NAHL, Bobcats alum Malinski makes NHL debut
Former NAHL and Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Sam Malinski made his NHL debut on Monday night November 13th with the Colorado Avalanche in their 5-1 win in Seattle against the Kraken.
Malinski has generated three goals and three assists in 13 AHL games with Colorado Eagles so far this season, including points in four of his last six contests.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound blueliner joined the Eagles late last season after finishing his senior year at Cornell University, where he recorded 26 points (8g/18a) in 34 outings. Named team captain as a senior, Malinski ranked third on the team and first among defenseman in points and ranked second on the team in assists.
The 25-year-old earned First-Team All-ECAC honors for the second straight year, the first Cornell defenseman to be named to the conference’s first team in consecutive seasons since 2003 (Douglas Murray). He appeared in 91 career games with the Big Red from 2019-23, totaling 65 points (17g/48a).
After his NCAA season came to an end last year with Cornell, Malinski signed a professional tryout agreement with the Eagles for the rest of the season, parlaying that into a two-year, $1.7MM two-way contract signed with the Avalanche this past summer.
Malinski notched three goals and two assists in seven games with the Eagles last season. He would go on to add five assists in seven AHL postseason contests with Colorado.
The Lakeville, Minnesota, native appeared in 87 career games for the North American Hockey League's Bismarck Bobcats from 2017-19, notching 55 points (15g/40a). He was named an alternate captain for the 2018-19 season, tallying 45 points (14g/31a) and a +20 plus/minus rating in 59 outings to earn a spot on the NAHL Second All-Star Team.
Malinski was also named the Central Division's Defenseman of the Year and was selected to the All-Central Division Team.