Forward Nick Halloran, who just finished up his career at Colorado College, signed an American Hockey League contract with the Ontario Reign for the 2020-21 season. Ontario is a Los Angeles Kings affiliate.
“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to join the Reign,” Halloran said via text. “Hoping to make (an) impact as soon as the season starts. Hopefully everyone stays safe and we can beat the virus first and foremost.”
Tigers coach Mike Haviland said the shutdown of professional hockey due to the coronavirus came at a bad time for graduating players who might have signed somewhere right away under normal circumstances.
However it offered Halloran time to rehab a minor injury sustained in the last game of the regular season.
“You may only have that one chance,” Haviland said, adding that ideally you’d be “100%.”
Four-year Tiger Halloran became the first in his class to sign a professional deal.
“Certainly gave him my thoughts and I think it’s a great opportunity,” Haviland said. “You want to put yourself in a position where you’re going to give yourself a chance.”
Halloran finished his college career with 97 points (40 goals, 57 assists) in 119 games despite missing the second half of his junior year due to injury. The Draper, Utah, native was an alternate captain and led the team in assists (18) as a senior.
He was a first-team all-NCHC pick and a CCM/AHCA All-America West Second Team selection during a standout sophomore season. He had the best numbers of the so-called “13-14-15” top line also featuring Mason Bergh and Trey Bradley.
His speed, vision and playmaking abilities brought him success at CC, particularly in 2017-18.
“When Nick is skating at that level all the time, consistently, I think he’s got that deception through the neutral ice,” Haviland said. “He can go by guys.”
“We wanted him to shoot a little bit more and be a little bit selfish at times. That’s the message I’ll keep telling him moving forward.”
Bergh signed an amateur tryout contract with the Reign at the conclusion of his senior season last year. He split the 2019-20 season between Ontario and the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.
“He can definitely talk to Mason and get what coach wants there and how he runs things,” Haviland said. “He can pick Mason’s brain for that for sure.
“I think it’s pretty cool that they’re in the same organization.”