Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
Albert Augustana University’s Vikings men’s ice hockey team will be a well-oiled machine come September with Connor McLaughlin joining line-mates Scott Swiston and Beau Taylor in the 2016 Proski Newcastle North Stars.
The trio have been line-mates for multiple seasons at the Vikings, and it was Taylor’s encouragement that convinced North Stars general manager Garry Doré to take the chance on Swiston when an import spot became available in the 2015 AIHL season at the North Stars.
McLaughlin had also been eager to play for the North Stars in previous seasons, but was unable due to other commitments.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while and I have been trying to make it happen ever since I heard about it [AIHL]," he said.
“With my family obligations last summer it wasn’t a possibility but this summer I was finally able to commit and couldn’t be happier.
“Obviously Beau and Scott have told me a lot about Australia and it is somewhere that I have wanted to travel to as long as I can remember.”
Music to the ears of the North Stars fans will be that McLaughlin is considered the sharp-shooter of the three, with Taylor and Swiston already renowned for their ability to fire the puck.
McLaughlin top-scored for the Vikings with 20 goals and 16 assists in 28 games, helping his team place second overall and putting them into their post-season, where he’s scoring at a goal per game.
“My not too secret weapon would have to be my shot.”
Newcastle has never been so eager to welcome a trio of Vikings.
McLaughlin travels to Australia with good friend Swiston in time for the opening round of the AIHL on April 23. Photo credit: Sean Mascaluk / Pro Sports Photography