Flyers prospect Stolarz leaving college

Jackson, New Jersey’s own, Anthony Stolarz, has decided to depart the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he is expected to play in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights.

“I’m obviously disappointed by Anthony’s decision,” said UNO head coach Dean Blais in a statement issued Monday afternoon.  “He has been making a very challenging transition from the North American Hockey League to the WCHA, and we, as coaches, saw good progress from him in the first half of the season.  But ultimately, it’s his decision where he wants to play, and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his career.”

Stolarz appeared to have gotten a bit of a raw deal in his freshman season, but nothing that would seem to indicate a jump to Canada was in order. Taken with the 45th pick (second round) in the draft this past June, Stolarz had become the #2 in a two-man goaltending rotation.

The 18-year-old played in eight games, starting seven, with a record of 2-5-0 and a 2.56 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage.  He earned his first career win with 20 saves in an 8-0 shutout of Alabama-Huntsville on November 24, but had been outplayed by counterpart and senior netminder John Faulkner, who was in net for the Mavs’ most recent wins, 8-4 and 3-1 triumphs against Colorado College on Friday and Saturday.

London is run by ex-NHLers, the Hunter brothers. The oldest of the bunch, Dale, left the Knights last season and served as interim head coach for the Washington Capitals before returning to the club for this season. The defending OHL champions, the Knights are 34-5-1-2 thus far in 2012-13.