Skoog Signs AHL Deal; Becomes First Black Bears Alum to Sign North American Deal

In a record breaking season, the Maryland Black Bears can add another milestone to their season and franchise with their first alumni signing a pro contract in North America. Wilmer Skoog (2019-20) signed a one-year AHL deal with the Florida Panthers and will play with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL for the 2023-24 season. 

Photo: Jon Pitonzo/FOHS Media Faction

Skoog, 23, played only 24 games for the Black Bears in 2019-20 after coming over from Minot, but he made a big impact on the team. Skoog hit the record books with the first hat trick in Black Bears’ history September 14th, 2019 against New Jersey. The Stockholm, Sweden native had 15 goals and 18 assists in his 24 games before departing midseason to play for Boston University. Skoog played 103 games with Boston University since 2020, registering 40 goals and 76 points in that time frame. 

While he’ll be the first to play in a professional league in North America, the Black Bears do have alumni who have played professional hockey elsewhere. Lukas Ljungblom (2018-19) played with IF Molndal in Division 2 of the Swedish leagues, Karim Del Ponte (2018-19) is currently playing for HC La Chaux-de-Fonds in Division 2 of the Swiss leagues, and Asper Petersen (2018-19) played in the Danish top league for one season. Former goalie David Tomeo (2018-19) has suited up for AHL games as an emergency goalie, but never got into a game. 

In only their fifth season, the Black Bears are helping churn out professional players and prospects to the NHL. With this being the first wave of players, it is only just the beginning for Black Bears alumni getting to their hockey goals and proving that Maryland was a prime destination for development to the next step of hockey.

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