Former NAHL goalies Vomacka, Sogaard sign NHL deals
Two former NAHL goalies signed NHL entry level contracts this past week.
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced that the team has signed former NAHL and Corpus Christi IceRays goaltender Tomas Vomacka to a two-year, entry-level contract.
Vomacka, 21 (5/2/99), closed out his junior season at the University of Connecticut by being named to the watch list for the Mike Richter Award - given annually to the top goaltender in NCAA Division I men's hockey - and by earning a spot on the Hockey East All-Star Third Team. He played in all 23 of the Huskies' games in 2020-21, suiting up for 1333:43, the fourth-most minutes played among NCAA goaltenders, while going 10-11-2 with a 2.84 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout. Vomacka faced 682 shots against this season, the most out of Hockey East goaltenders, and made 622 saves, the fourth-most nationally.
Originally drafted in the fifth round (154th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound goaltender appeared in 71 games across three seasons for UConn, posting a 32-33-5 record, 2.88 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts. Prior to a career-high 15-win sophomore campaign in 2019-20, Vomacka received Hockey East All-Rookie Team honors as a freshman in 2018-19, earning the starter role by recording a 2.32 goals-against average and .922 save percentage, which was the fourth-highest among Hockey East netminders. Vomacka played two seasons of junior hockey in the U.S. before enrolling at UConn. He was named the NAHL's South Division Goaltender of the Year in 2016-17 as a member of the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.
The Ottawa Senators have signed former NAHL and Austin Bruins goaltender Mads Sogaard to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Sogaard, 20, recently completed his first full professional season in Denmark's premier hockey league, Metal Ligaen, helping the Esbjerg Energy to within two victories of the league final. Over 16 regular-season contests, he earned a 10-5-1 record while posting team highs in save percentage (.922), which was also a league high, and in goals-against average (2.58). He also earned three wins over six post-season contests as Esbjerg advanced to the league semifinal.
"Mads' development continued to strongly progress while playing overseas in 2020-21," said Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "He's a big, athletic presence in the net and showcases a very competitive style. We're anticipating a nice transition to North America next season."
A native of Aalborg, Denmark, Sogaard spent the two previous campaigns playing major junior hockey with the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers and posted a major junior career best 21-13-2 record while earning four shutout victories over 37 games in 2019-20. His 21 victories tied for eighth among WHL goaltenders while his four shutouts saw him tie for fourth among league netminders. In registering 40 victories over two seasons with Medicine Hat, he ranks 15th among all-time Tigers goaltenders in wins, while his seven shutout victories see him tied for fourth on the franchise's all-time ledger.
Sogaard was the Senators' second second-round pick (37th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver.
Sogaard played in the NAHL during the 2017-18 season, appearing in 22 games and posting an 11-6-2 record with a 2.64 goals against average and .909 save percentage.