Noah Cates is going from Beijing to Broad Street after the Philadelphia Flyers signed the forward prospect to a two-year, entry-level contract.
Cates signed a deal Monday for the rest of this season and 2022-23 and is expected to play in the NHL immediately. His college season ended when Minnesota-Duluth was eliminated from the NCAA tournament Saturday by Denver.
The Flyers drafted Cates in the fifth round in 2017. He has since recorded 99 points in 139 NCAA games and helped Minnesota-Duluth win the national title in 2019.
Cates was one of 15 college players picked to play for the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics, which the NHL skipped. He was named an alternate captain despite being just 23 and put up three points in four games.
"Noah has had an exceptional collegiate career, and we're happy to have him signed," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We have followed his progress closely and are excited to watch his continued growth in our organization."
Michigan Tech, another college hockey powerhouse that was eliminated this weekend in the NCAA tournament, saw two key players sign on with NHL clubs on Monday, as well.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Huskies defenseman Colin Swoyer to a $750,000 contract for next season. He will report to the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to play the rest of this season on an amateur tryout agreement.
And the New Jersey Devils signed Huskies right wing Brian Halonen to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with next season. He, too, will report to an American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. Halonen led the Huskies in scoring with 21 goals and 44 points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.