The Rockford IceHogs today announced that forward Kale Howarth has signed an American Hockey League contract with the club for the 2021-22 season.
Howarth, 24, completed his third season at the University of Connecticut last year, scoring five goals and two assists. In 18 contests with the Huskies, he racked up 27 penalty minutes. The Red Deer, Alberta, native experienced career highs in goals (6), assists (10) and points (16) in 29 games during his sophomore campaign in 2019-20. In 79 career NCAA contests, Howarth totaled 34 points (16G, 18A).
“Kale is a big, strong kid and he is excited to be a part of the organization,” said IceHogs Head Coach Derek King. “When I spoke with him, he already sounds like a professional and he’s eager to learn. I’m excited for him and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on the ice. He’s a big guy with a lot of hockey in him.”
Before joining the college ranks, the 6-foot-5, 201-pound forward skated three seasons with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL, recording 146 points (66G, 80A) in 148 games including a 61-point campaign (24G, 37A) in 2017-18, helping the Smoke Eaters reach the Interior Division Semi Final. Howarth led the team with 16 postseason points (5G, 11A) in 16 games. In 2017, he was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fifth round (148th overall) of the NHL Draft.
“It’s a dream come true to be joining the Blackhawks organization,” added Howarth. “It has been a long journey for me and I’m excited to get going. I’m a big-bodied presence on the ice that likes to create time and space for my teammates. When I come into camp, I want to be a sponge and learn as much as I can.”