Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2013

Why not Cullen Eddy? Story by David Leisering Growing up as a young boy in a hockey family, you have one dream in life – to someday play in the National Hockey League (NHL). That dream could soon become a reality for former Mercyhurst defenseman Cullen Eddy . Eddy played for two teams in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) before fnding a home with the Adirondack Phantoms, the American Hockey League (AHL) afliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. Then he got an exciting call from his agent last July. Eddy had become the second player in Mercyhurst’s history to sign a National Hockey League contract. “It was a dream come true,” said Eddy. “I had been back and forth between the AHL and the ECHL for the past couple of seasons. This contract assured me that I could go no lower than the AHL, which is just one step away from the big show.” A native of Hidden Valley, Pa., Eddy last played for the blue and green as a senior during the 2009-10 campaign. Known for his physical style of play, he caught the eye of some scouts and immediately signed with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL after his senior season. There, he helped the Cyclones win the ECHL Championship in 2010. He signed one-year AHL contracts the next two seasons, bouncing between the Phantoms and the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. He spent most of his playing time with the Phantoms, becoming a mainstay in the lineup, and continuing to catch the eye of Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren. “I play a tough position in a tough organization,” said Eddy. “The Flyers are very deep on defense so there aren’t any guarantees that I’ll get called up. All I can do is work hard and keep doing my best and hopefully the right pieces will fall into place so I can get that call.” In the meantime, Eddy is making a name for himself of the ice and has become a fan favorite with the Phantoms. Eddy was named the Phantoms’ IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the Glens Falls community during the 2011-12 season. In his second season with the Phantoms, he has embraced new opportunities to get involved in the community. “It’s a wonderful feeling to get involved with the community,” said Eddy. “It really means a lot to me. The fans come out and support us, so I feel we should go out and support them.” Eddy’s made multiple visits to the Glens Falls Hospital Pediatric Unit and led full-school assemblies at Abraham Wing Elementary and Granville Elementary, talking about the importance of hard work and staying in school. Eddy has read to classes at Corinth Middle School and has been a guest on the Phantoms’Weekly Radio Show. He also helped the Phantoms raise money for The C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital as part of the Phantoms’ Pink in the Rink promotion. Eddy played 2006-10 with the Lakers, fnishing his career with 49 points (9 goals, 40 assists) in 144 games. He had a career-high 16 points as a freshman during the 2006-07 season (5 goals, 11 assists) and was named to the Atlantic Hockey Association’s All-Rookie Team that year.

He has some advice for today’s Lakers: “Take nothing for granted. I had the opportunity to play for a couple league championships, which was great. But, the part I miss the most are the relationships I developed with my coaches and my teammates.” Mercyhurst plays in the Atlantic Hockey Association, which currently has some players playing in the National Hockey League. “It defnitely makes me work that much harder so I can join those guys. ‘Why not me?’ I question myself constantly,” he says. Well, why not Cullen Eddy?

Eddy could become the second player to don a Mercyhurst jersey to appear in the National Hockey League. Former Laker Jamie Hunt (2003-06) played in one game for the Washington Capitals in 2006. Hunt signed an NHL contract with the Capitals right after his junior season (2005-06) with the Lakers. He spent two years with Washington’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and two more years with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He amassed 48 career points in 165 games.


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