Former Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman mark Friedman will make his way from one side of the Alleghenies to the other after being waived by the Philadelphia Flyers, then claimed Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Friedman’s relocation comes after he had spent his entire professional career in the Flyers organization. He was drafted by Philadelphia in 2014 during the third round (85th overall) after spending two years with the Black Hawks. Friedman signed with the Flyers after the 2016/17 NCAA season and made his NHL debut on April 6, 2019. Through Sunday, he had appeared in 11 NHL games, recording one assist.
Friedman first joined the Black Hawks ahead of the 2012/13 USHL campaign and was part of the squad which went to Omsk, Russia, to claim a silver medal during the 2012 Junior Club World Cup. In league play, he appeared in all 64 games that season, stacking up eight goals, 27 assists and a +22 plus/minus differential. The next year, Friedman added five points to his total (10 goals, 30 assists), despite being limited to 51 appearances, and was once again +22. The Black Hawks won the Anderson Cup for having the USHL’s best regular season record. Friedman’s teammates that year included fellow NHL’ers Zach Sanford (St. Louis Blues), Brandon Montour (Buffalo Sabres), Cal Petersen (L.A. Kings), and Patrick Russell (Edmonton Oilers). For good measure, Friedman was responsible for two goals and 10 assists in 17 career Clark Cup Playoff games.
After Waterloo, Friedman advanced to Bowling Green State University for three seasons. He skated in 121 NCAA games for the Falcons, recording 16 goals and 52 assists (68 points) with a +21 differential. The majority of his time as a professional has been spent with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
Friedman is the second former Black Hawks defenseman to make his NHL debut with the Flyers before later joining the Penguins. Mark Eaton followed a similar arc, playing his first NHL game in 1999/2000, then eventually joining Pittsburgh in 2006/07. Eaton won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009. Two other former Hawks – twin brothers Chris and Peter Ferraro – also spent part of their NHL careers in Pittsburgh.
An announcement of Wednesday’s transaction by the Penguins notes Friedman “will join the team in Washington for tomorrow's game against the Capitals.”
He is one of 11 Waterloo alumni to appear in an NHL game during the current season.