A member of Iowa football's extended family was drafted in the 2010 NHL draft over the weekend.
Mark Alt, son of former Iowa Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman John Alt, was drafted with the No. 53 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.
The younger Alt passed on a football scholarship at the University of Iowa to instead lace up his skates for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and try his luck in the NHL. Pro scouts had him labeled as the one of the best skater prospects in the draft.
“We think his upside is pretty significant,” said Tony MacDonald, the Carolina Hurricanes’ director of amateur scouting.
After the customary two or three years of college hockey, the Canes are hoping that Alt will shake off the bad habits typical of high school prospects before playing full time in the NHL.
"He's got a good shot and is aggressive—he's the type of colt I want to ride if I were a coach," stated NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee.
Alt played quarterback at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in Minnesota, where he led the Raiders to the Class 5A state championship. He was offered a chance to grayshirt for the Hawkeyes, where his dad played college football.
His true love, however, is hockey.
“It’s a good position to be in, to have interest from programs that are among the best in college hockey and college football,” Mark’s father John told the Star Tribune. “I have nothing but good things to say about Iowa football, obviously, but it’s not my decision."
The elder Alt was a tight end converted to offensive tackle for the Hawkeyes. As an offensive line coach under Hayden Fry, Kirk Ferentz turned Alt into an AP First Team All-Big Ten selection who was drafted in the first round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
"Anyone aspiring to be an offensive lineman in the NFL could not get a better instructor than Kirk Ferentz," Alt once proclaimed.
Alt played 13 seasons at left tackle for the Chiefs and was the 32nd member inducted into Kansas City's Hall of Fame.
With any luck, his son will play in the NHL as long as Alt played in the NFL.
Picture courtesy of Vintageminnesotahockey.com.