ITHACA, N.Y. — Senior defenseman Matt Nuttle has signed an amateur tryout contract to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, the team announced Thursday afternoon. He joins senior forward Mitch Vanderlaan, who signed a similar deal with the AHL’s Utica Comets earlier this week, in becoming the first members of this season’s graduating class to join the professional ranks.
Nuttle recently concluded a resilient collegiate career in which he went from playing just two games a freshman to winning ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman while serving as an alternate captain. He once again led the team with a plus-18 rating as a senior, but Nuttle also enjoyed a breakthrough season offensively. He scored four goals to pair with 15 assists for 19 points, doubling his career scoring total in just the one season.
Vanderlaan was a rare two-time captain for the Big Red, racking up 97 points on 41 goals and 56 assists in 132 collegiate career games – the most points for a Cornellian since Greg Miller ’13 had 98. His 30 points during the 2018-19 season was a career high. Vanderlaan also earned All-Ivy League honors three times, including honorable mention each of the last two seasons.
Both Nuttle and Vanderlaan could make their professional debuts as soon as games at 7 p.m. Friday. The Stingrays host the front end of a home-and-home with Atlanta Gladiators, while the Comets host the Toronto Marlies.