Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have been a mainstay in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the last 26 seasons, and will look to continue their success in moving players on to NCAA and professional hockey here in our 27th season. With over 350+ alumni having played in the NCAA and over 140+ players seeing time in professional hockey, our weekly Alumni Report has a lot of ground to cover.
Here is our first rundown of where our Alumni are at, and who is making waves early in the 2019-20 season.
We start by taking a look at the Air Force Academy and specifically Trevor Stone and Brady Tomlak. Each player is entering their senior season for the Falcons, and it was announced yesterday that they will both serve as Assistant Captains this season.
Stone, a native of Pleasant Plains, IL, currently has 36 career points in 99 games played for Air Force including 9 goals and 2 assists last season. Tomlak, who hails from Oakland, MI, currently has 53 points in 109 games with 8 goals and 10 assists last season. Stone, Tomlak, and the Air Force Falcons will start their season on October 6th against Trinity Western University.
From the confines of the Air Force Academy, we shift our attention to Europe for our next pair of alumni. Michael Davies, who played for the Jr. Blues during the 2004-05 season, is continuing his professional career this year by playing for the Sheffield Steelers of the EIHL. So far in the 2019-20 season Davies has 1 goal and 2 assists in 3 games played. Davies has spent time playing in the ECHL, AHL, DEL (Germany), and EBEL (Austria) in his professional career.
Max Kalter finished up his tenure at the University of Connecticut last spring before joining the Kansas City Mavericks at the end of the ECHL season. This year Kalter has signed on to play for Cergy in the France2 Hockey League. In 2 games played, Max has 1 goal and 1 assist. Kalter played parts of two seasons with the Jr. Blues and one season with the Sioux City Musketeers before attending UCONN.
Our final highlight this week will be on sophomore goaltender Dryden McKay, whose breakout freshman campaign turned heads around the NCAA. McKay went 24-7-2 for the Minnesota State Mavericks last season with a 1.76 GAA and .927 SV%, good enough to earn him a place on the Preseason All-WCHA Team in both the coaches and media polls. Last season McKay earned CHN’s National Rookie of the Year Award, as well as being named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team and the All-WCHA Second Team. He earned Goaltender of the Week recognition five times, Rookie of the Week once, and Goaltender of the Month once.
In addition to these players that we have highlighted, here are a few others to keep an eye on:
- Tommy Nappier: Ohio State; 2018-19 BIG Ten Goaltender of the Year
- Radim Matus: Orli Znojmo (EBEL); 3 GP, 2 A
- Fabio Hollenstein: HC Thurgau (NBL); 5 GP, 1 G, 14 PIM
- Patrick Smyth: Will be attending West Point and playing for the Army Black Knights.
- Casey Dion: Will play for the Peoria Rivermen of the SPHL.
- Nikolai Knyzhov: Signed contract with SJ Sharks, will play for San Jose Barracudas (AHL)