Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tommies add Canucks draft pick Sawyer Hannay

Sawyer Hannay
Courtesy QMJHL
In a surprise tweet, St. Thomas Athletics announced this afternoon that Moncton, NB native Sawyer Hannay has committed to the Tommies for the upcoming 2013-14 season.

The 6'4" defenseman was taken by the Vancouver Canucks 205th overall in the 2010 NHL draft.  Hannay will add some size on the back end for Pat Powers' defense corps and should be a solid shut down guy.  When asked what Hannay would bring to the Tommies the Coach commented, "Sawyer will provide us with a physical stay at home presence which will help us defend more effectively."

Sawyer played three years for the Halifax Mooseheads scoring 1 goal and 14 assists with the herd.  He began his overage year in Europe with the Salzburg Red Bulls of the Austrian Elite League getting one assist in 9 games before returning to the Mooseheads.

He practiced with the Moose for several weeks and played one game that would turn out to be his last in Halifax before being traded to Victoriaville.  As much as he is known for his shut down defensive style he is also know for his pugilism.  From Hockey's Future "2010-11: Hannay led Halifax in penalty minutes in his second QMJHL season and played primarily a shut-down defense-first role for the Mooseheads. He was -12 and had 7 assists with 164 PMs in 58 games on a Halifax team that was again in the bottom of the league standings (winning 20 games). Despite their record, the Mooseheads reached the QMJHL playoffs and were swept by Montreal. In four playoff games Hannay had 1 assist and was -2 with 13 PMs."

Welcome to St. Thomas Sawyer.

VIDEO: Vancouver Canucks One on One: Sawyer Hannay

ARTICLE: Mooseheads defenceman Hannay opts to turn pro

ARTICLE: Hannay back with Mooseheads, but only to get some ice time

ARTICLE: Mooseheads trade Hannay to Tigres

Thursday, 8 August 2013

New Tommies recruit - Brendan Childerley

Brendan Childerly - Photo Courtesy North Bay Battalion 
Brendan Childerley is a 5 year veteran of the OHL who will join Colin Martin, Randy Cameron, and Jordan Moore as Tommies with Memorial Cup experience.

Brendan is a 6'0" right winger from Stratford, ON that Coach Pat Powers told the Daily Gleaner, "will get a chance to play more of an offensive role for the Tommies than he had in the system employed by Battalion coach Stan Butler. 'He was always forced to play a defensive role and in a defensive system under Stan Butler,” said Powers. “I think university hockey might be a good coming out for him in terms of offensive ability.'”

An interesting non-hockey related story about Brendan can be found here about how he started his own business last summer.  When I read the story I thought that it was a similar one to Gordon Wheaton and how he started with his company.  Here is hoping Gordon and Brendan get to swap some useful business stories in between hockey and classes.

VIDEO - Brendan Childerley Owen Sound Attack

VIDEO - Getting to know Brendan Childerley

ARTICLE - Battalion claim Brendan Childerley from Owen Sound Attack

New Tommies recruit - Alexandre St-Arnaud

Alexandre St-Arnaud - Courtesy Abitibi Express
The Tommies have added some extra back up for Jon Groenheyde in 6'1" St-Laurent, QC native Alexandre St-Arnaud.

Alex split last season between the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL and the Dieppe Commandos of the MHL.  Hockeyscence.com reported on January 12th, 2013 "Dieppe Commandos have confirmed that Alexandre St-Arnaud, who was released by the Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, has signed with the Maritime Junior Hockey League team. The 19-year-old played with the Commandos two seasons ago before joining Val d’Or."

St-Arnaud actually has one year of junior eligibility left but has decided to move on with his education while playing a backup role in net for St. Thomas.

New Tommies recruit - Jason Trott

Jason Trott- Photo Courtesy WHL
Anmore, BC native Jason Trott brings a tough edge to the Tommies with a great team first attitude.  Coach Pat Powers has picked up right where former coach Troy Ryan left off in wanting good people to rebuild the team.  Trott is going to help on and off the ice.

Jason started last season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL.  Their GM Troy Mick said "He's a hard-nosed player with the willingness to dig in the hard areas of the ice. His demeanor and experience will be of benefit to this club on and off the ice and we're thrilled to have him." Article  He was traded to Whitecourt of the AJHL early in the season, "The 6'1 winger added up four goals and eight points in his short BCHL career in Salmon Arm, 'Backs GM Troy Mick says the move to Whitecourt gives Jason an opportunity to join a contender for the Royal Bank Cup in his last year of Junior Hockey." Article

His time in Junior A hockey was short lived, as the WHL came calling in January and the Vancouver Giants made room for him as a 20 year old.  In Van City Trott registered 2 goals and 4 assists in 27 games.  Coach Powers commented in today's Gleaner that Jason “got glowing reports as a kid who is going to provide stability to us, and be a simple player.”

Former coach Mike Johnston had this to say in an Article from January 21st, 2011. "Trott (is), a hard-working, physical forward, has given the team exactly what was expected of him — great effort in practice. He has a great attitude. He waited for his opportunity and played well at Christmas when he got a chance, and got to play an even bigger role in the last game,” Johnston said. “He’s going to be a good depth guy for us, a guy who can be inserted anywhere in the lineup, who plays with energy.”

We are looking forward to having another hard nosed BC kid in the lineup and can't wait to see what Jason will bring to the Tommies.  Other teams in the AUS probably won't be so anxious.

New Tommies Recruit - Derek Froats

Derek Froats - Image Courtesy North Bay Battalion 
Sometimes looking at statistics of hockey players doesn't give you the whole story.  Derek Froats from Chesterville, Ontario is a prime example.  In 130 OHL games Froats registered 25 goals and 12 assists for 37 points.  Not exactly what you would call a sniper but you have to look a little bit closer to see that Tommie fans might get a little more than what they think.

Froats scored 23 points in his rookie season as a 16 year old.  Just for comparison, last year's CIS leader in points, Justin Larson, had 14 points as a 16 year old.  The AUS scoring leader last year, Lucas Bloodoff,  had 21 points when he was a rookie at 16.  From there the comparisons don't add up in Derek's favour, as a string of injuries side lined him for much of the next three seasons.  

Injuries to his shoulder in his second year limited him to only 13 games.  The following year a wrist injury kept him out of the line up for a number of games but he played through the injury most of the time.  Named as an assistant captain in Kingston in 2011-12, he was traded to Brampton midway through the season.  He secured a 20 year old position this past year but his wrist injury was aggravated and his season was cut short due to surgery. 

Froats has the potential to be a big surprise to everyone but Coach Powers and himself.  This is his chance to prove what he's got and I think STU fans will be impressed.

VIDEO - Derek Froats Interview (After trade from Kingston to Brampton)

VIDEO - Derek Froats as 2012 Battalion training camp wraps up

ARTICLE - Froats 'real happy' to join Troops

ARTICLE - Troops waive Froats before road trip

Tommies add new recruits

Coach Pat Powers has announced in the Daily Gleaner the addition of six new players for the Tommies in the upcoming 2013-14 season.  We have already highlighted Kody Orr and Jordan Moore here at stutommies.com and will do a full spotlight on Brendan Childerley, Derek Froats, Jason Trott, and Alex St. Arnaud this evening.  In the meantime each players' eliteprospects profile has been added until a more detailed look at each can be updated.
Coach Powers had this to say in todays Gleaner; "'I think I'm getting the right players in … some good character guys who want to be here and are going to be willing to work night in and night out.' Trott, the Western Hockey League import, comes to rave reviews from former NHL coaches Mike Johnston and Don Hay. 
'He's got glowing reports as a kid who is going to provide stability to us, and be a simple player,' said Powers. Orr won the Maritime Hockey League's Character Award, which is awarded to a player every team hates to play against, but would love to have in their lineup. 
Childerley will get a chance to play more of an offensive role for the Tommies than he had in the system employed by Battalion coach Stan Butler. 'He was always forced to play a defensive role and in a defensive system under Stan Butler,' said Powers. 'I think university hockey might be a good coming out for him in terms of offensive ability.' Froats has been plagued by injuries over the last couple of years, 'but he had a really good rookie year in the OHL. He's fully healed now, and I think he might be a real sleeper coming in. He's looking to get back to his offensive ways and he might be able to put up some good points for us,' said Powers.'"
Brendan Childerley Derek Froats Jason Trott Alex St. Arnaud

Monday, 5 August 2013

Kody Orr commits to Tommies

Kody Orr comes up against soon to be teammate
 Jordan Moore in MHL action from last season.
Photo Courtesy - The Citizen-Record
Chalk up another recruit for the St. Thomas Tommies and new coach Pat Powers.  Kody Orr, who captained the Amherst Ramblers of the MHL this past season, will be taking Journalism at STU this fall.

The Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia native told The Citizen Record “I’m really looking forward to it. I spent the weekend in Fredericton and got to see the facility and meet the coach. I considered several offers, but St. Thomas fits in with what I want to do with my education. I want to go into journalism and they have a pretty good school there.”

Kody is more of a defensive specialist than offensive catalyst but he did have a career best 62 points this past season with Amherst. "Known more for his defensive play and penalty killing, Orr was honoured this year with the league’s character award, while he was named the Ramblers’ most valuable player, was the top scorer and shared the players’ choice award with longtime teammate and friend Mitch O’Neill."

As you can tell from the above quote St. Thomas is getting another player with heart and desire to turn things around. Orr's former coach Jim Bottomley said in a recent interview, "He gives nothing less than everything he has in every game, practice and whatever he does. His ‘team first’ attitude and hard nose style of play has been driving players on other teams crazy for five years.” Kody will join last years' MHL Character Award winner Jordan Thomas in the Tommies line up.

Welcome to St. Thomas Kody.

Orr commits to St. Thomas

Orr presented league’s character award

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Alumni Spotlight - Gordon Wheaton

I don't know if any of our readers actually enjoy getting "Ad Mail" in their post office box but I can tell you that I can't stand it and usually can't wait to tear it up.  The key word in the previous sentence being "usually", because there is one exception to my rule. "The Trius Touch" is advertising in a newsletter format that I look forward to getting because of the photographs and stories on the back page written by none other than former hockey Tommie standout and successful businessman R. Gordon Wheaton, to his friends Gordie.

While the point of the mail out is to highlight the business he runs, the brief but highly entertaining stories that Gordon writes help the reader to see how and why his business is successful.  He has never forgotten where he came from and how he got to where he is today.  You can read how appreciative he is of all that he has and to those he serves, as well as to those he gives back to.

As a Gold sponsor of St. Thomas Athletics, I thought that highlighting his contributions would be fitting.  It would take a complete incompetent moron not to see what this man means to our program, and probably more importantly, to our Fredericton community.

I would like to focus some of the great features that Mr. Wheaton has written about and add links to the "The Trius Touch" so you can see the whole article for yourself.

The notice to the left was in issue number 22.  A former Tommie that would have had fought a bitter rival for four years on the ice takes the time to congratulate a local team on a job well done.

He knows success when he sees it and wants others to appreciate it as well.  Everybody that reads this blog knows how much I personally hate UNB but this note says so much about the man behind Trius Inc..  Success doesn't come easy and he talks about his road to it in this article.  It takes good people to make it happen.

The photo on the right is the 1968-69 St. Thomas Tommies.  This team went all the way to the AUHC finals and lost a hard fought series to the powerhouse Saint Mary's Huskies, coached by Bob Boucher.

Gordon reminisces in issue number 20 about the photograph and the good times he had.  He also talks about teammates and the wonderful connections he has made over the years.

A tap of the stick goes out to the coach that recruited Gordon to St. Thomas.

Back Row: Bob Mabie, Fred Rowan, Tony Grant, Tim Gillies, Donnie MacTavish, Chris Mabie, Danny Grant, Junior Doherty, Jim Pike, Wayne Hallihan, Robert Grant, Richard Clark, Dick Snow, Paul McGratton, Doug Cain Front Row: Gordie Wheaton, Dag Seymour, Laurie Menzies, Willie O’Ree, Ralph Miles, Dick Yeomans, Boyd MacTavish, Mel MacKenzie
In issue number 21, Gordon talks about the York Arena and its connection to Fredericton.  Look at the Tommie  and UNB hockey connections in this photo.  Three former St. Thomas hockey coaches, at least three Tommie players and not to mention HUGE Tommie and UNB supporters.  Some of these guys in this photo are a big reason why UNB are on top today.

AND….I love one of the trivia questions.  "How long did UNB use the York Arena as their home rink?"  Answer - Seven years from 1948 to 1955 when they moved to the newly built LBR.  Remember STU fans, Squirrels are people too.  I forget that sometimes.  HA HA

This was just a taste of what Gordon Wheaton has included in his "Ad Mail".  Please check out the back page of all of the issues for more great business and personal stories and THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mr. R. Gordon Wheaton from Fredericton Hockey Fans!!!!!

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