North Iowa forward Isogai signs NAHL tender
March 20, 2020
The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), are excited to announce that Top Prospects forward Sota Isogai has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the NAHL’s Midwest Division. Isogai will look to add to a total of nearly 50 North Iowa Bulls players who have suited up for NAHL teams after showcasing their skills with the Bulls.
Before this season, Isogai, 19, played a stint in Russia and two years with the Okanagan junior program in Austria helped the native of Nagano, Japan, develop his game before showcasing it in the NA3HL.
His first weekend as a Bull in late September was an uneventful one, going without a point in two games against defending West Division champion Granite City. After that, though, Isogai hit the gas and hardly slowed down. He notched a goal and an assist in the Bulls' home opener against Willmar, and posted his first hat trick a week later.
In all, Isogai's (5’11/175) first season of American junior hockey ended with 38 points in 43 games, including 22 goals and five multi-goal games. He was also selected to and played in the the NA3HL's 2020 Top Prospects Tournament last month, notching three goals on the way to the West's 3-0 finish.
"Sota is a super-dynamic young player," said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. "Had we not been so old this year, he would have been much higher in our lineup consistently. He was at the top of our lineup at the end of the season, and you like to see your young players elevate (their game) throughout the season. It didn't matter who we played him with, he was productive and he's going to be a good player for Fairbanks to mold. He still has growth left in his game."
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include one tender exclusively used on players from the NA3HL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft, which will be held on June 2, 2020.