Jr. Blues Alumni Report – Jan. 22nd, 2020

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues currently have nearly 175 alumni actively playing across juniors, college, and professional hockey. From the USHL to the AHL and everywhere in between, we have quite a bit to cover this morning. Here is this week’s Alumni Report!

To begin this week, we want to address something we missed in last week’s report – goaltender Tyler Parks picked up his first AHL victory on Saturday January 11th for the Tucson Roadrunners. In his 2nd AHL appearance the Imperial, MO native turned aside 31 of 33 shots against the Colorado Eagles in a 4-2 victory. Since turning professional out of Adrian College in 2015-16, Parks has played for 9 professional teams in 3 different leagues and has amassed 37 professional wins. He is currently on loan to Tucson from the Rapid City Rush (ECHL). 

In other AHL firsts, defensemen Les Lancaster and Nikolai Knyzhov each picked up their first AHL assist this past week. Lancaster, who is in his second stint in the AHL this season, picked up an assist on Thursday for the San Antonio Rampage in their 4-3 victory over the Toronto Marlies. The Ipsilanti, MI native then appeared in Saturday’s contest against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before playing for the Allen Americans (ECHL) on Monday and recording an assist in a 8-0 victory over the Missouri Mavericks. 

Knyzhov, who has appeared in 20 games for the San Jose Barracudas this season, recorded an assist in a 3-1 victory over the Iowa Wild on Friday night. The 6’3” 205 lbs. native of Kemerovo, Russia is in his first professional season in North America after splitting last season between the VHL and KHL for SKA-St. Petersburg where he had 1 goal and 4 assists in 49 games. He signed an entry level contract with the San Jose Sharks in the summer and was assigned to the Barracudas. 

Sticking in professional hockey, forward Josh Lammon put up four points for the Allen Americans in back-to-back victories over the Missouri Mavericks. On Saturday, the Jackson, MI native recorded a goal and assist in the Americans 8-2 victory, and then followed that performance up with another goal and assist in Monday’s 8-0 victory. The 6’0” 190 lbs. forward now has registered 4 goals and 10 assists in 36 games played for the Americans. 

Switching focus to the collegiate level we look at goaltender Dryden McKay who led the Minnesota-State Mavericks to a weekend sweep over Bowling Green. On Friday the Downers Grove, IL native stopped 23 of 26 shots in a 6-3 victory and then turned aside 21 of 23 shots on Saturday in a 3-2 win. McKay’s stat line now improves to 21-2-1 with a 1.25 GAA, .946%, and 7 shutouts – all of which lead the nation. The sophomore netminder was recently named as a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the best NCAA player in the nation, alongside fellow Jr. Blues alums Tommy Nappier and Stefanos Lekkas. You can vote for McKay, Nappier, or Lekkas here; voting runs up until the end of the first round on March 9th. 

From Division1 to Division3, we look to the Northeast Hockey Conference’ Player of the Week: Hobart College forward Zach Tyson. Tyson, a native of Dublin, OH, scored four goals over the weekend as Hobart went 1-0-1 over the weekend. In Friday’s 4-4 tie with Suffolk, Tyson scored twice in the 2nd period, and on Saturday he scored two more goals in a 10-3 victory over Johnson & Wales. The 5’9” 154 lbs. forward now has 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 13 appearances. Last season as a freshman Tyson appeared in 31 games and scored 7 goals while adding 20 assists. 

Our final spotlight this week is on Muskegon Lumberjack netminder Jack Williams. Williams, a Michigan State University commit, led the Lumberjacks to a weekend sweep of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Williams stopped 26 of 28 in regulation on Friday before turning away five of six in the shootout to pick up the win, 3-2. In Saturday’s series finale the 6’4” 180 lbs. native of St. Louis, MO stopped 22 of 24 in another 3-2 victory. In 17 appearances this season Williams has a stat line of 9-4-2, 2.93 GAA, and .901 SV%. He is 10th in the USHL in GAA and SV% and is tied for 8th in wins. 

Jr. Blues Highlights: