NAHL Alumni Update
September 14, 2017
The NAHL alumni report is a weekly segment on nahl.com, where we look into former NAHL players doing great things in the NCAA, NHL and beyond. While the NCAA or NHL season hasn’t started yet, there is alumni news this week, so let’s take a look.
The College Hockey News came out with their list of top NCAA undrafted free agents and three former NAHL players were on the list:
Daniel Brickley, Jr., D, Minnesota State — A native of Sandy, Utah, Brickley returned to school to finish his degree, which he will do in just three years. The reigning WCHA Player of the Year will garner a ton of interest because of his size and offensive ability from the blue line. Brickley is still maturing in his own zone, but because he hasn’t reached his ceiling, NHL organizations will covet him that much more. Brickley has the agility to sidestep forecheckers on the breakout, despite not having the best speed. As a sophomore, Brickley had eight goals and 23 assists for 31 points. He led all WCHA defensemen in assists and points while tying for the league lead in assists among all players. Brickley made the 2015-16 WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman. In addition to being named a West Second Team All-American, Brickley competed for USA Hockey at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Brickley attended NHL Development Camps with the Buffalo Sabres in 2016 and the New York Rangers in 2015. Prior to matriculating to Mankato, Brickley spent a year in the NAHL with the Topeka RoadRunners. He is also an alumni of the NAPHL, having played the 2012-13 season with the Utah Regulators. His uncle is Andy Brickley, who played 385 NHL games, mostly with the Boston Bruins, the organization he now serves as television color commentator.
Sebastian Vidmar, Jr., LW, Union — Vidmar was sometimes lost in the hoopla surrounding linemates and fellow free agents Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo last season. This year, he’ll have to find new linemates, but he brings a lot to the table in his own right. Vidmar doesn’t have an elite offensive skill set, but his size affords him the ability to play well below the dots, win net front battles, and protect the puck from opposing defenders. His skating isn’t bad, but it’s an area of his game that could continue to improve. Vidmar attended the Calgary Flames’ NHL Development Camp over the summer. Look for the Malmo, Sweden, native to get serious offers following the completion of the Dutchmen’s season. Vidmar played two seasons in the NAHL for the Lone Star Brahmas from 2013-15 and was named the NAHL Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year in 2014-15.
Grant Hutton, Jr., D, Miami — The Carmel, Ind., native has flown a little under the radar, but that won’t be the case this winter after attending NHL Development Camps this past summer with both the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs. Hutton is another big, strong, mobile two-way defender. He makes a good breakout pass and has a good shot from the point. Hutton racked up nine goals and nine assists last season while being the only Red Hawk to not have a negative plus/minus. Hutton, who played three seasons of junior hockey in the NAHL for the Janesville Jets and Corpus Christi IceRays from 2012-15, will serve as an alternate captain for the RedHawks for a second straight season. He is also an alumni of the NAPHL, having played the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons in the league for the Indiana Jr. Ice.
Former NAHL and Johnstown Tomahawks forward Filips Buncis is ready for his shot in the NCAA with Arizona State (read)
Former NAHL defenseman Tucker Poolman has gone from playing in the NAHL to having his chance this season with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets (read)