Monday, January 07, 2013

Flyers goaltending prospect headed for Canadian juniors

Anthony Stolarz, who was taken with the 45th overall pick in June's draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, won't be featured in any more college hockey round-ups.

The 18-year-old decided to try his luck with Canadian juniors, having informed the University of Nebraska-Omaha that he will leave the program immediately.

“I’m obviously disappointed by Anthony’s decision,” said UNO head coach Dean Blais in a statement issued Monday afternoon.  “He has been making a very challenging transition from the North American Hockey League to the WCHA, and we, as coaches, saw good progress from him in the first half of the season.  But ultimately, it’s his decision where he wants to play, and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career.”

Stolarz got some starts early in the season, but due to unspecified reasons, was yanked from an October 27 game against Bemidji State in favor of senior John Faulkner and never really regained footing. Nonetheless, it wasn't the sort of thing that would precipitate leaving school before the end of one's freshman season. Once a player leaves for juniors, he loses his collegiate eligibility.

A native of Jackson, New Jersey, Stolarz ended up with a 2-5-0 record, 2.56 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.

He is expected to join the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, a franchise run by former NHLers the Hunter brothers, of whom the oldest, Dale, left the team to coach the Washington Capitals on an interim basis last season. The Knights won the OHL title last year.
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