Graduating Northeastern University senior goaltender Chris Rawlings has inked an amateur tryout contract to remain close to his four-year collegiate home, joining the American Hockey League's Portland Pirates.
Led by General Manager Brad Treliving, the Pirates are the top minor league affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes. The 6'5" native of North Delta, British Columbia dressed as the back-up - wearing his usual No. 37 - for Saturday night's home contest with the regional rival Connecticut Whale.
Rawlings appeared in a pair of games with the Dallas Stars' East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, a couple of weeks ago, including a 23-save shutout to open his professional career.
Over his four-year career, Rawlings became the Huskies' go-to man between the pipes and finished in the top three in major statistical categories. Above all, he set a program record with 11 career shutouts, while his 3,522 total saves and .914 save percentage are second to Bruce Racine and Brad Thiessen, respectively.
Since the conclusion of the 2012-13 college season, Rawlings is the second NU player to sign a pro contract, joining senior captain forward Vinny Saponari. The Powder Springs, Georgia native is now playing for the St. John's IceCaps, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets.
With two nights to play in the AHL's regular season, Portland is the latest team to clinch a playoff spot as the second place team to the Providence Bruins in the Atlantic Division. Other collegiate alumni on the Portland roster include, to name a few, Michigan's Chris Summers and Chris Brown, Miami's Andy Miele, and North Dakota's Brett Hextall.
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.