2021 Cover Athlete Tenders With NAHL Team

November 1 is the first day of the calendar year that North American Hockey League (NAHL) teams can approach prospective players with tender agreements. The Bismarck Bobcats wasted little time offering C.J. Kier a contract for the 2022-23 season.

Kier was named youth hockey’s first ever Cover Athlete of the Year in January. A goalie for Northstar Christian Academy for its 16U squad at the time, he has since graduated to the school’s 18U team this fall. In five games this season, he has a 5-0-0 record with a .946 save percentage and 0.80 goals-against average. By signing a tender with Bismarck, his playing rights belong to the Bobcats for next season and may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Kier is still eligible to play in other junior leagues and available to be selected in the United States Hockey League (USHL) Draft next spring. 

Committing to the Bobcats marks the next step in Kier’s career, tracking from youth to junior hockey.

“I am super excited to sign a tender with such a historic club in the NAHL,” said Kier. “They have excellent hands-on goalie coaching every day I cannot wait to work with.”

Bismarck is the second oldest franchise in the NAHL, having won the league championship in 2010 and lost in the playoff semifinals last season. 

As a 2004-born prospect, Kier is expected to complete his first full season of 18U hockey before competing for a junior roster spot next fall. 

“Although this is special and such an honor, I will continue to work every day to be the best goalie and teammate I can be here at Northstar, which will help me be prepared for next season,” he said.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be youth hockey’s next cover athlete? We’re accepting early nominations for 2022. Just fill out the form below!

2022 Cover Athlete of the Year Nomination