AMARILLO, Texas – North Iowa defenseman Harrison Stewart has committed to starting his 2019-20 season with the Bulls…but his season will start in Amarillo next year instead of North Iowa. Stewart has signed a North American Hockey League tender with the Amarillo Bulls, giving North Iowa’s NAHL sister franchise the first chance to put him on the ice at the Tier II level.
Stewart joined the North Iowa roster a week into the season and immediately made his presence known, posting three assists in his opening weekend against Breezy Point and New Ulm. Six multi-point games later, the Rockford, Illinois native has vaulted his way up the Bulls’ scoring chart. His 27 points, including six goals, puts him comfortably in front of his defensive brethren on the North Iowa roster.
Stewart is the second North Iowa player to sign an NAHL tender this year, after Evan Junker’s commitment to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs at the end of December. That tender agreement does not mean an automatic call-up, but his NAHL playing rights have been committed to Amarillo. He will start next season with the Amarillo Bulls and will not be eligible for this spring’s NAHL Draft. Any NAHL appearances he makes during the remainder of this season will also be made in an Amarillo Bulls uniform.
Amarillo has leaped to the top of the NAHL South Division standings this season after missing the Robertson Cup playoffs each of the last four years. With 58 points through just 36 games, Rocky Russo’s team is currently on pace for its best season since 2012-13, when it won its only Robertson Cup title.
More than 30 North Iowa Bulls players have reached the NAHL since the team’s inaugural season in 2011-12. Three of those players are currently active in NCAA Division I hockey, with several others playing for professional teams. More than 50 NA3HL alumni suited up in the NAHL a year ago, with that number expected to rise this season.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Harrison Stewart on taking this latest step in his junior hockey career and wish him the best in his future with the Amarillo Bulls.