Made in the NAHL

Last season, the North American Hockey League had a record 259 NCAA commitments. The 41st NAHL season begins next week at the NAHL Showcase Tournament in Blaine, Minn.

 

By Alex Kyrias

 

Fittingly, on the week leading up to the 14th annual NAHL Showcase, when so many players are beginning the first step of their hockey dreams, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and its teams did it again… and this time in even more impressive fashion. For the fifth time in as many years, the NAHL has set a new record for NCAA commitments in one season, further reemphasizing that more and more NCAA players are being made in the NAHL.

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Former Wild goalie Carruth signs with Blackhawks

Former Wenatchee Wild, NAHL and current Portland Winterhawks goaltender Mac Carruth has signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. He was drafted by Chicago in the seventh round, 191st overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, following his final season in the NAHL.

Carruth, a native of Shorewood, Minn., will be entering his 20-year-old season in 2012-13, meaning he could play for Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, or come back to Portland for his final season of junior eligibility.

Carruth played two full seasons in the NAHL for the Wenatchee Wild.  He began his junior career as a 16-year-old in the NAHL during the 2008-09 season, in which he appeared in 26 games, posting a 18-7-1 record, a 3.04 goals against average and a 90.4% save percentage.  The next season, Carruth appeared in 16 games before moving onto Portland in the Western Hockey League.

Carruth has played 137 regular season games in three seasons in Portland, compiling a record of 87-39-3-1, with four shutouts, a goals against average of 3.08 and .905 save percentage. His 42 wins in 2011-12 set a new single-season franchise record, and his 87 career wins are second in franchise history.

He’s also backstopped the Winterhawks to two straight Western Conference championships, and in three seasons has posted a record of 33-19 in the playoffs, with three shutouts, a goals against average of 3.10 and 91.4% save percentage. He holds franchise records in playoff wins (33), games (54), saves (1744) and minutes (3193), while his three shutouts are tied with Lanny Ramage for the lead in that category.

“Mac has been one of our most valuable players since he joined us in 2009,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “We’d love to have Mac back with us for one more season, but if the Blackhawks assign him to the AHL, then we wish him the best as he pursues a pro career.”



Question of the Week

What state/province/region would prevail in a North American Cup of Hockey?


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