On the heels of a breakout freshman year at St. Cloud State University, former Bismarck Bobcats and North American Hockey League (NAHL) goaltender Ryan Faragher will participate this upcoming week at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Developmental Camp. The camp will run July 10-14 at the Consol Energy Center, the Pens’ home arena.
Faragher is not the only player with NAHL ties that is going to be participating in NHL prospects camps. Recent Philadelphia Flyers draft pick and Corpus Christi IceRays goaltender Anthony Stolarz with be at the Flyers prospect camp and current Texas Tornado goaltender Hunter Leisner and coach Tony Curtale will both be at the Dallas Stars prospect camp.
Faragher got a chance turn heads during his first season with the Huskies when returning starter Mike Lee went down to injury, opening the door for Faragher to take over for a large chunk of the season.
“When Mike got hurt I definitely had mixed emotions,” recalled Faragher, who led the Bobcats to the 2010 Robertson Cup Championship and back-to-back Central Division Titles in 2010 and 2011, “we were always rooting for each other so it was tough to see him go down, but at the same time I knew it was a huge break for me as a freshman.”
In his first start after Lee went down, Faragher posted a shutout against North Dakota at Ralph Engelstad Arena on October 28. For the season Faragher went 9-11 with a strong 2.77 GAA and a .915 SV%. Along the way, Faragher picked up a number of marquee wins over WCHA powerhouses North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Denver.
With Lee having signed a pro deal earlier this summer with the Phoenix Coyotes, Faragher is the favorite to be the outright starter for the Huskies in 2012-13. The Fort Frances, Ont., native’s meteoric rise has caught the eye of multiple NHL teams, including the Pens and the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Chicago actually reached out first to invite me to their development camp, but in talking with our staff [at St. Cloud State] we determined that Pittsburgh had the best situation, with the fewest goalies in their minor league system,” noted Faragher.
Development camps are a great avenue for late-bloomers like Faragher, whose “Draft Year” for the NHL was all the way back in 2008, to carve a path to the NHL despite going undrafted.
“Ryan has so much to offer an NHL team, even a team as good as the Pens,” pointed out Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, who—as a former Division I goalie himself—worked closely with Faragher over his two years in Bismarck, “he’s tall (6’2”) and fast and is [flexible like] Gumby. He’s a big-time player who played his best in our biggest games for two years. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be in ‘the show,’ before too long.”