New Mexico defenseman Dalton makes NCAA DI commitment | North American Hockey League | NAHL
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New Mexico defenseman Dalton makes NCAA DI commitment

January 12, 2024

New Mexico defenseman Jack Dalton appeared in 89 career NAHL games and also spent some time in the NA3HL.

The New Mexico Ice Wolves of the (North American Hockey League) have announced that defenseman Jack Dalton, 2023-34 captain of the New Mexico Ice Wolves, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of Maine and will be joining the team immediately for the second half of the season. The entire New Mexico Ice Wolves organization wants to congratulate Jack as well as look back on his fantastic Ice Wolves career.

“I am proud and honored to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey at the University of Maine. I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and the entire New Mexico Ice Wolves organization for the help along the way,” said Dalton.

“I’m extremely happy for Jack Dalton to continue his hockey career at the University of Maine and thank him for his contributions over the last two and a half years to the New Mexico Ice Wolves organization,” said Phil Fox, Head Coach of the New Mexico Ice Wolves. “I’m excited to see Jack play alongside four former Ice Wolves in Maine and know that there are no limits on what he can achieve during his college hockey career.”

On July 14, 2021 the Ice Wolves would use their first round, 17th overall pick, in the NAHL draft to select a defenseman out of River Forest, Ill. by the name of Jack Dalton.

During his first season Jack would play in nine regular season games before briefly joining the Minnesota Loons in the NA3HL to improve his game and get the game experience he needed to be a key contributor on the NAHL team in the years ahead. During his time with the Loons, Dalton would tally two goals in just four games as he gained confidence that prepared him for success in the NAHL and beyond.

Dalton would rejoin the NM Ice Wolves for the team’s first playoff run. Dalton would play in six total games that postseason, making his mark during game three of the Robertson Cup semi-final game against the New Jersey Titans as he scored his first NAHL goal which put the NM Ice Wolves ahead in the deciding game. Although New Mexico’s hopes of a Robertson Cup would end later that night in double overtime Jack was inspired to continue to work even harder to be a leader on his team.

The following season Dalton would create his place with the NM Ice Wolves earning a spot as one of the top four defenseman on the team and playing 58 of a possible 60 games that season, scoring seven goals with 25 assists. Dalton further improved his game as he entered the final year of his eligibility in junior hockey ready to take on a leadership role. 

Dalton arrived ready to play as a leader in the 2023-2024 season and scored the game-winning goal against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks at the NAHL’s annual showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. That game, however, would not end without a devastating blow to his final junior season as he suffered a lower body injury that would cause him to miss nearly two months of action. During his time away from the ice the team voted Jack Dalton as its captain.  In only his seventh game back after his injury, Dalton would score the game-winning goal against the Colorado Grit putting the league on notice and letting his team know he was back and meant business. One month later Jack would score the game-winning goal against the defending champion Oklahoma Warriors in his team leading third game-winning goal during the season. 

With a heavy heart, Dalton sets his sights on an immediate report to the University of Maine where he will join former NM Ice Wolves teammates Cole Hanson, Sully Scholle, and Brandon Holt. Dalton leaves New Mexico having played in 86 total games scoring 13 goals and 37 assists for a total of 50 points. The mark he leaves on the organization and the growing game of hockey in New Mexico will last forever.

Click here for an updated NAHL to NCAA commitment list

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