Former Waterloo Black Hawks Captain Nick Swaney has signed with the Minnesota Wild after completing his senior season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Swaney’s one-year NHL contract is for the 2021/22 season. He will join the Des Moines-based Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the spring and could make his professional debut as early as this weekend. The AHL Wild have 12 games remaining on their schedule.
Before helping UMD reach the Frozen Four in three of his four seasons, Swaney played two full years with the Black Hawks, as well as in games as a Waterloo affiliate beginning in 2013/14. He made his USHL debut March 15, 2014 versus the Dubuque Fighting Saints and scored a goal in that 7-3 Hawks win. It was the first of 66 goals and 115 points in a Waterloo career which included 120 regular season games. Among junior-era Black Hawks (beginning in the 1979/80 season), Swaney’s 66 goals rank fifth. He also skated in an additional 17 playoff games with 11 points (six goals, five assists).
During his first full season in Waterloo (2015/16), Swaney led the Hawks with 30 goals, tying for seventh in the USHL. Adding 20 assists, his 50 points came in 54 games. The following year, he improved on that point total (51 points from 26 goals and 25 assists), despite being limited to 47 appearances by international competition and a late season injury. Swaney was a member U.S. Junior Select Team which won the World Junior A Challenge in December of 2016. The Wild selected him in seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Swaney was a member of the UMD Bulldogs’ NCAA national championship squads in 2017/18 and 2018/19. During his four years in the program, he produced 46 goals and 55 assists in 134 games. Swaney finished as runner-up for the NCHC Player of the Year award while earning first team All-NCHC recognition.
Both as a Black Hawk and a Bulldog, Swaney played with Mikey Anderson and Dylan Samberg. The two defensemen were drafted with Swaney in 2017 and have also each signed NHL contracts: Anderson with the Los Angeles Kings and Samberg with the Winnipeg Jets.
Two Waterloo alumni have previously played in NHL regular season games for the Wild: Justin Kloos in 2017/18 and J.T. Brown in 2018/19. Defenseman Ian McCoshen is also currently a member of the Wild organization and has produced four assists in 11 AHL games for Iowa.
Photo provided by Minnesota-Duluth Athletics. Black Hawks alumni updates are presented by Karen's Print Rite, 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo.