From college to the NHL

 

By Kevin Kurtt
Let’s Play Hockey Editor

If you’ve watched nearly any NCAA sporting event on television in the past several years, you’ve seen the ad. You may even be able to recite the tagline: “There are 380,000 NCAA student-athletes, and just about all of them will be going pro in something other than sports.” It’s a noble campaign directed at educating the masses that most athletes in college will see their athletic careers come to an end at graduation. In the world of NCAA hockey, the vast majority of players on the 59 Division I and 79 Division II/III men’s teams will not make the jump to the NHL, AHL, ECHL or any other of the various professional hockey leagues around the world. But for a select few, college hockey is merely a steppingstone to the bright lights of the National Hockey League.

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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

Who is your favorite NHL play-by-play announcer?

Doc Emrick - 50.3%
Dave Strader - 3.3%
Anthony LaPanta - 10.5%
Bob Kurtz - 15.4%
Kenny Albert - 2.3%
John Forslund - 1.3%
Pat Foley - 7.5%
Other - 9.5%
The voting for this poll has ended on: 27 Mar 2015 - 17:35
 
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