It has been quite a year for rookie North American Hockey League (NAHL) goaltender Anthony Stolarz. After the NAHL Showcase to kick off the year, Stolarz landed himself a spot on the Hot List of potential future NHL prospects, and that was just the beginning.
Stolarz recently added another notch to his wall by landing in 4th among all North American Goaltenders on the NHL Central Scouting’s final season rankings. He is the only NAHL goaltender on the list.
“This is a very exciting day for the NAHL, the IceRays organization and undoubtedly the Stolarz family,” said IceRays head coach Justin Quenneville. “Although these rankings are still not 100% indicative of the draft, Anthony is in a class of elite goaltenders and this makes for an exciting couple months leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in June.”
In January, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked Stolarz 21st among North American Goaltenders. His stock continued to rise as he was named NAHL Player of The Week twice throughout the season.
“It is an honor to be on the list,” said Stolarz. “I am so happy I can represent the IceRays organization as well as the NAHL, but I also like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to be seen by such prestigious scouts. Now I must continue to work hard and just wait and see what happens when draft day comes around.”
After committing to play NCAA Division I hockey next season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Stolarz continued to move up in the rankings as NHL scouts flocked the IceRays games both home and away. In February, the NAHL selected Stolarz to play between the pipes at the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, a place he shined as part of the NAHL 18U Selects team. Stolarz put in two memorable performances while in Troy, Michigan at the Top Prospects Tournament to vault himself up the Central Scouting rankings
“Anthony has been on nearly every NHL team's radar throughout the season,” Quenneville added. “He has a very busy summer ahead of him.”
The final rankings for North American Goaltenders can be viewed here.