Former North American Hockey League Most Valuable Player and Springfield Jr. Blues forward Greg Rallo became the latest NAHL graduate to play in the National Hockey League after he made his debut with the Florida Panthers in a 3-2 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
The 30-year-old had one shot on goal in 3:31 of ice time for the Panthers. The game also featured NAHL alum Jamie McBain who plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, who played in the NAHL from 2004-06.
Rallo played in the NAHL for the Springfield Jr. Blues from 2000-02, where he played in 105 career NAHL regular season games. He scored 83 career goals, had 54 career assists and finished with 137 career NAHL points in just two seasons. Following his final junior season in 2001-02, Rallo was not only named as the NAHL's Most Valuable Player, but also the USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year, which recognizes the best junior player in the United States. Since 2000, he is just the sixth player in the NAHL to record 43 or more goals in a single season.
While playing for Springfield, Rallo received a scholarship to play for NCAA Division I Ferris State University, where he played for years for the Bulldogs in the CCHA. He recorded 108 career collegiate points while playing at Ferris State.
Rallo then made his professional debut with Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL in 2005-06, scoring four points in seven regular-season games and adding three points in seven Kelly Cup Playoff games. In 2006-07, he scored 31 points in 37 regular-season games and contributed 11 points in 14 Kelly Cup Playoff games as the Steelheads won their second Kelly Cup championship in team history.
Rallo also appeared in 28 AHL games with Iowa that season, scoring five points in 28 games. During the 2007-08 season, Rallo tallied 36 points in 39 regular-season games with Idaho and totaled nine points in 20 AHL games with Albany, Manitoba and Rockford. Rallo was named to the ECHL All-Star Game in both 2007 and 2008, and is tied for first in the event’s history with four assists in one game (2008), is tied for third with five career assists, is tied for second with five points in one game (2008) and is tied for sixth with six career points.
A native of Gurnell, Illinois, Rallo has spent the last four seasons in the AHL with Manitoba, Texas and San Antonio, scoring 117 points in 226 regular-season games and adding 16 points in 51 postseason games.