BEMIDJI - Andrew Walsh might have been a relative unknown before last season, but now the Bemidji State goaltender is getting recognition at the highest level.
The sophomore from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, was invited to skate with his hometown Vancouver Canucks at their NHL Prospect Development Camp this weekend.
Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said he's glad Walsh is getting this opportunity.
"It's always exciting when the guys get to skate with pro teams," he said. "It's good for them to see how NHL teams go about their business."
As a freshman last season Walsh had a red-hot December, earning WCHA Rookie of the Month after a string of four consecutive victories. He played in a total of 11 games last season and compiled a 6-4-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.37 GAA.
Walsh is one of five goaltenders invited to the five-day camp, which will consist of on and off-ice workouts. He'll join some of Vancouver's top prospects and new draft picks, as well as some undrafted college players.
Serratore said NHL teams have recently been inviting more college kids to their camps.
"It's getting quite common," he said. "It's a great experience for them, and it allows the team to track some kids they may not have seen before."
With the departure of Dan Bakala, Walsh is expected to be the Beavers' No. 1 option in between the pipes this season. This will only help his chances.
"He's got great size and athletic ability," Serratore said. "At this point he's probably our top guy. This is going to be a great experience for him."