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NAHL alums have big presence at NHL prospect camps

July 11, 2013
It is a definite indicator to show just how far some recent players and graduates from the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have come, as teams from the National Hockey League (NHL) open up their prospect camps in the month of July. Over 40 recent NAHL graduates are attending NHL prospect camps in the hopes of becoming the next generation of NHL superstar.
One of those at an NHL Prospect camp this month is Wichita Falls Wildcats goaltender Evan Cowley, who has had a whirlwind couple of months. At this time a year ago had been drafted in the NAHL Draft by the Wildcats.  More recently, Cowley finished his first season in the NAHL which included an appearance in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. That was followed by a commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Denver.  Then on June 30th, Cowley was taken as the first pick in the 4th round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers. Cowley is currently attending the Florida Panthers prospects camp. 
Another former NAHL player at camp is former Corpus Christi goaltender Anthony Stolarz.  Stolarz, who signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers this past Spring, Fortunately for Stolarz, the Flyers prospects recently spent some time near his hometown in Stone Harbor, New Jersey for their seventh annual ‘Trial on the Isle,’ which are group based activities for the prospects that involve being out in the community and team-building projects outside.
Stolarz, 19, was one of the more popular players at the event. A second-round draft pick in 2012, he enjoyed a solid season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, posting a 13-3-2 record in 20 games with a .920 save percentage and 2.29 goals-against average, then went 13-5 in the playoffs with a .923 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average. He is slated to play for the Knights again this season. The team is also hosting the prestigious Memorial Cup.
"I was the starter last year until I kind of faded toward the end of the season," Stolarz said. "It will be an open competition in training camp this year."
Joining the Knights was part of a whirlwind year for Stolarz. He spent his senior year of high school in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he took classes while playing for the Corpus Christi IceRays in the NAHL where he went 23-22-4 for the IceRays with .920 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against average.  He accepted a scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, but left after one semester to sign with the Knights.
"Corpus Christi was nice," Stolarz said. "I certainly didn't mind the beaches and the 80-degree weather all year. I also liked Nebraska-Omaha, but I only got to play in eight games and I was in 41 in London. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity because it was much better for my development."
Here is a list of all the former NAHL players attending NHL prospect camps in July:
Boston Bruins
Derek Docken, D, University of Alaska-Anchorage (Albert Lea Thunder 2008-10)
Colton Hargrove, F, Western Michigan University (St. Louis Bandits 2009-10)
Calgary Flames
John Ramage, D, University of Wisconsin (St. Louis Bandits/USNTDP 2007-09)
Chicago Blackhawks
Mac Carruth, G, Portland Winterhawks (Wenatchee Wild 2008-10)
Stephen Johns, D, University of Notre Dame (USNTDP 2008-09)
Zach Loesch, D, Lake Superior State University (Fresno Monsters 2010-11)
Nick Mattson, D, University of North Dakota (USTNDP 2007-09)
Chris McCarthy, F, University of Vermont (USNTDP 2008-09)
Garrett Thompson, F, Ferris State University (Traverse City North Stars 2007-10)
Dan Weissenhofer, D, Air Force Academy (Bismarck Bobcats 2009-10)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Trent Vogelhuber, F, Springfield Falcons (St. Louis Bandits 2006-07)
Dallas Stars
Jacob Fallon, F, University of Vermont (USNTDP 2008-09)
Greg Johnson, D, Williams College (St. Louis Bandits 2011-12)
Detroit Red Wings
Dane Walters, F, Western Michigan University (Texas Tornado 2007-08)
Edmonton Oilers
John McCarron, F, Cornell University (Motor City Machine 2008-09)
Florida Panthers
Evan Cowley, G, University of Denver (Wichita Falls Wildcats 2012-13)
Drew Shore, F, Florida Panthers (USNTDP 2007-09)
Tony Turgeon, F, University of Nebraska-Omaha (Bismarck Bobcats 2007-09)
Los Angeles Kings
Nic Dowd, F, St. Cloud State (Wenatchee Wild/St. Louis Bandits 2008-09)
Derek Forbort, D, University of North Dakota (USNTDP 2008-09)
Kevin Gravel, D, St. Cloud State (Marquette Rangers 2008-09)
Michael Mersch, F, University of Wisconsin (USNTDP 2008-09)
Nick Shore, F, University of Denver (USNTDP 2008-09)
Montreal Canadiens
Mike Cichy, F, Western Michigan University (USNTDP 2006-07)
Frankie Simonelli, D, University of Wisconsin (USNTDP 2008-09)
Nashville Predators
Chase Balisy, F, Western Michigan University (USNTDP 2008-09)
New Jersey Devils
Zach Tolkinen, D, Quinnipiac University (Owatonna Express/Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2008-10)
New York Islanders
Eamon McAdam, G, Waterloo Black Hawks (Austin Bruins 2010-11)
Bradley Nunn, D, SUNY-Fredonia (St. Louis Bandits 2008-09)
Kenny Reiter, G, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Texarkana-St. Louis Bandits/Cleveland Barons/Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2003-07)
Bennett Schneider, D, Hamilton College (Southern Minnesota Express/Motor City Machine 2007-09)
New York Rangers
Conor Allen, D, UMass-Amherst (St. Louis Bandits 2008-09)
Ryan Faragher, G, St. Cloud State (Bismarck Bobcats 2009-11)
Kyle Jean, F, Connecticut Whale (Marquette Rangers/Traverse City North Stars 2007-10)
Ottawa Senators
Cole Schneider, F, Binghamton Senators (Mahoning Valley Phantoms/Topeka RoadRunners 2008-09)
Chris Wideman, D, Binghamton Senators (St. Louis Bandits 2006-07)
Philadelphia Flyers
Cal Heeter, G, Adirondack Phantoms (Wichita Falls Wildcats/St. Louis Bandits 2006-08)
Anthony Stolarz, G, London Knights (Corpus Christi IceRays 2011-12)
Pittsburgh Penguins
A.J. White Forward, F, UMass-Lowell (Michigan Warriors 2010-12)
San Jose Sharks
Eriah Hayes, F, Minnesota State-Mankato (Topeka RoadRunners 2007-08)
Matt Nieto, F, Boston University (USNTDP 2008-09)
Steven Racine, G, University of Michigan (Chicago Hitmen 2010-11)
Reed Seckel, F, Northern Michigan University (Topeka RoadRunners 2007-08)
Matt Tennyson, D, Worchester Sharks (Texas Tornado 2007-08)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Carl Nielsen, F, Michigan Tech (Alpena IceDiggers/Mahoning Valley Phantoms 2006-09)
Vancouver Canucks
Joe Cannata, G, Chicago Wolves (USNTDP 2007-08)
Winnipeg Jets
Austin Czarnik, F, Miami University (USNTDP 2008-09)
Connor Hellebuyck, G, UMass-Lowell (Odessa Jackalopes 2011-12)
David Johnstone, F, Michigan Tech (Traverse City North Stars 2008-09)
Zach Loesch, D, Lake Superior State University (Fresno Monsters 2010-11)
Tucker Poolman, D, Omaha Lancers (Wichita Falls Wildcats 2011-12)
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