Flyers’ Noah Cates making NHL debut against Wild in St. Paul

On Saturday he was playing in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, and three days later now former University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) captain Noah Cates will make his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers.

It’s an extra sweet moment for the Stillwater, Minnesota native as it’s happening against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. Cates as experience at the rink playing there both in the Minnesota State High School hockey tournament and in the NCAA tournament, but Tuesday night will mark his first-ever NHL game.

"High school was obviously really fun, kind of doing that with your buddies, and college was really fun winning a couple championships here," Cates explained. "But this, playing your first NHL game debuting in Minnesota with I can’t even put a number on how many people will be here, this is obvously really special."

He now joins his brother Jackson Cates in the Philadelphia franchise, who’s currently rostered with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Wearing number 49 the left winger even led warm ups in St. Paul Tuesday morning. Cates finished his collegiate career with 39 goals and 60 assists.

"Obviously kind of a whirlwind, happened pretty quick," Cates said about the signing process. "Obviously pretty disappointing that my four years at Duluth are over, it was an awesome four years so all the memories and people up there [are] so special to me, but kind of closing the page pretty quickly coming down here."

Hitting the ice ahead of their 7pm game against the Wild, Cates took his rookie lap as a Flyer in front of seats full of his Bulldog teammates.