North Iowa defenseman Huffman signs NAHL tender
The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), are excited to announce that defenseman Caleb Huffman has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender with the Kenai River Brown Bears of the NAHL's Midwest Division.
The Fairbanks, Alaska product started the season on the Bulls’ roster but has long been on the Brown Bears’ radar as well. Huffman was chosen by North Iowa in the second round of this spring’s NA3HL Draft after an impressive two seasons with the famed Meijer AAA program in Michigan. Kenai River used a draft pick on him as well, taking him in the 10th round of this summer’s NAHL Draft.
Huffman attended Kenai River’s preseason training camp, but returned to North Iowa as the Brown Bears prepare to start their season in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin this weekend. He’ll hope to continue the hot start he enjoyed at the beginning of October, notching a goal and two assists in his first junior game on October 2 against the Alexandria Blizzard.
He becomes the 39th North Iowa player to sign an NAHL tender, and the second to ink an agreement with the Brown Bears. Defenseman Chancie Hanson signed a tender with Kenai River during the 2012-13 season on his way to a college career at St. John’s University in Minnesota.
Huffman’s move back to the Brown Bears would also mark another example of the NAHL’s “Ladder of Development” at work, after his three years in the North American Prospects Hockey League. He not only spent two years in the NAPHL with his Meijer AAA squad, but also played on the Alaska Oilers’ 15U NAPHL squad. 27 NA3HL players signed tenders with NAHL teams last season, with North Iowa players inking five of those.
“We’re super-excited about the ability for Caleb to tender with Kenai River this early in the year,” said Bulls head coach Todd Sanden. “We’re hoping that now he can focus on his game and his teammates, and helping us win a Fraser Cup championship.”
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 includes 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 2021 NAHL Draft.