Fairbanks' Hunter Bishop inks NHL deal AND MAKES FAIRBANKS HISTORY

Fairbanks' Hunter Bishop inks NHL deal AND MAKES FAIRBANKS HISTORY

Fairbanks' Bishop inks NHL deal AND MAKES FAIRBANKS HISTORY

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 11:43 AM

by Bob Eley / beley@newsminer.com4 days ago : 1553 views : 5 :

FAIRBANKS - Hunter Bishop made a bit of Fairbanks hockey history Thursday when he signed a professional contract with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League.

When Bishop signed a two-year contract with one of the NHL’s most storied franchises and winners of 25 Stanley Cups, he became the first Fairbanks-born player to sign directly with an NHL team.

Others have signed professional contracts, but not directly with an NHL team.

Attempts to reach Bishop on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Bishop, who participated in the Canadiens development camp last summer, has been assigned to play for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. He reports to the team on Monday.

Roger McKinnon coached Bishop on the 2001 Arctic Lions PeeWee A’s that earned a berth in the USA Hockey National Championships.

“The main thing about Hunter is that his attitude was just unbelievable,” McKinnon said Thursday afternoon at his business, Sport King.

“With his work ethic and attitude, you could just tell he was going to go places in hockey,” McKinnon said. “He always kept himself in shape and went to camps in the summer. He got a good deal.”

Scotty Gomez, former NHL Rookie of the Year and two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, now plays for the Canadiens. He was the first Alaskan to play in the NHL.

Bishop left Fairbanks to play junior hockey with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. He attended the University of North Dakota of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for part of one season before returning Vernon. Bishop spent the past two seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Bishop, who is 6-foot and weighs 196 pounds, was fourth on the Ohio State scoring list this past season with 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points in 33 games. He had 22 penalty minutes.

During his sophomore season at Ohio State, Bishop collected 14 goals and

17 assists for 31 points in

42 games.

While playing junior hockey for the Vernon Vipers, Bishop registered 93 goals and hand 84 assists for 197 points in 140 regular-season games. His best season was 2007-08 when he had 57 goals and 40 assists and MVP of the BCHL.

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