The Austin Bruins, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Jason Pawloski, who spent the entire 2012-13 season with the Bruins, has made his NCAA Division I commitment to Minnesota State University-Mankato Mavericks of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
In the continuing ladder of development for the NAHL and its respective leagues, Pawloski, 17, played two seasons (2010-11, 2011-12) for his hometown Omaha AAA Hockey Club 16U squad in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL).
In his rookie year in Austin last year, Pawloski put together an impressive record of 17-3-2 in 24 appearances with the Bruins. He posted a 2.52 goals against average and 91.9% save percentage with three shutouts. He also played in two playoff games with a 2.03 goals against average and a 94.2% save percentage.
Pawloski was also selected to play in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament this past season for the NAHL 18U Selects. He split time at the event with NHL Draft pick and Wichita Falls Wildcats goalie Evan Cowley, who is headed to the University of Denver.
He was runner-up for NAHL Goaltender of the Month awards in December this past season. He won Central Division Star of the Week honors on January 28th.
In his two years in the NAPHL, Pawloski played in 26 career NAPHL games, totaling 13 games in both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. He posted a 2.02 goals against average and 91.7% save percentage in his NAPHL career.
No date has been announced for when he'll join the Mavericks, but it will likely depend on how long talented sophomore Stephon Williams stays at the school. Williams was the WCHA Rookie of the Year and named First Team All-WCHA last season. He was drafted in the fourth round of the NHL Draft by the New York Islanders in June.
Pawloski is the fourth player from last year's Bruins team to commit to an NCAA Division I school. He joins forwards AJ Reid (Air Force), Brandon Wahlin (Massachusetts) and CJ Smith (UMASS-Lowell). Six other Bruins are expected to play NCAA Division III hockey this season.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)