Wolverine alumnus, Matthew Abt, had a whirlwind of success during the 2014/2015 season, his first as a member of the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers hockey team.
The former Wolverine team MVP amassed 2 goals and 7 assists in 33 games as a freshmen for the Tigers. As the season progressed, so did Abt’s game, as he became one of the Tigers most dependable defensemen.
He helped lead the team to their second Atlantic Hockey Conference championship, and for his efforts was named to the tournaments all-tournament team. With the conference championship came RIT’s second appearance in school history in the NCAA tournament. Once in the tournament, the Tiger’s provided perhaps the most stunning upsets in recent memory knocking off the number one ranked team in the country, the University of Minnesota-Mankato, in the opening round.
Despite the team’s season ending in the second round of the tournament, the most exciting news for Abt was still to come.
Following the conclusion of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Abt was invited to attend the Toronto Maple Leafs summer development camp.
“They gave me a call about a week after the season, and I mean it’s pretty surreal to get that phone call”, said Abt on his initial reaction to the invite. “I was in shock, it was pretty cool. You don’t realize how close you are (to the next level) until you get that call.”
The camp ran from July 7th-12th in Toronto and was run by the Maple Leafs player development team.
“I thought it went really well, I got some really good feedback from their development staff,” continued Abt discussing his assessment of his camp. “I think I raised a couple eyebrows, you know coming out of RIT, maybe I wasn’t a highly touted guy there, but I think I definitely turned a couple heads.”
Abt, who is an undrafted free agent with three more years of NCAA eligibility, will be returning to RIT next season for his sophomore year.
“They told me they were going to keep their eye out and watch me,” noted Abt on his exit interview with the Maple Leafs brass. “They’re going to let me know when they come down and watch, I have a good three years left to develop so we’ll take it from there.”
Abt added that he is looking to add some size and strength to his game as he heads into his second season in the NCAA.
The Whitecourt Wolverines are set to open their training camp next weekend as they head into their 4th season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. All on ice sessions will be open to the public.