OXFORD, Ohio – With the 2012-13 National Hockey League season in the books and the offseason underway, several Miami Hockey alumni have been involved in transactions in the last week, with three former RedHawks signing contracts and two others being traded. Ten current members of the Miami hockey team are also making strides towards reaching their goal of making the NHL by participating in NHL development camps around the country this week.
Five-year NHL veteran Ryan Jones (’08), who was a Hobey Baker Award finalist and All-American at Miami, signed a one-year contract to return to the Edmonton Oilers on July 6. The bruising forward has played for the Oilers each of the past three seasons after joining Edmonton late in the 2009-10 season, following a two-year stint with the Nashville Predators. Jones, who was a free agent this offseason, played in just 27 games last season after suffering an eye injury in December. In his first two full seasons in Edmonton, however, he suited up for 160 games, scoring 35 goals and totaling 58 points, while adding two goals and seven points in his shortened season this past year. Jones, who ranks second in Miami history in career goals (90) and holds the program record for game-winning goals (21), had his best NHL season in 2011-12 with 17 goals, 33 points and 42 penalty minutes.
Former teammates Carter Camper (’11) and Andy Miele (’11) both signed one-year contracts as well with their clubs. Miele, the 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner, inked his deal, a two-way contract, on July 9 with the Phoenix Coyotes. The shifty forward has been a part of the Coyotes organization each of his first two professional seasons, signing with Phoenix as a free agent in April 2011 following his collegiate career at Miami. Miele has played in eight NHL games with Phoenix in his two years, including seven in 2011-12, but has mainly played for the Portland Pirates, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Coyotes. In two years in Portland, the Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., native has appeared in 139 regular-season AHL games and compiled 35 goals, 72 assists and 107 points, leading the Pirates in assists and points both seasons, including 34 assists and 53 points in 2012-13. Miele finished his Miami career ranked sixth in program history in scoring with 159 points while earning All-America and CCHA Player of the Year honors, in addition to his Hobey.
Camper, a two-time All-American and Hobey Baker finalist at Miami, was signed to a two-way contract on July 8 by the Boston Bruins. The Rocky River, Ohio, native initially signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins as a free agent in April 2011 following his RedHawk career. Camper played in three NHL games with Boston in 2011-12, scoring a goal, but has spent the majority of his two years in the Bruins’ organization in Providence, the AHL affiliate of Boston. The skilled center has appeared in 129 regular-season AHL games with the Providence Bruins, recording 29 goals and 97 points, including 10 goals and 37 assists in 57 games this past season. Camper, who finished his Miami career with 183 points and 114 assists, both second in school history, also had a strong playoffs in 2013, notching a team-high eight goals and 13 points in 12 games.
Reuniting with Camper in the Bruins organization for the 2013-14 season will be former RedHawk teammate Reilly Smith (’13), who was traded to Boston from the Dallas Stars on July 4 in a deal that included seven players in all. Smith, who left Miami after his junior season in April 2012 to begin his pro career, was originally drafted by the Stars in 2009. The sharp-shooting winger went straight to the NHL and played in three games with Dallas to close the 2011-12 season. This past year, his first full season as a pro, he split time between Dallas and its AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars. Smith played in 37 NHL games in 2012-13, scoring three goals and totaling nine points, while he added 14 goals and 35 points in 45 AHL games with Texas. Smith, who hails from Mimico, Ont., was a Hobey Baker finalist and All-American at Miami as a junior in 2011-12 when he scored 30 goals.
Miami will now have three players in the Bruins organization, as Alden Hirschfeld (’12) played for the Providence Bruins in 2012-13 after being called up from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He appeared in 37 games for Providence, scoring four goals and adding four assists.
Another former RedHawk who was recently traded is Pat Cannone (’11), who was classmates with Camper and Miele. Cannone was traded from the Ottawa Senators organization to the St. Louis Blues on July 8. The hard-working forward has played the last two seasons with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, after signing with Ottawa as a free agent following his Miami career in April 2011. After playing in two games to close out the 2010-11 season with Binghamton, Cannone has played each of the last two full seasons with Binghamton as well, totaling 30 goals and 70 points in 155 career AHL games. This past season, he played in 74 games, notching 10 goals and 25 points to go along with a +21 rating, while his first full year with Binghamton resulted in 19 goals and 43 points.
Two other former RedHawks were also in the news recently. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (’09), who just completed his third full year with the Kings, was featured on the Kings’ website for his pursuit to complete his Miami degree. Martinez left the RedHawks following his junior season in 2008 and has continued to work toward completing the degree since turning pro. In just over three seasons, Martinez has played in 142 games for the Kings, scoring 12 goals and totaling 33 points, while helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2012.
Forward Curtis McKenzie (’13), who graduated from Miami this past spring and signed with the Dallas Stars, was featured on the Stars’ website for his tough, physical style of play. He was drafted by Dallas in 2009 and played for Dallas’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, in five games this year after finishing his Miami career. He tallied one assist in those games while playing alongside his classmate in Smith.
In addition to all of the Miami Hockey alumni in the pros, 10 current RedHawks are working out and training at various NHL development camps this week. Below is the list of RedHawks and which camp they are attending, along with their draft status.
SO F Riley Barber – Washington Capitals (6th round draft pick in 2012)
JR F Blake Coleman – New Jersey Devils (3rd round draft pick in 2011)
JR F Austin Czarnik – Winnipeg Jets (Undrafted)
FR D Trevor Hamilton – Detroit Red Wings (Undrafted)
SO D Chris Joyaux – Washington Capitals (Undrafted)
SO F Sean Kuraly – San Jose Sharks (5th round draft pick in 2011)
FR F Anthony Louis – Chicago Blackhawks (6th round draft pick in 2013)
SO G Ryan McKay – Philadelphia Flyers (Undrafted)
JR F Jimmy Mullin – Tampa Bay Lightning (4th round draft pick in 2010)
JR F Cody Murphy – Washington Capitals (Undrafted)
Several hockey alumni will be in town this weekend as well, as Miami Hockey is holding its summer Alumni Weekend July 12-13.