If Carter Rowney gets into the lineup and on the ice tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Boston Bruins he will be the second former Grande Prairie Storm player to have stepped onto National Hockey League Ice.
Rowney, 27, was called up to the NHL team from the American Hockey League Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins today.
The Sexsmith native played three full seasons for the Junior A Storm finishing his career off with an Alberta Junior Hockey League championship and the Playoff MVP award in the spring of 2009. He was also the AHL Penguins team MVP last season.
He started his minor hockey in Sexsmith and then played with the Bantam AAA Storm and the Midget AAA Storm before moving onto the Junior A Storm.
After graduating from the junior Storm he spent four seasons in NCAA Division I hockey with the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. His first pro game was with the AHL Abbotsford Heat in 2013. He then moved to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and also spent time with their farm team – the Wheeling Nailers in the East Coast Hockey League.
In 24 games with the Baby Penguins this year he has 10 goals and 11 assists.
Rowney was summoned in the wake of injuries to center Evgeni Malkin and right winger Patric Hornqvist.
Malkin has been ruled out of the Bruins game, while Hornqvist is optimistic about playing, although Sullivan called him a "game-time decision."
If Hornqvist doesn’t suite up there is a good chance Rowney will replace him in the lineup.
Rowney did impress at NHL training camp this past September and got a long look in five preseason games, where he performed well scoring two goals.
“This is a great opportunity for Carter and great for the Storm,” said Storm assistant coach Dennis Rix, who played with Rowney all three years he was with the Junior A Storm.
If Rowney does get into an NHL game during his call-up he will be the second former Storm player after Grant Stevenson to do so.
Stevenson, who played with the Storm during the 2000-2001 season, received a scholarship at Minnesota State U – Mankato where he played for two seasons before signing with the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. He played in the AHL and ECHL before being called up to the Sharks in 2005-2006 appearing in 47 NHL games with 10 goals and 12 assists.
He signed with the Atlanta Thrashers and then the Calgary Flames, but never played another NHL game after his stint with the Sharks.
The Spruce Grove native ended his pro career playing in Europe.