ITHACA, N.Y. — Senior forward Alex Rauter has signed a contract to play the remainder of the 2017-18 season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, the team announced Thursday. Rauter becomes the second member of the Class of 2018 to sign a pro deal this week.
After playing just 26 games in his first two years at Cornell, Rauter turned his collegiate career around and not only became a contributor in all areas of the ice, he served as a co-captain for this season’s powerhouse squad. His breakthrough season as a junior in 2016-17 included more offense to the tune of eight goals and nine assists for 17 points, but even more importantly he emerged as a dependable and versatile player. While still primarily a right wing, he spent some time at center (where he is expected to play with Atlanta) and on defense. He made such an impression in his couple of months on the blue line that the NHL’s San Jose Sharks brought him to their prospect development camp over the following summer as a defenseman.
Returning to his more familiar spot on the wing for most of his senior campaign, Rauter recorded a career-high 11 goals and 20 points. He was tied for the team lead with five power-play goals. His 43 points over 93 collegiate games ranks second among his classmates.
Rauter’s signing comes two days after fellow forward Dwyer Tschantz signed with another ECHL team, the Worcester Railers. Rauter will be eligible to make his professional debut on Saturday, when the Gladiators visit the Florida Everblades in Estero, Fla.