North Iowa defenseman Stewart signs NAHL tender
January 28, 2019
The North Iowa Bulls of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) are proud to announce that defenseman Harrison Stewart has signed a tender agreement with the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
Stewart joined the North Iowa roster a week into the season and immediately made his presence known, posting three assists in his opening weekend against Breezy Point and New Ulm. Six multi-point games later, the Rockford, Illinois native has vaulted his way up the Bulls' scoring chart. His 27 points, including six goals, puts him comfortably in front of his defensive brethren on the North Iowa roster.
Stewart is the second North Iowa player to sign an NAHL tender this year, after Evan Junker's commitment to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs at the end of December. Now, North Iowa's sister franchise in the NAHL will have the first opportunity to put him on the ice at the Tier II level.
Amarillo has leaped to the top of the NAHL South Division standings this season after missing the Robertson Cup playoffs each of the last four years. With 64 points through just 39 games, Rocky Russo's team is currently on pace for its best season since 2012-13, when it won its only Robertson Cup title.
Stewart's tender agreement does not mean an automatic call-up, but his NAHL playing rights have been committed to Amarillo. He will start next season with the Amarillo Bulls and will not be eligible for this spring’s NAHL Draft. Any NAHL appearances he makes during the remainder of this season will also be made in an Amarillo Bulls uniform.
More than 30 North Iowa Bulls players have reached the NAHL since the team's inaugural season in 2011-12. Three of those players are currently active in NCAA Division I hockey, with several others playing for professional teams. More than 50 NA3HL alumni suited up in the NAHL a year ago, with that number expected to rise this season.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include one tender exclusively used on players from the NA3HL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft, which will be held on June 4, 2019.