TROY, N.Y. – Three former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey players have signed NHL contracts, including goaltender Jason Kasdorf, who made his professional debut at the end of last season with the Buffalo Sabres. Kasdorf and Erik Burgdoerfer each signed two-way contracts with Buffalo, while Mike Zalewski inked a similar deal with the Vancouver Canucks.
As a senior last season, Kasdorf (Winnipeg, MB/Des Moines Buccaneers) played 30 games, going 12-12-5 with a 2.30 goals against average and the .931 save percentage. His 916 saves came on 984 shots in 1777:19 minutes with two shutouts. He concluded his collegiate career as both the single-season (1.62 in 2012-13) and career (2.39) goals against average record holder at RPI, while also ranking second (.935 in 2012-13) and third (.931 in 2015-16) in single season save percentage. Second in career save percentage (.920), he is in the top five in 10 other categories, including fourth in career shutouts (7) and fifth in season saves (916 in 2015-16).
Kasdorf, who was drafted by his hometown Winnipeg Jets, saw his rights dealt to Buffalo in 2015. He made his pro debut for the Sabres on April 8, 2016, making 26 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A defenseman, Burgdoerfer (East Setauket, NY/New York Apple Core) played in 129 games for the Engineers from 2006-10, registering seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points. Named the team’s Most Improved Player following his freshman season of 2006-07, he led Rensselaer in both penalties (34) and penalty minutes (106) as a junior in 2008-09.
Burgdoerfer has spent the better part of the last two seasons with the Hershey Bears, where he played in 132 regular season games, totaling seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points. He also appeared in 31 playoff games, recording five assists for five points. The Bears advanced to the Calder Cup Finals, before falling to the Lake Erie Monsters.
Zalewski (New Hartford, NY/Vernon Vipers) played in 71 games over two season at RPI, scoring 21 goals and adding 26 assists 47 points. Two of those goals came on the power play, two were shorthanded and one was a game-winner. After posting nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in his sophomore season, he signed a free agent contract with the Canucks.
Appearing in five NHL games since 2013-14, Zalewski has two assists for two points. He has also played in 113 regular season games for the Utica Comets, the team’s AHL affiliate, scoring 19 goals and dishing out 36 assists for 45 points. In 27 playoff contests, he has a goal and three assists for four points.