Adam Carlson isn't the first player with Edina ties to sign a professional contract, but his path to the pros was a bit different than most.

Carlson signed an entry-level two-year contact with the Washington Capitals this week, according to a news release on the Capitals' website. He played a season of college hockey with Mercyhurst, compiling a 7-7-3 record with a 2.85 goals-against average and .919 saves percentage. He is giving up some time of college eligibility to play professionally.

Carlson didn't make his high school team with Edina. So he played junior gold hockey, which he told KRFO Radio is still a very competitive option for Minnesota high school players. He and his hometown teammates won a state title in junior gold.

He had some connections that gave him some options to pursue a junior hockey career. After some time spent with the North Iowa Bulls in the North American Hockey League Tier III league, Carlson came to the Steele County Blades for their inaugural season in 2012-13, winning 13 games with a 3.14 goals against and .914 saves percentage.

Carlson moved on to Coulee Region of the NAHL after his time with the Blades, and that led to the opportunity with Mercyhurst. Carlson will spend the balance of this season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, an affiliate of the Capitals.

Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media