvig Hoff

First-ever Norwegian to suit up for UND excels on ice and in classroom as graphic design technology student

Ludvig Hoff

UND sophomore hockey standout Ludvig Hoff excels on the ice and in the classroom as the Norway native continues to adjust to life in a new country. Photo by Connor Murphy/UND Today.

UND Hockey’s Ludvig Hoff made a transition to small-town living when he left his hometown of Oslo, Norway.

He first came to the United States in 2015 to play for the Lincoln Stars, a team in the United States Hockey League — the top junior league in the country. Lincoln’s not tiny by any measure, with a metro population of 280,000 people. But compared to the 1.7 million who live in his native Oslo, the Nebraska capital certainly exhibited a small-town vibe for Hoff.

Now in Grand Forks, roughly 53,000 people, Hoff is embracing all that his new home has to offer.

“The people I’ve met, teammates and classmates, are all really nice,” said Hoff, the first Norwegian hockey player ever to suit up for UND. “They’ve helped my transition in moving from Norway. Coaches and teachers too, all have been helpful.”

It took him a single visit to the University to know it was the next step in his career.

“They brought me to Grand Forks and I absolutely fell in love with it,” said Hoff, a sophomore forward for the Fighting Hawks. “Everything was great. Getting to see the Ralph in person and meeting with the coaching staff made coming here an easy choice.”

His debut last season put him among the top freshmen in UND’s lineup. With 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists), he was ranked 11th among National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) freshmen. This season, he carries 4 points in 10 games.

Hoff and his fellow Fighting Hawks, ranked  No. 6 nationally, will face off at home this weekend against NCHC foe Western Michigan, ranked 10th in the nation, at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Games are Friday (7:37 p.m.) and Saturday ( 7:07 p.m.).

Ludvig Hoff

UND forward Ludvig Hoff moves the puck up the ice during a recent game against longtime rivals, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Image courtesy of UND Athletics.

Keeping pace

He’s excelled outside of the arena in the classroom, too. In 2016-17, Hoff was named to the NCHC’s Academic All-Conference Team and its Scholar-Athlete Team.

Hoff majors in graphic design technology. His interest in creatively using computer applications made the course offerings stand out when looking for a program.

“In my courses I’m often working with computers in video production, editing pictures, creating posters and it’s always something I liked doing,” Hoff says. So far, his favorite experience has been “Introduction to Design” — where working at his own pace, on his own project, he learned more about using Photoshop software.

Between the ice and the classroom, it’s a tight schedule.

He gets up at 7, makes breakfast, and heads to campus for an 8 a.m. class. After a morning of courses, it’s straight to the rink for practice, then a workout. After a meal, it’s night class with teammate Austin Poganski.

Hoff maintains a no-complaints attitude when it comes balancing student-athlete life.

“I don’t think about it as being hard,” he said. “Getting to the rink is something I want to do… and school is a part of that, and getting good grades keeps me motivated to do well.

“We get a lot of help at the Hyslop Sports Center (home to UND’s Athletics Academic Services). If you have a problem, they’re always there to help.”

Ludvig Hoff

Hoff, a graphic design technology major and the first Norwegian ever to suit up for UND Hockey, was named to the NCHC’s Academic All-Conference Team and its Scholar-Athlete Team in 2016-17. Photo by Connor Murphy.

Puck dreams

Another key for Hoff is organization, knowing what to do when, and thinking ahead is a must with a travel schedule like the hockey team.

As for his future, Hoff is focused but knows he won’t be skating forever.

“Of course the dream is to play professionally,” he said. “UND is a great start on that career, whether it continues in the U.S. or somewhere in Europe. But I also want to get a degree and have that background for the future.”