Rentmeester, Budinger Heading to Junior Hockey


Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

As seniors begin to make their plans for next year, two NDA hockey players, Callan Budinger and Isaac Rentmeester, will be heading to the next level of their careers: junior hockey. 

Junior hockey is the usual step between high school and college hockey, where young players will show their talents while maintaining their amateur status to hopefully continue in the NCAA. 

Budinger spent this last month playing for the NAHL’s Jamestown Rebels in New York for their playoff push, playing in seven games. While he is not officially signed to a team for next season, he says there are many teams with interest in him. 

“It has been an exciting process because I am able to learn about many different programs and see which one best fits me,” he explained.

As for Rentmeester, he is currently signed to the Niverville Nighthawks, based in Manitoba, Canada, in the MJHL. Niverville is 35 minutes south of Winnipeg.

However, that may not be his final location next season.

“Junior hockey is different in the way I have signed with a team in the MJHL but that doesn’t stop me from playing somewhere else next year if the opportunity of a better team in a better league comes to ask me to play,” Rentmeester said.

While living in these different cities, players live with billet families that help provide players with housing and support while they are in town.

“Many people become close with the families they live with because they act as a second mother and father,” Rentmeester said of the tradition.

Budinger also lived with a billet family during his time in New York.

“They try to make it feel like home as much as possible,” he said. ”For example, we always had family dinners together, we went to many family gatherings and we did much more.”

Both Budinger and Rentmeester were major contributors to Notre Dame hockey during their high school careers and had high praise for what they gained from their time as Tritons.

“Notre Dame has taught me the many steps that are required for the next level,” Budinger said. ”There is a lot more than just going through the motions and relying on natural talent to get you places.”

“Coming into NDA I would’ve never considered myself a leader but leaving I now have the knowledge of leadership skills that I will take with me anywhere I go,” Rentmeester said. ”Being with the right people everyday and the culture NDA has had the day I got here has shaped me into the person I am today.”