Ben Hanowski scores goal in NHL opener with Flames

Little Falls graduate Ben Hanowski displays the puck he scored the first goal of his National Hockey League career in his professional debut with the Calgary Flames, Monday. (Photo courtesy of Torie Peterson, Calgary Flames)

Little Falls graduate Ben Hanowski displays the puck he scored the first goal of his National Hockey League career in his professional debut with the Calgary Flames, Monday. (Photo courtesy of Torie Peterson, Calgary Flames)

A day after the St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team wrapped up its first-ever trip to the Frozen Four, Ben Hanowski signed a contract with the Calgary Flames.

Three days later, the Little Falls graduate made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut, skating against the Minnesota Wild.

Hanowski didn’t waste much time making an impact, scoring his first career goal at 11:19 of the third period to cut the Wild’s lead to 4-2.

Calgary pulled within a goal with 40 seconds remaining, but Minnesota held on for the win.

Hanowski set the Minnesota state high school career scoring record with 405 points, leading him to be drafter in the third round with the 63rd overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He proceeded to play college hockey for the Huskies, recording 17 goals and 14 assists in 37 games this season while also being named a Western Collegiate Hockey Association Scholar Athlete.

Calgary acquired Hanowski, another prospect and a first-round draft pick from Pittsburgh in exchange for six-time all-star Jarome Iginla, March 27.

Hanowski signed a two-year entry-level contract at $810,000 per season with an average annual value of $900,000, according to the Flames.

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