Calgary Flames prospect Cade Littler has swapped college commitments

calgary flames prospect cade littler has swapped college commitments

Calgary Flames prospect Cade Littler has swapped college commitments

In the seventh round of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Calgary Flames selected centre Cade Littler of the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. At the time, Littler was committed to Minnesota State University Mankato for the 2023-24 season. But plans have changed and, after a coaching change at Mankato, Littler will now be attending the University of North Dakota starting with the 2024-25 season.

For the curious, prospect NCAA players sign letters of intent with specific programs. But the letters of intent include an out clause in the event that the coach that recruited them leaves the program. For Littler, he was recruited to Minnesota State Mankato during the reign of head coach Mike Hastings. When Hastings left at the end of March to become head coach at Wisconsin, Littler was given the option of executing his out clause.

(Johnny Gaudreau did the same thing in 2011 after the coach that recruited him to Northeastern University took a job with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He ended up going to Boston College instead.)

That’s what Littler did, and that’s probably why he magically appeared with Cedar Rapids during the USHL playoffs, after Wenatchee was eliminated from the BCHL post-season. Evidently both Cedar Rapids and Littler liked the fit, so he’ll play with the RoughRiders in the USHL for 2023-24 (as a 19-year-old) and then head to the University of North Dakota in 2024-25 (as a 20-year-old).

Littler was drafted as a longer-term project, given that he was a lanky, college-bound centre, and this gives him some time to develop. He had a strong season in the BCHL in 2022-23 with 68 points in 51 games and, given his age and pedigree, it’s reasonable to expect him to be a prominent offensive contributor for Cedar Rapids this coming season.

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