Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have a history of moving players onto collegiate and professional leagues around the world. This season alone we have seen 6 players sign professional contracts once their college season ended, bringing the total count of alumni currently playing professionally to 32. We also had 39 alumni on NCAA Division I rosters and 36 on Division III rosters. Here is a recap of just a few of our alumni.
We will begin this week’s alumni report with news on players turning pro. Josh Lammon began his professional career with the Florida Everblades this past weekend. Lammon recently concluded a four-year career with Mercyhurst University, where he played 144 career games and tabbed 74 points (35g-39a). The Jackson, Michigan, native missed only six games in his NCAA Division I career with the Lakers and played in every game over his final two seasons. He helped guide Mercyhurst to the Atlantic Hockey Association regular-season championship in his junior season in 2017-18. Since joining the Everblades, Lammon has appeared in 3 games and notched his first career professional point, an assist.
Not to be outdone by his alumni counterpart, Max Kalter joined the professional ranks when he signed with the Kansas City Mavericks this past weekend. Kalter joins the Mavericks who are affiliated with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Kalter ended his UConn career having played in 135 career games with 19 goals and 41 assists. Much like Lammon, Kalter scored his first professional point (an assist) and has appeared in 2 games for the Mavericks.
Forwards get all the glory, but defenseman need the spotlight from time to time as well. Alex Jaeckle signed a professional contract with the Norfolk Admirals this past week, the defenseman from Canisius College has played in two games for the Admirals and has yet to record a point. A native of St. Clair Shores, Mich., Jaeckle appeared in 113 games during his four-year career with the Golden Griffins, recording six goals and 22 assists for 28 points.
We switch from college careers ending, to college careers still rising. Dryden McKay earned the WCHA Goaltender of the Week award after he went 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals against average and a .981 save percentage as Minnesota State swept its WCHA Semifinal series vs. No. 20 Lake Superior State. McKay stopped 51-of-52 shots and helped keep the visiting Lakers off the scoreboard in all eight power play situations for the weekend. He had 20 saves in Friday’s 2-1 victory, and put up 31 saves in Saturday’s series-clinching 2-0 win. For the year, the Downers Grove, Ill., native’s record stands at 23-6-2 with a 1.65 GAA, .932 sv% and 4 shutouts. This is McKay’s fourth Goaltender of the Week award in 2018-19. He also earned Rookie of the Week honors on Oct. 15.
Sam Craggs had an eventful last few days both on and off the ice. On Saturday night Craggs scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to give Bowling Green a series sweep of Northern Michigan and propel the Falcons into the WCHA Tournament Finals. The goal gives the sophomore from Elmhurst, IL 8 goals on the season and 11 in his NCAA career. But that wasn’t the end to Craggs accomplishments this week. Craggs was listed as one of 84 athletes to receive the WCHA Scholar Athlete Award. To be eligible for the award the student must have a 3.5 GPA and have completed one year of residency at their current institution.
While Devin Cooley, Erich Fear, and Les Lancaster didn’t score in overtime, they did help the University of Denver advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in other ways. Cooley has a 10-6-2 record this season for the Pioneers with a 1.89 GAA, a .933 SV%, and 4 shutouts despite missing a substantial amount of time to injury. Fear has played in 33 games this season and has 1 goal, 1 assist, and is a +2. Lancaster, who transferred from Mercyhurst, has played in 32 games and has 4 goals, 4 assists, and is a +3.
We wrap up our alumni report with hockey in the northeast. Patrick Curry had a goal in Boston University’s 3-0 victory over UMass-Lowell, a goal and an assist in their 6-4 loss on Saturday, and an assist in the series clinching 4-1 win on Sunday. The Terriers will now face off against the #3 seed Northeastern this Friday. The winner of that game will face the winner of Boston College vs. Massachusetts for the Hockey East championship game on Saturday. Curry is in his junior season at Boston University and has 13 goals and 12 assists in 37 games played.