College Hockey: Ex-Dutchmen get pro jobs

Two days after graduating from Union College, Dutchmen defense­men Lane Caffaro and Brendan Milnamow

Two days after graduating from Union College, Dutchmen defense­men Lane Caffaro and Brendan Milnamow have jobs.

Caffaro and Milnamow will continue their hockey careers in the pro ranks. Caffaro signed a one-year contract with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and Milnamow inked a one-year, two-way deal between the AHL’s Texas Stars and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads on Tuesday.

“Both players have worked extremely hard to develop to their potential,” Union coach Nate Leaman said in a statement. “I’m happy for both of them, and wish them much luck in their careers.”

Caffaro, who had eight goals and 14 assists last season, finished his Dutchmen career as the team’s all-time scorer among defensemen at the Division I level with 23 goals and 56 assists. Caffaro was voted to the All-ECAC Hockey first team. He became the first Dutchmen to be named to the preseason all-conference team last fall.

In his freshman year, Caffaro set the team Division I record for penalty minutes with 101. But he cut down on the time he spent in the penalty box the next three seasons, going from 63 minutes his soph­omore year, to 33 minutes his junior year and 30 minutes last season.

“It’s unreal,” Caffaro said. “It’s been a goal from the very beginning, obviously. I feel very fortunate to wind up with the organization I did.”

Milnamow had a breakout season his senior year. He led team defense­men with nine goals, and finished with 18 points.

“It’s very exciting,” Milnamow said. “I’ve worked very hard these past four years. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about playing pro hockey, I was thinking about Union College and what I can do this year to make that team better. The opportunity presented itself. I’m glad it did. It just shows that the coaching staff at Union did a great job of developing its players.”

Both players got a taste of what pro hockey life is like after the Dutchmen’s season ended March 15 in the ECACH tournament quarterfinals.

Caffaro played four games with the Penguins on an amateur tryout contract, and had one assist.

“I know what it’s going to be like going in,” Caffaro said. “I can be a little bit more aggressive, and be comfortable with the guys. It was only four games, but that will pay dividends when I get there.”

Milnamow played five in games with the Steelheads, and posted a plus-two rating.

“I knew, after the season, that I wanted to play, whether it would be for five games, or for 10 games,” Milnamow said. “I wanted to get out there and see what it was all about, [and] the style of play. It was different. It was good to get those five games under my belt. Going into camps this summer and this fall, I’ll feel much more comfortable.”

Categories: College Sports

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