By Jonathan Bombulie
WILKES-BARRE TWP., Pa. – For many young players in Reid Cashman’s position, the early days of their AHL careers are spent as a square peg being pounded into a round hole.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are taking a different approach which means it will be interesting to see what kind of contribution the 25-year-old offensive defenseman makes this season.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to succeed,” Cashman said after practice Tuesday.
Cashman, who grew up on the Mississippi River town of Red Wing, Minn., was a dynamic offensive force in his college days at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
As a sophomore, he became the first NCAA Division I defenseman to lead his league in scoring in 18 years. As a senior, he finished second to goalie John Curry in the balloting for New England player of the year honors. When the dust settled, he was a two-time All-American, undrafted but signed to a pro contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His rookie season did not go as well as he hoped.
Cashman spent most of the year with Columbia of the ECHL, earning three call-ups to the Toronto Marlies for a total of eight games.