Colorado Avalanche‘ undrafted Croatian-born rookie right wing Borna Rendulic(71) became the first player from his country ever to sign a big league contract, play in a game and get an NHL goal in only his fourth appearance.
He inked a two-year entry level deal after first having participated in pro games as a youngster in his native land and Austria before moving up to the top ranks of Finland’s SM-liiga, doing decently in two seasons with HPK.
He played a lot of his junior hockey in the country before getting a contract with a team so was on their radar but he continues to train a home and still participates in all their tournament play.
At 6’3″ 199 lbs. the forward obviously dominates play in these games.
After his first parent club development and training camps, he started his pro career in North American on reassignment to affiliate Lake Erie Monsters.
There he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 26 AHL games, which isn’t exactly amazing but they must be seeing something right in his skating because he was initially recalled for three games with no points and then called back for another look where he potted his first.
He does use that large frame to play a thumping style and does throw the puck at the net on at least a couple of occasions each contest.
Regardless of how long this lasts and hopefully it will for a long while, the 22-year old has already made hockey history.