CEDAR PARK, Tex.—Northern Michigan University senior forward Robbie Payne (Gaylord, Michigan) signed with the Texas Stars the team announced Thursday afternoon. The Stars compete in the American Hockey League and are the top affiliate of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.
Payne joins the Stars on an amateur tryout agreement for the rest of the 2017-18 season after a senior campaign where he lead the team in goals with 24. A Hobey Baker Award nominee, Payne totaled 34 points after being named a co-captain for his senior season. His efforts earned Payne Third-Team All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association honors for his first career postseason award, while he also earned two of his four weekly offensive WCHA awards during the 2017-18 season.
For his career, the senior captain scored 94 points in 158 contests. Falling just outside the top-10, Payne is tied for 11th in career games played in school history. During his senior campaign, Payne became the 25th NMU skater to surpass 50 career goals, while he ranks 30th in Wildcat history with 54. Additionally, recorded a pair of hat tricks and 21 multi-point games in his four seasons.
Payne's new squad has a record of 33-22-7-3 with 11 contests remaining in the regular season. The Stars currently sit in fourth in the AHL's Pacific Division and are on-pace to earn one of the eight playoff bids from the Eastern Conference
The Wildcats reached the 25-win mark during the season for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign en route to reaching the WCHA Playoffs Championship in the Berry Events Center. NMU had not advanced to the conference championship game since 2010.
A total of 19 Wildcats have gone on to play in the NHL during their professional careers. An NMU student-athlete from 2010 until 2013, goaltender Jared Coreau is the most recent to advance to the NHL level playing for the Detroit Red Wings.