BISMARCK, N.D. - Despite the fact his final college hockey season was canceled by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the WCHA semi-finals could be played, Bismarck's Alec Rauhauser has had an excellent year.
The senior captain for Bowling Green recently signed a professional contract with the Florida Panthers.
"Very special! Something I grew up dreaming about, just to think of myself as being an NHL prospect or anything like that is awesome. This is what I've been working for since I was five years old growing up in Bismarck and playing hockey there, so just to finally get to sign my contract. Hopefully moved forward and do really well in professional hockey is something I'm looking forward to," said Rauhauser.
Rauhauser says the N.H.L. has been watching him for a couple of years.
"Kind of after my sophomore year when I had a breakout year, then I realized that I could compete in college hockey and I could compete with the best of them," said Rauhauser. "I had kind of a drop off my junior year but this past year, my senior year, I picked it back up a bit. I was talking to a couple of team's at the end of the year and it was ultimately Florida so it was a very exciting time for me and I was happy with the results."
Rauhauser has been in contact with the Panthers and he should get a detailed workout schedule in the near future.
Rauhauser said: "What they've been talking about is obviously I want to keep working on my quickness and all of that stuff so he said that's probably the most emphasis they're going to put on me for the summer. But, I've always been kind of a stronger guy in the weight room, and stuff like that, but just getting quicker is probably the biggest priority to play at the next level."
Alec was a standout at Century High School before developing in Des Moines in the U.S.H.L. which preceded his college career at Bowling Green. Rauhauser was a three-time All-State performer for the Patriots.
"I'm trying to finish up my classes and graduate here so I just have a couple of online classes right now and then working out and doing that stuff then I'll come back to Bismarck probably in May for a little bit and then come back here and train for the summer," said Rauhauser.
Alec is also the Defenseman of the Year in the WCHA. It's the second time he's earned that honor and Rauhauser was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award.