Tag Archives: Max Kalter

Jr. Blues Alumni Report – March 19th, 2019

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.

Jr. Blues Alumni Report – March 13th, 2019

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud of the accomplishments that our alumni have made this season. With many seasons having already ended, or will be ending soon, we take a look at the performances of this past week from the NCAA and beyond.

We begin this week’s alumni rundown with our eyes set on the ECHL. Ross Olsson signed his first professional contract last week for the Worcester Railers and made his debut this past Saturday against the Norfolk Admirals. In a 6-1 victory for the Railers, Olsson scored his first professional goal and got in his first professional fight. Olsson recently graduated from Endicott College where he put record numbers offensively. 

The NCAA is entering the final stretch as conferences are in the midst of their playoff tournaments. Continuing his superb season, Dryden McKay helped Minnesota State to a Quarterfinal sweep of Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA playoffs this past weekend. McKay earned an Honorable Mention for both the WCHA Goaltender and Rookie of the Week honors after allowing just two goals on 32 shots. McKay has a stellar 21-6-2 record with a 1.72 GAA and a .928 SV% on the season. He leads all freshman goaltenders in wins, GAA, SV%, and shutouts, and ranks 2nd among all goaltenders in GAA and 7th in SV%.  

The UCONN Huskies upset the #2 ranked Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday night, 4-3. Brian Rigali scored his 5th goal of the season and added his 6th assist in the programs first ever victory over a team ranked that high (previous highest ranked team was #3). Max Kalter would join his fellow Jr. Blues alum on the scoresheet with his 10th assist of the year in the season finale for UCONN, who did not make the playoffs.

While Stefanos Lekkas didn’t lead his team to victory in their season finale, he did lead them to a 2-2 tie against UMass-Lowell. Lekkas stopped 28 of 30 shots to earn his 3rd tie of the season, he currently holds a 12-19-3 record with a strong 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV%. The junior from Elburn, IL is ranked 5th in the nation in SV% and in the top 20 in GAA.  

Our final highlight of the weekend goes to Ryan Leibold, a freshman at Holy Cross. On Saturday, Leibold scored his 4th goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris. In 33 games this season Leibold has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Here is a recap of other alumni around the hockey world:

  • Tim Santopaolo, F: 6 G, 6 A in 14 GP (Watertown Wolves, FHL)
  • Nicholas Belger, F: 21 G, 31 A in 32 GP (Stony Brook Univ., ACHA)
  • Josh Bell, F: 19 G, 16 A in 27 GP (Missouri St., ACHA)
  • Michael Davies, F: 16 G, 14 A in 39 GP (EHC Linz, EBEL)
  • Zachary Tyson, F: 6 G, 20 A in 29 GP (Hobart College, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Lupo, F: 11 G, 13 A in 25 GP (Amherst College, NCAA DIII)
  • Luke Radetic, F: 14 G, 9 A in 26 GP (Univ. of St. Thomas, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Sardina, F: 10 G, 10 A in 28 GP (Lake Forest, NCAA DIII)

Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have advanced over 100 players onto college and professional hockey in the last 25 years. We’ve picked out a handful of alumni who have been excelling this season on and off the ice for this week’s Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown.

Dryden McKay nabbed his fourth WCHA Goaltender of the Week award after going 1-0-1 for the MSU-Mankato Mavericks against the Michigan Tech Huskies. McKay, a freshman, stopped 57 of 60 shot in two games started and ended with a .950 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average. McKay turned aside 24 shots in Friday’s contest, and an additional four shooters in the shootout victory. On Saturday the Downers Grove, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime win. He is now 17-5-2 over all with a 1.87 GAA and a .923 save percentage this season. McKay currently leads all freshmen goaltenders in minutes played (1477:55), wins, goals against average, and shutouts (3).

Stefanos Lekkas, to his own credit, has been playing equally as well for the University of Vermont Catamounts as of late. After going 1-1-0 against University of New Hampshire he was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Lekkas, who is from Elburn, IL, stopped 57 of 59 shots he faced over the weekend. He denied 26 shots in a 1-0 defeat on Friday before making 31 saves in a 4-1 victory on Saturday. On the season Lekkas is 12-14-2 with a 2.26 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

Facing off with Lekkas was a fellow Jr. Blues alum in Mike Robinson. Robinson led the UNH Wildcats to a 1-0 victory on Friday behind a 29 save shutout, his fourth of the season. In Saturday’s 4-1 defeat Robinson turned aside 37 of 41 shots. In 25 games played this season he is 10-8-7 with a 2.25 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Not to be outdone or forgotten, Tommy Nappier is continuing to win for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The St. Louis, MO native is 11-1-2 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save percentage for the #2 team in the nation. Over the weekend Nappier kept 29 of 30 shots out of the net in a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.

McKay, Lekkas, Robinson, Nappier, and Devin Cooley have not only been topping our alumni list each week, but they’ve also been ranking at the top or near the top of statistical categories for all goalies in the NCAA. Nappier has the highest winning percentage in Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey (.857), while McKay sits at sixth (.750) and Cooley is 15h (.654).

All five are in the top 20 for goal against average: Nappier is second (1.60), McKay is seventh (1.87), Cooley is 14th (2.08), Robinson is 19th (2.25), and Lekkas is 20th (2.26). Nappier is also second in the nation in save percentage (.946), while Lekkas is fifth (.931), Cooley is 8th (.929), McKay is 15th (.923), and Robinson is 16th (.923).

Here is a quick recap of a few more of our alumni:

  • Max Kalter had 2 assists for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 6 goals and 7 assists in 28 games played.
  • Brian Rigali had 1 goal and 1 assist for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 4 goals and 5 assists in 23 games played.
  • T.J. Friedmann scored his first NCAA goal for Quinnipiac on Feb. 2nd against Clarkson University. He has four assists in 23 games as well.
  • Kelly Klima has four points in his last five games (2 goals, 2 assists) and has at least one point in 13 of his 20 games played this season (8 goals, 9 assists) for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
  • Kevin Loppatto is currently on loan to IF Bjorkloven in HockeyAllsvenskan (Second League) in Sweden. He has 1 goal in three games played with the team. Loppatto had put up 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 games for Vannas HC in Sweden’s Division 1 League (Hockeyettan, Tier Three).
  • Evan Fear was traded to the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL by the Green Bay Gamblers. In 24 appearances this season, Fear is 10-9-4-0 with a 3.33 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He has three USHL Goaltender of the Week awards this season (10/22/18, 12/10/18, and 12/31/18).
  • Mike McKenna is now on his second AHL team this season (Belleville Senators, Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and his 14th AHL team overall (Norfolk, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Lowell, Albany, Binghamton, Peoria, Springfield, Syracuse, and Texas). McKenna has played in 470 AHL games and holds a career line of: 228-176-25 with 27 shutouts, a 2.71 GAA, and a .913 save percentage. He has appeared in two Calder Cup Finals (Syracuse Crunch and the Texas Stars).
  • Luke Radetic has 13 goals and 9 assists for University of St. Thomas (NCAA D3) in 23 games.
  • Bradley Marek has 6 goals and 4 assists in 41 games for the Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL).

Jr. Blues Alumni Report

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have been a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since 1993 and have had alumni play college hockey and in professional leagues around the world. Here are a few alumni performances from the past week that we have chosen to spotlight.

Three goaltenders earned player of the week honors in three different conferences. Dryden McKay (Minnesota State-Mankato) has continued to impress as he was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, stopped 26 of 27 shots in two wins over Alabama Huntsville this past weekend. In Saturday’s 4-0 win McKay stopped all 12 shots for his third career shutout. The Downers Grove, IL native currently has a 16-5-1 record with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 save percentage for the Mavericks.

Shifting to the east coast, Stefanos Lekkas was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after backstopping Vermont to a victory and a tie against #9 Providence. The Elburn, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-1 win on Friday, and made 46 saves in a 1-1 tie on Saturday. On the weekend Lekkas made 79 saves, posted a 0.98 GAA and a .975 save percentage. Overall Lekkas is 11-13-2 with a 2.36 GAA and a .929 save percentage for the Catamounts this season.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Tommy Nappier in our Alumni recap as well. Nappier, a sophomore at Ohio State, was named the Big Ten #3 Star of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win on Saturday against Notre Dame. Nappier turned aside all 30 shots that he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season and his 10th win of the season. With just one loss on the season, Nappier’s 1.64 GAA and .945 save percentage both rank second in the nation.

But don’t think that it’s just goalies who are making strides since leaving Springfield. Boston University forward Patrick Curry scored two goals on Friday night against #3 UMass. Curry, who is from Schaumburg, IL, is in his junior season at BU and in 25 games played this season he has 9 goals and 8 assists.

Here are more alumni who have been playing well this season:

  • Russell Jordan (F) – 4 goals, 6 assists between Pensacola and Birmingham (SPHL)
  • Sam Craggs (F) – 4 goals, 4 assists in 29 games; Bowling Green St. Univ. (NCAA)
  • Coale Norris (F) – 6 goals, 6 assists in 28 games; Ferris State (NCAA)
  • Max Kalter (F) – 6 goals, 5 assists in 26 games; Univ. of Connecticut (NCAA)
  • Kelly Klima (F) – 7 goals, 8 assists in 17 games; Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)
  • Jack Summers (D) – 7 assists, +3 in 20 games; Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)

Springfield Jr. Blues Alumni Report #6

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have over 90 alumni playing in higher junior hockey leagues, college hockey, or professional hockey. Here is a recap of some of our alumni.

Kevin Klima (2014-15) Norfolk Admirals, ECHL

Kevin Klima (Tampa, FL) played 21 games for the Springfield Jr. Blues during the 2014-15 season and went on to play three seasons in the QMJHL. In September, Klima scored his first professional goal during the NHL preseason for the Arizona Coyotes. He is currently playing for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) where he has 3 assists in 6 games. His brother, Kelly, is also on the Admirals roster.

Sam Craggs (2015-16) Bowling Green State University, NCAA

Sam Craggs (Elmhurst, IL) is currently playing for Bowling Green State University in the NCAA. In his second season at BGSU, Craggs has 2 goals and 2 assists in 11 games played. After playing for Springfield during the 2015-16 season, Craggs played in the USHL for Youngstown and Waterloo before attending BGSU.

Max Kalter (2013-14; 2014-15) University of Connecticut, NCAA

Max Kalter (Highland Park, IL) is in his senior season at the University of Connecticut and is an Assistant Captain. Kalter was also an Assistant Captain for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season before playing in the USHL for the Sioux City Musketeers in 2014-15. Through 9 games this season, Kalter has 2 goals and 1 assist.