It was not the ending that the UMass Lowell hockey team was looking for, a semi-final exit at the hands of Merrimack in the Hockey East tournament. Still, the season had more ups than downs. Now that the offseason has arrived, some players have already made decisions about their hockey futures. With that in mind, here is a look at where these players have landed.
Captain Carl Berglund has signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. Berglund was signed as an undrafted free agent and was assigned to the Oilers America Hockey League affiliate the Bakersfield Condors in Bakersfield, CA. Berglund played in 114 games for the River Hawks and he scored 36 goals and had 53 assists for 89 career points. He was a valued member of the UMass Lowell power play as well as regular line duties. He also excelled in the classroom, a three-time member of the Hockey East All-Academic Team. He was also named to the AHCA All-Academic Scholar list following his junior year.
Defensemen Jon McDonald has signed a one-year deal with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. McDonald played five years in Lowell and was named one of two captains for this year’s team. He played a total of 145 games for the River Hawks. He scored three goals and had a career-best 17 assists to finish with 20 points. He also ranked second on the team in blocked shots with 48. McDonald also got the job done in the classroom registering a 3.0 GPA in all four years he played at UMass Lowell. He was a four-time member of the Hockey East All-Academic Team honoree, as well as a 2022 Hockey East Distinguished Scholar.
Senior Zack Kaiser has also signed with the ECHL. He signed a one-year deal with the Trois-Rivieres Lions earlier this week. Kaiser had a strong senior season for the River Hawks playing through an injury for most of the season. Zack was an alternate captain for the team this season. He set career numbers in goals, assists, and points with eight goals, and eight assists for 16 points in 30 games. He played 113 games for the River Hawks scoring 21 goals with 18 helpers for 39 points. Kaiser is a three-time Hockey East All-Academic team honoree. He will graduate from UMass Lowell with both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA. His coach Norm Bazin said of Kaiser “He has been an outstanding example of what it means to be a student-athlete at the college level.”
Marek Korencik has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Iowa Heartlanders. A four-year player for the River Hawks, the senior posted career-highs in both assists and points with five assists and eight points this year. A very good shot blocker on the blue line for the team, Korencik blocked 22 shots this season which is four shy of his career-best year which was his freshman season when he blocked 26 shots. He played 115 games for UMass Lowell with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Marek was a three-time Hockey East All-Academic Team honoree and an ACHA All-Academic Scholar in 2021-22.
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