Thursday, April 08, 2010

Whalers sign '93 goaltender Mahalak

The Plymouth Whalers announced today the signing of 17-year-old goaltender Matt Mahalak.

Mahalak, a Monroe native and the younger brother of Whalers left wing RJ Mahalak, was selected by Plymouth in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2009 Ontario Hockey League draft.

Mahalak played this season for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League and posted a 4.24 goals-against average in 31 games. In 2008-09, Mahalak played for Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he carried a 4.0 grade point average.

“Matt is the top goaltender of his draft class,” said Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci. “He’s played well at every level and we expect that to continue next season in Plymouth. Matt is an extremely gifted student who will already be in college next season at just 17 years old. He received a lot of offers from Division I programs, but we're pleased that he decided the OHL could provide him the best level of competition while continuing his education.”

Red Line Report, an independent scouting service, has Mahalak rated 18th overall for the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Plymouth has a history of developing goaltenders for the National Hockey League. This season, Whalers alums Justin Peters (2005-06) and Michal Neuvirth (2006-08) made their NHL debuts. Other Plymouth goaltenders moving on to the National Hockey League include Robert Esche (1995-98), Jason Bacashihua (2001-02), Fred Brathwaite (1992-93), Mike Minard (1995-96) and Derek Wilkinson (1990-92).

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