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Ice Hockey: 22-Year-Old Goalie Becomes First-Ever Hungarian To Be Signed By NHL Team

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2016.05.19.

Professional US ice hockey team Minnesota Wild, a member of the National Hockey League (NHL), has agreed to terms with 22-year-old Hungarian free agent goaltender Ádám Vay on a two-year, entry-level contract.

VayAdam

Vay, 22 (3/22/94), posted a 3.67 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage (SV%) in three games for Hungary at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound native of Budapest, Hungary, made 35 saves in a 5-1 loss to the United States on May 13, made 48 saves in a 3-0 loss to Finland on May 11 and stopped 11-of-12 shots in relief on May 8 against Canada. He appeared in 39 games with Debreceni HK in the MOL League in 2015-16 and posted a 2.77 GAA, a .927 SV% and two shutouts. Vay led the league in SV% and ranked fifth in GAA amongst goalies that played a minimum of 30 contests.

Vay went 28-4-0 with a 2.03 GAA, a .923 SV% and five shutouts in 32 games with the El Paso Rhinos in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) in 2014-15. He ranked T-1st in the league in shutouts, third in SV% and fourth in GAA as the Rhinos advanced to the Thorne Cup Final. Vay went 25-1-0 in 26 games with El Paso in 2013-14 and led the WSHL with a 1.76 GAA, a .936 SV% and ranked T-1st with five shutouts as the Rhinos won the 2014 Thorne Cup and National Championship.

Significantly, he is the first-ever Hungarian ice hockey player to be signed by a National Hockey League team.

Minnesota Wild based in St. Paul, Minnesota, was founded on June 25, 1997, but started playing in the 2000-01 NHL season. The Wild were the first NHL franchise in Minnesota since the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. They lost their first game, 3–1, to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and recorded their first win against the Tampa Bay Lightning five games later. The Wild play at the Xcel Energy Center. In the 2002–03 season, the team made its first Stanley Cup playoff appearance, making a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals. As of 2015, the Wild have averaged a .537 points percentage since entering the league.

via wild.nhl.com
photo: wild.nhl.com and szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu