The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team has turned over a significant portion of its roster as head coach Spiros Anastas announced the commitment of 12 new players for the 2015-16 Canada West season.
Within the group of 12, the program will add nine forwards and three defencemen, seven of which have Western Hockey League experience and who will be taking advantage of the WHL Scholarship program. Two other players have spent time in the NCAA and the other three join the program after playing exclusively in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“We are extremely happy with our recruiting class thus far for 2015-16 and we’re not done yet. We're expecting to announce two or three more players in the coming month,” says Anastas. “We will be a very young team but one that has significantly increased in skill and major junior experience.”
Three of the incoming freshmen also have direct ties to Pronghorns alumni, highlighted by forward Sam McKechnie. Sam is the son of Dana McKechnie, who was a member of the Pronghorns' lone University Cup Championship team, while Blake Orban is also a second generation Pronghorn, after his father Scott played for the Pronghorns during their inaugural Canada West season in 1984-85. The third member of the group is former Olds Grizzly, Kyle Moore, who follows in his brother Dustin’s footsteps. Dustin is a former Pronghorn captain and Canada West first team all-star.
“Our WHL games played have nearly tripled from last year's roster and a number of these recruits have been captains of their Junior teams,” says Anastas. “It’s never easy to let go of as many players as we did at the end of last season, but the turnover was necessary to send this program in a new direction.”
Forwards Jay Merkley, Dalton Sward, Colton Sheen, Robert Lindores, Brett Roulston, and Bryson Gore and defenceman Tyler Hansen, Dustin Fostvelt and Austin Kernahan round out the group announced by Coach Anastas.
“I strongly believe that we are bringing in great people who want to be Pronghorns and great members of our campus community,” says Anastas. “We are excited for our returning players, our incoming recruits, and this hockey program. We have worked hard at this and plan to take some big leaps from the improved strides we made last season.”
For a look at each of the recruits, check out the GoHorns website.