North Iowa forward Simon signs NAHL tender
The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), are excited to announce that forward Zachary Simon has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL tender agreement with the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL's Midwest Division.
Simon has become one of the most valuable forwards on the North Iowa Bulls' roster, despite having never played a full season of junior hockey, and will head east to the Land of Lincoln for his first full-season shot at junior hockey as he prepares to graduate from Orono High School in Minnesota.
The Orono native spent three years on the Spartans' varsity roster, serving among the team's captains during the past two seasons. His high school stat line includes almost 150 points during those three years, including 70 goals and a 2018 Minnesota state title. His 66 points this past year was just shy of a top-10 mark across all high school players in Minnesota.
He notched just four points in 14 games last season with the Bulls, but ramped it up with 16 points in 19 games this year. A six-goal, six-assist stint prior to the Minnesota high school season led to a brief call-up to the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League in early November, where he scored the eventual game-winner against Shreveport in his NAHL debut.
"He's a guy that you wish you had the entire year," said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. "Simon has a compete level that far surpasses his size and stature. He comes out of the corners with pucks, against guys much bigger, much older and much stronger than him. He refuses to lose wall battles, and has a pretty good gift around the net as well."
Simon is one of nearly 50 North Iowa players to suit up for an NAHL team after donning a Bulls sweater. One of those players, Aaron Swanson, finished the 2017-18 season with the Bulls before spending the second half of last season and the first half of this season with the Jr. Blues. Springfield finished this season in sixth place in the NAHL's Midwest Division, and was set to miss the playoffs for the fifth time in a seven-year stretch.
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 2, 2020.