WCHA Press Releases

Minnesota State's C.J. Suess and Bowling Green's Alec Rauhauser are among 37 WCHA players at NHL Development Camps this year
WCHA Lands 37 Players In 2018 NHL Development Camps
Players representing nine league schools attend 21 camps

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – July 16, 2018 – Marking the next step in their potential professional journeys, 37 players with ties to men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) programs – including 24 slated to skate in the league this upcoming season – were invited to participate in 2018 National Hockey League (NHL) Development Camps. The group, which represents nine league institutions, is involved in camps for 22 NHL clubs.

The 24 players expected to be on 2018-19 WCHA rosters feature 10 underclassmen (five incoming freshmen and five sophomores), along with eight juniors and six seniors. That group also includes six NHL draft picks, along with 18 free-agent invitees.

Twenty-eight (28) players who played in the 2017-18 WCHA season earned invitations either as a draftee or free-agent signee, including league Offensive and Overall Player of the Year and First-Team All-American C.J. Suess (Minnesota State / Winnipeg Jets), Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All-American Alec Rauhauser (Bowling Green / Los Angeles Kings) and Rookie of the Year Jake Jaremko (Minnesota State / Nashville Predators). Other all-league players to skate in NHL Development Camps were: All-WCHA First Team performers Troy Loggins (Northern Michigan / Arizona Coyotes) and Zach Frye (Alaska / San Jose Sharks); All-WCHA Second Team selections Mitch McLain (Bowling Green / Minnesota Wild), Adam Rockwood (Northern Michigan / Vancouver Canucks) and Second-Team All-American Philip Beaulieu (Northern Michigan / Boston Bruins); All-WCHA Third Team honorees Zeb Knutson (Minnesota State / Wild), Darien Craighead (Northern Michigan / New York Islanders), Robbie Payne (Northern Michigan / Dallas Stars), Ian Scheid (Minnesota State / Ottawa Senators) and Mitch Reinke (Michigan Tech / St. Louis Blues); and, WCHA All-Rookie Team members Brandon Kruse (Bowling Green / Vegas Golden Knights) and Connor Mackey (Minnesota State / Buffalo Sabres).

The Minnesota Wild led all NHL clubs by bringing four WCHA-affiliated players to Development Camp (Knutson, McLain, Bemidji State's Gerry Fitzgerald and Michigan Tech's Mark Auk). The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals invited Alaska Anchorage alumnus Mason Mitchell and former Lake Superior State defensemen Kris Bindulis, along with incoming Ferris State freshman Cooper Zech (the 2017-18 BCHL Top Defenceman Trophy winner). Bemidji State alumnus Zach Whitecloud, who made his NHL debut this past April with the Vegas Golden Knights, joined Kruse (a 2018 draft pick) in camp for the Western Conference champs. Another 2018 draftee, Minnesota State freshman-to-be Nathan Smith, joined Suess and Bowling Green's Lukas Craggs with the Winnipeg Jets; the Toronto Maple Leafs also had a trio of WCHA players with incoming freshmen Matthew Barnaby (Lake Superior State) and Chris Van Os-Shaw (Minnesota State), along with Michigan Tech's Thomas Beretta.

Bowling Green, which has produced four-straight 20-win seasons, led the WCHA with nine current and former players in 2018 NHL Development Camps. Back-to-back WCHA Tournament champion Michigan Tech and defending MacNaughton Cup winner Minnesota State were tied for second with seven players apiece, while Northern Michigan had six players from its 25-win, WCHA Championship game squad in 2017-18 earn invites.

WCHA-affiliated players at 2018 NHL Development Camps
* denotes played in the WCHA during the 2017-18 season
Player, Pos. School NHL Development Camp Status (2018-19 Class)
Mason Mitchell, F Alaska Anchorage Washington Capitals Signed (Alumnus)
*Zach Frye, D Alaska San Jose Sharks Signed (Alumnus)
*Gerry Fitzgerald, F Bemidji State Minnesota Wild Signed (Alumnus)
*Zach Whitecloud, D Bemidji State Vegas Golden Knights Signed (Alumnus)
*Stephen Baylis, F Bowling Green Boston Bruins Free Agent (Sr.)
*Ryan Bednard, G Bowling Green Florida Panthers Draft (Jr.)
*Lukas Craggs, F Bowling Green Winnipeg Jets Free Agent (Jr.)
Mark Friedman, D Bowling Green Philadelphia Flyers Signed (Alumnus)
*Brandon Kruse, F Bowling Green Vegas Golden Knights Draft (So.)
*Mitch McLain, F Bowling Green Minnesota Wild Signed (Alumnus)
*Alec Rauhauser, D Bowling Green Los Angeles Kings Free Agent (Jr.)
*Adam Smith, D Bowling Green Nashville Predators Draft (Sr.)
Tim Theochardis, D Bowling Green Columbus Blue Jackets Free Agent (Fr.)
Cooper Zech, D Ferris State Washington Capitals Free Agent (Fr.)
Matthew Barnaby, F Lake Superior State Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent (Fr.)
Kris Bindulis, D Lake Superior State Washington Capitals Signed (Alumnus)
*Steven Ruggiero, D Lake Superior State Anaheim Ducks Draft (Jr.)
*Mark Auk, D Michigan Tech Minnesota Wild Free Agent (Alumnus)
*Thomas Beretta, F Michigan Tech Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent (Jr.)
*Jake Jackson, F Michigan Tech San Jose Sharks Draft (Sr.)
*Jake Lucchini, F Michigan Tech Pittsburgh Penguins Free Agent (Sr.)
Angus Redmond, G Michigan Tech Anaheim Ducks Signed (Alumnus)
*Mitch Reinke, D Michigan Tech St. Louis Blues Signed (Alumnus)
*Cooper Watson, D Michigan Tech Dallas Stars Free Agent (So.)
*Jake Jaremko, F Minnesota State Nashville Predators Free Agent (So.)
*Zeb Knutson, F Minnesota State Minnesota Wild Free Agent (Alumnus)
*Connor Mackey, D Minnesota State Buffalo Sabres Free Agent (So.)
*Ian Scheid, D Minnesota State Ottawa Senators Free Agent (Jr.)
Nathan Smith, F Minnesota State Winnipeg Jets Draft (Fr.)
*C.J. Suess, F Minnesota State Winnipeg Jets Signed (Alumnus)
Chris Van Os-Shaw, F Minnesota State Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent (Fr.)
*Philip Beaulieu, D Northern Michigan Boston Bruins Free Agent (Jr.)
*Darien Craighead, F Northern Michigan New York Islanders Free Agent (Jr.)
*Troy Loggins, F Northern Michigan Arizona Coyotes Free Agent (Sr.)
*Robbie Payne, F Northern Michigan Dallas Stars Signed (Alumnus)
*Adam Rockwood, F Northern Michigan Vancouver Canucks Free Agent (Sr.)
*Adam Roeder, D Northern Michigan St. Louis Blues Free Agent (So.)