Head Coach Derek Schooley joins us to wrap up the great season. Five Seniors have signed to play pro hockey so far. Notre Dame joins Big 10 Conference in hockey.
From RMU Athletics-A pair of Robert Morris University men’s hockey seniors have signed amateur tryout agreements (ATO) with American Hockey League teams. Pittsburgh native forward Zac Lynch has signed with the Portland Pirates, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Defenseman and team captain Tyson Wilson has signed with the Manitoba Moose, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
A Hobey Baker Top Ten Finalist this season, Lynch set the Robert Morris all-time scoring record with 156 career points and set the single-season record with 55 points this season on 25 goals and 30 assists.
He finished the season as the third leading scorer in NCAA hockey and leads the nation in shorthanded goals with 8 this season. Lynch set an NCAA record, scoring shorthanded goals in four consecutive games this season and holds the shorthanded goals record at Robert Morris with 14 in his career. Lynch is second all-time in career assists with 89 and holds the program record with a plus-64 rating as well.
Lynch’s Hobey Baker Top Ten Finalist status is the second such honor for a Colonials player, following Cody Wydo in 2015.
“I’m very excited for Zac to start his pro career one level below the NHL,” said Colonials head coach Derek Schooley. “He had a outstanding college career and I am sure he will continue to keep getting better.”
Wilson finishes his Robert Morris career as the second-highest scoring defenseman in program history, playing 145 games in a Colonials uniform, eighth all-time. The Brockville, Ontario native has scored eleven goals and tallied 80 points in his career. Wilson has 69 assists and is plus-40 for his career, both fifth in the RMU record book and best by a defenseman.
Team captain during his senior season, Wilson was a second team Atlantic Hockey all-conference selection and played 38 games, scoring 27 points on 2 goals and 25 assists, with both goals coming against opponents ranked in the top 15 nationally. Wilson blocked 63 shots and was a disciplined player, taking only 11 penalties this season. The senior defenseman was not only a solid penalty killer but contributed 10 points on the Colonials top power play unit that led the nation at a 30-percent conversion rate for much of the 2015-16 season. Wilson finished the season sixth in scoring among free agent NCAA defensemen, second highest senior.
“I am very excited for Tyson to realize his dream of playing professional hockey, in a league that is one step below the NHL,” said Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley.
Robert Morris men’s hockey has had its highest level of success during the time Wilson has been part of the team, wearing the ‘A’ as a junior and ‘C’ as a senior.
“He has worked hard to overcome injury to get back to the level he had in his freshman year,” Schooley said. “Tyson has the ability to have a long professional hockey career.”
Lynch and Wilson are both top ten finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for excellence on the ice and in the classroom.
Lynch and Wilson have won five championship trophies with the Colonials, two Three Rivers Classic tournament championships, two Atlantic Hockey regular season titles and one Atlantic Hockey playoff championship, helping Robert Morris to its first NCAA tournament appearance. The Colonials seniors have been part of 87 wins, more than any class in program history.
Lynch has already arrived in Portland and will be eligible for the Pirates Friday as they open up a two-game home series with the Springfield Falcons.
Wilson has already traveled to join the team in Manitoba. The Moose play on tonight at home vs. Stockton and host Charlotte for a pair of games Saturday and Monday.
Four other Colonials seniors have also signed ECHL ATOs: Goaltender Terry Shafer, defenseman Evan Moore, forward Greg Gibson and forward David Friedmann.