WASHINGTON - Former Miami defenseman Cameron Schilling made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut Tuesday night, March 12, suiting up for the Washington Capitals in their game against Carolina at the Verizon Center. The Carmel, Ind., native was called up from Washington's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears, Tuesday morning.
Schilling played on Washington's third defensive pair in his first NHL contest, logging 11:58 of ice time on 15 shifts. He posted a -1 rating in the Capitals' 4-0 loss, while also blocking a shot. Washington was short on blueliners entering the game after John Erskine and Tom Poti suffered injuries.
By making his first NHL appearance, Schilling becomes the fifth former RedHawk in the last two years to make their NHL debut, joining Carter Camper ('11) with the Boston Bruins, Andy Miele ('11) with the Phoenix Coyotes, Jarod Palmer ('10) with the Minnesota Wild and Reilly Smith ('13) with the Dallas Stars, all of whom debuted in 2011-12. He is the 23rd former Miami player to ever play in the NHL and the 13th since 2000.
Schilling was a member of the RedHawks from 2008-2012, playing in 144 career games over four years while totaling 58 points on 50 assists and eight goals. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder finished with a +55 rating for his career and totaled 155 penalty minutes (on 64 penalties). He was named to two NCAA All-Region Teams, doing so for the West Regional as a freshman in 2009 and for the Midwest Regional as a sophomore in 2010. Schilling also earned CCHA Defenseman of the Week twice and was selected to the Denver Cup Classic All-Tournament Team as a senior.
Following his collegiate career, Schilling, who was an undrafted free agent, signed a two-year entry-level contract with Washington, which started this season. He finished last season in Hershey on a tryout agreement and participated in the Capitals training camp this season before being sent down to play for the Bears prior to the 2012-13 campaign starting.
In 54 games this season with Hershey, Schilling tallied 14 points on six goals and eight assists with his six markers second among Bears blueliners. He compiled a +7 rating and has racked up 47 penalty minutes this season, as well. Schilling scored his first two goals for Hershey in the AHL Playoffs last season when he appeared in four postseason contests.
Along with Schilling and Smith, Miami has five other alumni currently playing in the NHL in defensemen Dan Boyle (San Jose), Andy Greene (New Jersey) and Alec Martinez (Los Angeles) and forwards Ryan Jones (Edmonton) and Tommy Wingels (San Jose). The Capitals next play Thursday, March 14 at Carolina at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on the NHL Network and Comcast Sports Net in Washington D.C.