Ferris players sign pro contracts

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University men’s ice hockey senior forward Craig Pefley (St. Clair) has signed a contract to join the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers to begin his professional hockey career. The Oilers are the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the San Antonio Rampage and the National Hockey League (NHL) partner of the St. Louis Blues.

Pefley was a member of the 2015-16 freshman class that helped lead the Bulldogs to a WCHA Championship and NCAA Regional Final. He made his impact felt when he burst onto the scene the following season when he registered 15 points in his first 15 games with five multi-point games in that span.

A native of St. Clair, Michigan, Pefley also became the first Bulldog since Matt Robertson (Class of 2016) to register multiple four-point games in the same calendar year.

Pefley is on track to graduate this coming May. He is a high achiever in the classroom as a three-time WCHA All-Academic Team member and Scholar Athlete. When Pefley graduates, he will officially become Ferris State’s 27th alum active in professional hockey in the 2018-19 season. Classmate Ryker Killins became the 25th earlier this week when he signed with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays while Corey Mackin became the 26th in signing with the Reading Royals in the ECHL.

When he dresses for the Oilers, Pefley will join the company of Brandon Anselmini, Chad Billins, Jason Binkley, Kyle Bonis, Justin Buzzeo, Brendan Connolly, Simon Denis, Mike Embach, Cory Kane, Ryker Killins, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Lowney, Corey Mackin, Mitch Maloney, Gerald Mayhew, Troy Milam, Adam Miller, CJ Motte, Pat Nagle, Derek Nesbitt, Zach Redmond, Blair Riley, Matt Roberston, Kyle Schempp, Garrett Thompson, Jared VanWormer, and Charles Williams as active professional alumni.

The Oilers are one of the ECHL’s top teams this season and are tied atop the ECHL’s Mountain Conference.

Mackin (Philadelphia), senior forward. has signed a professional contract to join the ECHL’s Reading Royals. The Royals are the ECHL’s affiliate of the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Lehigh Valley Phantoms and National Hockey League’s (NHL) Philadelphia Flyers.

Mackin finished his senior season with six points in his final three games to break 100 collegiate points, becoming the first Bulldog since Gerald Mayhew (2016-17) to hit the mark. Mackin’s 101st and final point, a goal, earned him his 10th of the season, as he joined a small club of Bulldogs to score 10 or more times in each of their four seasons as a Bulldog. Mackin led the Bulldogs in goal scoring as a senior.

The Philadelphia, Penn., native finished his collegiate career with 43 goals and 58 assists for 101 points in 149 collegiate games. A two-year captain, Mackin was also the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Preseason and Postseason Rookie of the Year in 2015-16.

Mackin played an integral role in the Bulldogs run to the WCHA’s Broadmoor Trophy Championship in 2016 and helped the Bulldogs upset St. Cloud State in the 2016 NCAA West Regional before a trip to the NCAA’s Final Eight. Mackin was also a 2017 WCHA All-Second Team selection as a sophomore and a WCHA All-Academic Team member in 2018 as a junior.

The Royals, competing out of the ECHL’s North Division, are currently sitting on the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff bubble.

Killins (Wawa, Ontario), a senior defenseman, has officially signed a deal to join the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL to begin his professional hockey career after wrapping up his final collegiate season with the Bulldogs.

Killins, an alternate captain on the 2018-19 Bulldog squad, was an All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association Third Team member as a junior in 2017-18 and a three-time WCHA Defenseman of the Week Award winner last season. Killins also has twice been named an All-WCHA All Academic performer.

The Wawa, Ontario, native played in integral role on the 2016 Broadmoor Champion Bulldogs, who advanced to the NCAA Final Eight. Killins played in every postseason contest as a freshman and set up the game-winning goal in game one of the 2016 WCHA Quarterfinal against Northern Michigan University.

In South Carolina, Killins joins Stingrays’ broadcaster and former voice of Ferris State Hockey Jared Shafran, who serves as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster and director of communications. Shafran was Ferris State’s broadcaster when Killins was a freshman in 2015-16.



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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