Pittsburgh, PA – The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the Tier 1 Hockey Federation (T1HF) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Maxwell Rutkowski has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Oklahoma Warriors.

The 2023-24 season is Rutkowski’s third season with Esmark’s AAA program and second season with the Star’s U18 Midget Major squad. Through Nov 9, the (5’9” / 180 lbs.) 18-year-old from Export, PA, has registered 2 points(1 goal, 1 assist), in eight T1HF appearances this season. Overall, this season to date, Rutkowski has tallied 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists), including two power play goals, in 27 games played for Esmark (through Nov. 9).

During the 2022-23 season, Rutkowski registered 28 points (18 goal, 10 assists), in 29 T1HF appearances helping lead Esmark’s U18 AAA squad to the league’s inaugural regular season 18Utitle, the T1HL’s inaugural playoff championship and the USPHL Cup Championship. Overall during the 2022-23 season, Rutkowski tallied 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists), including one power-play and one short-handed goal, in 47 games played for the 18U Esmark squad in a season in which he missed 23 games due to injury.

“Max is going to be a good fit in Oklahoma,” said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick, “He is a tough kid who can play in all situations … penalty kill, shut-down line, forechecker who  will thrive in a heavy, big body game.”

“He is the type of player who checks off a lot of boxes for a coaching staff and one who works each day to succeed on the ice,” Kosick added.

Rutkowski is the first member of the 2023-2024 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with a Junior A club for the 2024-25 season.  The Warriors, who play in the NAHL’s nine-team South Division along with the Amarillo (TX) Wranglers, Colorado Grit, Corpus Cristi (TX) IceRays, El Paso (TX) Rhinos, Lone Star (TX) Brahmas, New Mexico Ice Wolves, Odessa (TX) Jackalopes, and Shreveport (LA) Mudbugs, play in the Blazers Ice Center in Oklahoma City, OK, and are led by Head Coach Garrett Roth.