Photos: Asvitt Photography/Stockton Thunder; Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards have signed goaltender Parker Milner and re-signed forward/defenseman Nick Grasso, the Mallards announced today.
Milner, 23, played for both the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder last year. The 6’ 1”, 197-pound Pittsburgh native turned professional last season after winning two national championships in four years at Boston College.
Milner spent the bulk of the 2013-14 campaign with the Thunder, for whom he posted a 2.84 goals against average, a .907 save percentage and two shutouts while going 9-14-2 in 25 games. He went 4-2-0 in eight outings for Bridgeport with a 2.95 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
Milner went 64-20-5 while turning in a 2.23 goals against average, a .919 save percentage and six shutouts in 93 games over the course of his standout collegiate career.
“Obviously, Milner’s numbers speak for themselves. He’s also nice young man who’s looking to come here to prove himself and take the next step toward the AHL,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “Even though he played in the AHL last year, he is looking to be even more consistent this season. He played quite a bit last year and we’ve asked him to do what he did last year only better.”
Milner helped Boston College to the NCAA title as a freshman in 2010 and again as a junior in 2012. He served as back-up netminder during BC’s run to the 2010 championship before taking a leading role in the 2012 triumph. Then a junior, Milner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2012 NCAA tournament and also earned NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament honors after going 4-0 with a 0.50 goals against average, a .982 save percentage and two shutouts during the tournament. Milner’s goals against average was tied for the best in tournament history while his save percentage was the highest since the tournament expanded from four teams in 1972. He capped off his superb tournament effort by making 27 saves in BC’s 4-1 victory over Ferris State in the national championship game. The NCAA title was the crowning achievement of a season that also saw Milner and his teammates win the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles as well as the Beanpot and Icebreaker tournaments.
Over the 2011-12 campaign as a whole, Milner went 29-5-0 while registering a 1.66 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and three shutouts in 34 games. His .853 winning percentage was the best in the nation. He completed his college career in 2012-13 by playing in all but one of the Eagles’ 38 games, going 22-11-4 and recording a 2.66 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and two shutouts.
During Milner’s time in Chestnut Hill, BC not only claimed a pair of NCAA crowns but also secured three Hockey East postseason titles along with two conference regular season championships, made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and won four straight Beanpots.
Before putting on the maroon and gold, Milner spent one season in the junior ranks with the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Black Hawks and one in prep school hockey at Avon Old Farms.
Milner joins rookie Evan Mosher in the Mallard crease while the Mallards have already re-signed four veteran defensemen- Benjaimin Dieude-Fauvel, Matt Duffy, Darren McMillan and Mike Monfredo- in addition to Grasso, who spent part of last season on the blue line.
“On the back side, I think we could have one of the best sets of goaltenders and defensemen in the league this season,” said Ruskowski.
Grasso, 26, scored six goals and totaled 27 points while posting a plus/minus rating of +7 in 47 games as a rookie last year.
“If you had a sixth man in hockey, Grasso would be one of the best in the league,” said Ruskowski. “He can play forward or defense and is the kind of reliable utility player every team can use.”
Before joining the Mallards, Grasso scored six goals and totaled 20 points over 99 career games at American International College. The 6’ 1”, 185-pound Smithtown, New York, product was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team after both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Grasso played four years of junior hockey for six teams (Waterloo Black Hawks, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Ohio Junior Blue Jackets, Alpena IceDiggers, Jersey Hitmen and New York Apple Core) in three leagues (USHL, Eastern Junior Hockey League and North American Hockey League) before heading to AIC.
2014-15 Mallards season tickets are now on sale. Ticket packages are available to meet almost any budget. A limited edition season ticket holder Mallard jersey, 12 additional ticket vouchers per seat and free parking are among a host of exclusive benefits available to season ticket holders. For more season ticket information fans can call the Mallards’ business office at 309-277-1364.