Pen to paper

The ink has dried on professional contracts for three Bulldog hockey players

Three seniors from this season’s Ferris hockey team joined the professional ranks earlier this year. With their first season since signing their contracts wrapping up, the former Bulldogs are starting to get a feel for what their futures could hold.

Fan-favorite forward Gerald Mayhew inked a contract with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) and it appears no matter where he goes, it will always be GerryTime.

Mayhew was a star in his time with the Bulldogs, leading the team in scoring for the past three seasons, including 17 goals and 18 assists as a senior. In his first season with Iowa, Mayhew has put up some solid numbers by finding twine six times and adding an assist through 17 games.

Two of Mayhew’s Ferris teammates, forward Jared VanWormer and defenseman Ryan Lowney, also signed professional contracts.

VanWormer had an impressive finish to his career at Ferris, recording nine goals and 14 assists in his final campaign. Lowney was an impact player on the defensive side as a senior scoring two goals on the 78 shots he had on goal.

Both Lowney and VanWormer signed with teams in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), with VanWormer suiting up for the Missouri Mavericks and Lowney joining up with the Fort Wayne Komets.

“I was a bit nervous when I signed with Missouri,” said VanWormer. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Obviously as a kid you grow up with that dream of playing for the Red Wings. I’m hoping to move into the AHL in the distant future, but the Mavericks give me good experience.” VanWormer hasn’t made much noise in Missouri, only recording one assist and no goals through 10 games.

VanWormer’s journey to the NHL may be more winding than that of Mayhew, but for such a solid player the AHL is certainly a reasonable destination. As for Lowney, joining the Fort Wayne Komets provided him the opportunity to join forces with former Ferris defenseman Jason Binkley. Lowney has been a real team player for the Komets, scoring one goal but setting up five assists through 14 games.

The three Ferris seniors have taken the first steps in what they hope to be long, successful professional careers.