Dec. 16, 2011
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Making a grand return to his home state, former Miami University hockey standout and Fridley, Minn., native Jarod Palmer is slated to make his National Hockey League debut Saturday as he was called up from the Houston Aeros to the Minnesota Wild, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher announced Friday.
The Wild host the New York Islanders Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) when Palmer will likely play his first NHL game, assuming he cracks the lineup. The game will be televised on Fox Sports North. He will wear No. 79, becoming the first-ever Wild player to don that number. Palmer was promoted to the NHL after Minnesota has had several injuries to its forwards. He will be the fifth native of Minnesota to suit up for the Wild this year.
Palmer, who signed as a free agent with Minnesota following his RedHawk career in April of 2010, is in his second season playing for the Aeros, which is the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Wild. In 26 games this year, the center has 10 points on four goals and six assists while posting a +8 rating. In his first year with Houston, he played in 65 games while scoring nine goals and dishing out 19 assists for 28 points. He also had a +12 rating last season while adding five points, including three goals, in 24 playoff games a year ago.
While at Miami, Palmer set the school record for games played with 169 from 2006-10, never missing a game in his career. He finished his career with 137 points, which ranks 14th in school history, on 47 goals and 90 assists. His best season was his senior year when he totaled 45 points on 18 goals and 27 assists with a +26 rating. Palmer helped lead Miami to its first two Frozen Fours in school history, including the national championship game as a junior in 2008-09. He was named First-Team All-CCHA as a senior in 2010.
Should Palmer dress Saturday, he would become the seventh former RedHawk to play in the NHL this season. Earlier this year, 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele was called up to the Phoenix Coyotes and made his NHL debut while Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks), Andy Greene (New Jersey Devils), Ryan Jones (Edmonton Oilers), Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings) and Tommy Wingels (San Jose Sharks) all started the year in the NHL.