CALGARY – For the second consecutive season, University of Calgary Dinos men's hockey head coach Mark Howell has brought in players with experience beyond the junior level.
With three years of university hockey already under his belt, new recruit Tyler Moir will be relied upon to add some scoring punch with the departure of top-six forwards Brock Nixon and Corey Banfield. Moir is one of two new players with experience from the professional ranks, joining with Daniel Gibb with time in the ECHL. Last season, Howell brought in the defensive duo of Alex Dzielski and Giffen Nyren, both out of the ECHL.
Six of the eight recruits have spent time in Western Hockey League (WHL) including four who played there as recently as last season.
Coach Howell: "We're excited about the group of guys we brought in. It adds depth, size and competitiveness to our team. It will allow us to have flexibility with our lineups each weekend."
Daniel Gibb • 6'3" 218 Ibs. • Defence • Open Studies • Prince George, B.C. • Prince George (WHL)
The Dinos' blue line will benefit from some added size and grit come this fall as Gibb comes across the Rockies to attend the University of Calgary.
Standing at 6'3", Gibb is fresh off a four-year career with his hometown Prince George Cougars. In 266 games with the Cougars, Gibb netted 33 points while lighting the lamp on eight occasions. Last year, the big defenceman set career-highs with five goals and 10 assists.
An impressive 2012-13 WHL season earned Gibb a stint with the ECHL's Stockton Thunder at the end of last year and was a major impact player in Stockton's cup run. With Stockton looking to add a 'stay at home' blue liner, Gibb dressed in three games for the Thunder. Gibb is one of two recruits with pro hockey experience, joining five returning Dinos who have played in the American Hockey League (AHL), ECHL and/or Central Hockey League (CHL).
Coach Howell: "Dan is proved to be a reliable defensive defenseman who is a good skater and has added some offensive abilities over his last year, which will be valuable with our transition game. We're going to count on him to play against the other teams' top players."
Davis Vandane • 6'4" 215 Ibs. • Defence • Faculty of Arts • Yorkton, Sask. • Prince Albert (WHL)
A 6'4" prairie boy, Davis Vandane joins Gibb as another tall first-year defencemen who could wreak havoc on the Canada West conference next season.
Just one game into the 2012-13 season, Vandane was traded closer to home as the Spokane Chief dealt the 20-year old blue liner to the Prince Albert Raiders. While in Prince Albert, the Yorkton, SK native put up the best numbers of his junior career, registering 37 points with 12 goals.
Vandane played in 189 WHL games during his junior career with the Raiders, Chiefs and Saskatoon Blades. He totaled 15 goals and 64 assists while also registering a +27 rating. Vandane also comes with a solid amount of post-season experience, having dressed for 34 WHL playoff games. In 2010-11 Vandane played for his local Yorkton Terriers for 14 games in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), posting 18 points.
Coach Howell: "Davis is another big defenseman who has offensive abilities and strong character who will be counted on to play in a variety of situations.
Danny Gayle • 6'1" 185 Ibs. • Left Wing • Haskayne School of Business • Calgary, Alta. • West Kelowna (BCHL)
A familiar name for junior hockey fans in Calgary, Gayle joins former Moose Jaw Warrior teammate Spencer Edwards at his hometown university.
Gayle started the 2012-13 season with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons where he registered 27 points in 37 games. In January, Gayle was dealt to the West Kelowna Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). With the Warriors, the 6'1" winger managed nine points in 21 games while adding another eight points in 10 post season games.
From 2009-2012, Gayle played in 162 WHL games with the Warriors and Calgary Hitmen. His best major junior season came in 2011-12 when he scored 15 goals and added 24 assists in Calgary. Gayle becomes one of just two former Hitmen players now on the Dinos after the departure of Nixon and Ryan Gillen. Before his time in the WHL, Gayle skated with the AJHL's Canmore Eagles and Lloydminster Bobcats.
Coach Howell: "Danny brings speed, quickness and intensity to our forwards and will be able to play anywhere on our forward lineup. He will be very versatile."
Drydn Dow • 5'9" 170 Ibs. • Defence • Faculty of Arts • Calgary, Alta. • Tri-City Americans (WHL)
After four years playing in Kennewick, Washington for the Tri-City Americans, Dow is returning home for the next stage of his hockey career.
The 5'9" rearguard spent his entire junior career in the WHL with the Americans, tallying 63 points in 222 games. In his final season, Dow served as an assistant captain for Tri-City and recorded career-best numbers with five goals and 28 assists.
Despite being knocked out in the opening round of the WHL playoffs, Dow managed to pick up the accolade of Americans' 2013 Playoff MVP. In five games against the Spokane Chiefs, Dow posted a team high three goals and five points. Over four years, Dow played in 19 WHL playoff games.
Coach Howell: "Drydn is a smooth skating, offensively gifted defenseman who will be counted on to play on the power play and key offensive situations."
Chris Collins • 6'0" 185 Ibs. • Centre • Faculty of Arts • Calgary, Alta. • Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
A strong forward who spent three-years playing in the WHL, Collins comes to the Dinos following a stellar season with the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL.
Collins tallied a career-high 72 points, including 32 goals, to lead his club in 2012-13. The Calgary native added another 22 points during the Oilers' playoff-run which ended at the hands of the eventual AJHL and RBC Cup champion Brooks Bandits.
Prior to his time in Okotoks, Collins split time with the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins and Saskatoon Blades. In 200 WHL games, the forward managed to notched 108 points with 37 goals. In 2010 and 2011, Collins was invited to National Hockey League training camps with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Coach Howell: "Chris is coming to us after a great offensive season in Okotoks, after four strong years in the WHL. He is a really powerful skater with good puck skills and will be an important top nine forward"
Chance Lund • 6'5" 223 Ibs. • Left Wing • Open Studies • Fairview, Alta. • Swift Current (WHL)
No Calgary recruit comes with more Major Junior experience then the 325 WHL games of 6'5" forward Lund.
After four-years with the Seattle Thunderbirds, where he was teammates with Dinos' goaltender Jacob DeSerres, Lund was traded to the Swift Current Broncos for his final season of junior hockey. While in Speedy Creek, Lund recorded a career-high 16 goals along with 29 points. That year was also Lund's first trip to the WHL playoffs where he played in all five games of the Broncos first round series versus the Calgary Hitmen.
During his WHL career, the Fairview, AB native netted 43 goals and 43 assists. In 2009, Lund also participated for Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, a team made up of the best 16 year-olds from Alberta and British Columbia. Future NHLers on Team Pacific with Lund include Brett Connolly, Brendan Gallagher, Mark Pysyk and Max Reinhart.
Coach Howell: "Chance comes with a lot of experience in the WHL as a forward who has a really strong presence in the offensive zone, as well as in front of the net. He will be counted on to kill penalties and be a physical presence on the ice."
Calgary's regular season schedule gets underway on Oct. 4-5 as they begin the year on the road in Regina. The Dinos home opener takes place on Oct 11-12 as the UBC Thunderbirds visit Father David Bauer Arena.
Tyler Moir • 6'1" 205 Ibs. • Forward • Faculty of Nursing• Calgary, Alta. • Waterloo (OUA)/Wheeling (ECHL)
From Anchorage, Alaska to Wheeling, West Virgina and a few places in between, transfer Moir comes to the Dinos with a wealth of experience from across the hockey spectrum.
Moir returns home to Calgary after spending 2010-2012 at the University of Waterloo where he studied Kinesiology. In 55 games with the Waterloo Warriors, Moir netted 23 goals and 23 assists. His best season in the OUA came in 2010-11 when he finished second in scoring for Waterloo with 26 points. At the end of the 2011-12 campaign, Moir signed with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers where he suited up for four contests.
Before moving to Waterloo, Moir began his university hockey career in the NCAA at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. In his lone season with the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves in 2008-09, the 6'1" forward notched nine points in 36 games. Moir played his junior hockey in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with the Dayton Valley Thunder and Drumheller Dragons, putting up an impressive 121 points in 145 games over three seasons.
Moir's experience in both Alaska-Anchorage and Waterloo will make him a fourth-year player for the Dinos. This is the second straight season Howell has brought in a transfer. Last year Banfield came home to Calgary for his final CIS season after four years at St. Thomas.
Coach Howell: "Tyler is an experienced forward who brings size, skill and toughness. He will be valuable in assisting our leaders as he's a veteran forward."
Brett Printz • 6'2" 201 Ibs. • Forward • Open Studies • Red Deer, Alta. • Grande Prairie (AJHL)
Traveling down Highway 2 from Red Deer this fall will be former Grande Prairie Storm forward Brett Printz.
A journeyman at the junior 'A' level, Printz skated for five different teams in two leagues over his junior hockey career. He began the 2012-13 season with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons before being shipped out to Saskatchewan where he played 17 games for the Kindersley Klippers. Printz found himself back in Wild Rose Country in January when he was traded to the Storm. In 56 games last year, Printz scored 10 goals while adding 12 assists.
Prior to this past season, Printz spent time with the Drumheller Dragons, Olds Grizzlys and Oil Barons. In 2012 while playing in Fort McMurray, the Red Deer native reached the AJHL Final before the Oil Barons were eliminated by the Brooks Bandits. In 163 junior games, Printz recorded 75 points, including 32 goals.
Coach Howell: "Brett will be a big, strong, forward who will add depth to our forward position."