Niagara sophomore Arnold leaves school for deal with Phoenix

Niagara sophomore forward Scott Arnold signed an NHL deal with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, making him the sixth Purple Eagle to ever sign an NHL contract.

“It’s an honor to sign a professional contract,” Arnold said in a news release. “Growing up, I always dreamed of playing in the NHL and now I am one step closer to making my dream reality. I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of the Phoenix Coyotes organization and thank them for this opportunity.”

Arnold will report directly to the Coyotes and will join the team in the next few days.

Arnold will be the first Purple Eagle to play in the NHL since Sean Bentivoglio suited up for the New York Islanders in one game during the 2008-09 season. The other five NU alums to sign NHL deals include Greg Gardner (Columbus), Matt Ryan (Los Angeles), Bentivoglio, Matt Caruana (Anaheim) and Kyle Rogers (Toronto).

“The past two years have been amazing for me, as I feel so lucky to have been a part of the Niagara community,” Arnold added. “I will never forget Niagara. I need to thank my coaches who have helped me develop into a more complete player. I want to thank my teammates for everything they’ve done for me, as it’s tough leaving a great group of guys.”

Arnold played in 67 games for Niagara, scoring 26 goals and 14 assists for 40 points.

“We wish him all the best as he reports to the Coyotes,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “Everyone associated with our program is proud. Niagara University is truly a place where you can reach your dreams.”