The University of Arkansas Men’s Ice Hockey program is proud to announce that Easton Oliver (’15) has signed with the Brewster Bulldogs of the Federal Hockey League. In doing so, Oliver becomes the first Razorback Hockey alum to crack the professional ranks.
Oliver, who wears #5 for the Bulldogs, played in the #39 jersey for the Razorbacks for parts of six seasons, during which time he helped the team win five SECHC titles and earn three National Tournament appearances. Oliver played in 122 games for the Hogs, potting 26 goals alongside 70 assists for a total of 96 points. He served as the team’s co-captain during the 14-15 season and was selected as an assistant captain for the 13-14 season. “We’re proud but hardly surprised that Easton received this opportunity; Easton represents everything this program stands for,” said Division I Head Coach Brian Gallini. “Developing coachable hard-working players like Easton is what we do.”
Reflecting on his Razorback Hockey career, Oliver commented, “Razorback Hockey showed me another dimension of professionalism when it came to hockey. The program gave me the drive and confidence I needed to elevate myself to something that seemed so distant.” He added, “[t]he organization not only gave me the tools to pursue seemingly impossible things, but it also gave me a support system that most don’t have in their lives. I am eternally grateful for that.”
In December of 2014, Oliver was chosen as a defenseman and assistant captain for the Division III ACHA Selects team, which traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia to play a five game series. The trip reinforced Oliver’s dream to play professional hockey following graduation.
A 2015 graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Oliver first suited up for the Bulldogs last weekend. In the second game of the weekend, a 6-5 comeback win against the Danbury Titans–Oliver assisted the Bulldogs’ fourth goal, his first professional point.
Asked about earning his first professional experience, Oliver responded, “I want to personally thank everybody that helped me through it all, particularly my family, friends, coaches, and teammates. But more broadly, I am forever indebted to all those who gave me their time, money and love. I hope to pay it forward as my life goes on and I will never forgot everyone during my journey who helped make this dream come true. Thank you.”
Oliver will be back in the lineup tonight when the Bulldogs take on the Danville Dashers at 7:35 pm EST.