Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cents Sign Forward Jakob Reichert, Alumni News:


(New Cents forward Jakob Reichert with Revelstoke this past season)

I received this media release from the Cents this morning, looks like a good pick up. I'll have Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce's thoughts on the signing later today and I hope to have Jakob on the morning show tomorrow. I'll post the audio from that interview afterward.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Merritt, BC – June 15, 2010

The Merritt Centennials of the BC Hockey League are pleased to announce the signing of forward Jakob Reichert (93) for the 2010-11 season.

“We're really excited to have Jakob join our club,” said Cents Head Coach/GM Luke Pierce. “He's a young player who has a lot of potential, and we feel that he can make a big impact at the junior 'A' level. I'm confident that Jakob will not only fit in well with what we're building towards on the ice, but also in the Nicola Valley community.”

Reichert, at 6-foot-3 and 232 lbs., played last season with the Western Canadian Junior ‘B’ champion Revelstoke Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He had seven goals and seven assists in 47 regular season games and chipped in six goals and six assists in 22 playoff games.

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For further information, please contact Cents head coach and GM Luke Pierce at 250-378-3607.

The Merritt Centennials, proudly celebrating 37 years as the BCHL's longest continuously run franchise, are a non-profit, community owned Junior 'A' Hockey Club run by a dedicated team of investors, directors, and volunteers.

Here's a bit more about Jakob from the Langley Times:

Rookie season ends with Keystone Cup title

By Gary Ahuja - Langley Times
Published: May 04, 2010 3:00 PM

Troy Mick likened it to a man playing among boys.

That was his description of power forward Jakob Reichert’s game in the second half of the season as the 16-year-old adjusted to his first season of junior B hockey.

“He is a power forward to the fullest,” said Mick, the head coach of the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

The team just capped off a magical season, winning the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League title, the Cyclone Taylor Cup (provincial champions), and most recently, the Keystone Cup (western Canadian champions).

Reichert has played himself onto the radar of a handful of junior A teams, who have expressed keen interest in signing the 6-foot-2, 232-pound forward.

“Right now, he is letting his play do the talking,” Mick said.

Mick hit the jackpot with Reichert in Las Vegas, where the player was attending a Global Hockey Showcase event over the summer.

“I loved everything I saw with him,” the coach said.

“When I first saw him in Langley, he was running guys over, he was so much bigger.

“And he has such good hands for a big boy.”

Allowed to carry two 1993-born hockey players, Mick extended one of those invitations to Reichert, who played AAA midget hockey for the Langley Minor Hockey Association.

And while Reichert did have options to play closer to home, he jumped at the chance to play for Mick.

“The coach is very well known for how he develops players,” he explained about the decision.

When the season began, success did not come instantaneously to Reichert.

“I started the year as a grinder kind of guy, getting pucks deep and playing hard at both ends,” he said of his initial role.

As the season progressed, so did his job, and as Reichert worked his way up, and even found himself with power play time on the second unit.

Reichert wound up with modest numbers, scoring seven times and setting up seven others in 47 regular season games. But he ratcheted up his play in the post-season, nearly matching his regular season output with six goals and six assists in 22 games.

“He has been under the radar, but as we went into the playoffs, more and more teams were taking notice of him,” Mick said.

“The second half of the year, he was really a man amongst boys on the wall,” he added.

“And his play down low was just so good; he is going to be a really good player and I think the best is yet to come.”

Reichert combines a big body, which is difficult for opposing defencemen to bump off the puck, and soft hands, which give him a goal scorer’s touch around the net.

Reichert never imagined he would return home this spring with a slew of championships to show for his efforts.

“It has been a pretty unbelievable year,” he marveled. “It was such a good year and a great way to end, but it was still sad to see it end.

“It was just so fun, I didn’t really want to leave.”

Mick fully expects Reichert, who turns 17 in September, to graduate to the next level, either with one of several junior A clubs which have expressed interest in signing him, or in the Western Hockey League with the Chilliwack Bruins, the team he attended training camp with last summer. He is currently on the Bruins’ protected player list.

The key will be to work out through the spring and summer and improve his skating and foot speed.

“At this stage, he just has to let his play do the talking,” Mick said.

“He has come a long way from the beginning of the year and that is what you want to see, the hard work and the development.

“He has been an absolute pleasure to teach and I would love 20 of him as a player.”


(Former Cents forward Tyler Halliday during his rookie season in 2006-07)

Cents graduating forward Lucas Daoust will be joined on the TRU WolfPack this season by another player who skated here in Merritt in Tyler Halliday. Here's the release from TRU:

For the second year in a row, when the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack hockey team hits the ice, they will do it with a player having experience in the Western Hockey League.

Tyler Halliday, a four year veteran of the WHL has agreed to join the WolfPack hockey program starting in 2010-11. Halliday played with three teams during his Western Hockey League Career beginning with the Red Deer Rebels before moving to the Prince George Cougars, the Kelowna Rockets and then finishing up the Cougars this past season (2009-10). He had nine goals and 12 assists with 163 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Rockets and Cougars last season.

“I am very excited to join TRU and the WolfPack,” says Halliday, “ The school has grown in the past 5 years into one of the best and I am very excited to be a part of it. hockey wise I am anxious to start the season with the team and help them win the BCIHL title.”

Halliday, a grad of South Kamloops Secondary is very familiar with the WolfPack. He played minor hockey with four members of TRU’s 2009-10 squad (Cody Lockwood, David Gore, Mick Ludwig, and Jose Reyes). They were teammates in Midget hockey with the North Kamloops Lions.

He had a number of offers to join CIS Programs. “At first I was just playing out my options and seeing what was available,” he stated. “ I had a few universities call and to see if I was interested and I just kept everything open until I was ready to make my decision. The schools that contacted me were U of Alberta, U of Lethbridge, UBC, Lakehead, and U of Waterloo. But I decided that TRU would be the best fit for me.”

That and he’d be closer to his parents. “I chose TRU because it will be nice to play at home. My parents, Chris and Robin, also agreed to allow me to come back home and live there as well. I also choose TRU because Kamloops is such a hot spot for hockey and other sports and I have heard great things about the school and their sports programs. Living in Kamloops most of my life I know that TRU has an exceptional campus and sporting facilities which really helped with my decision.”

WolfPack coach Lorne Cumming couldn’t be happier with Halliday’s decision to play with the squad. ”Having Tyler Halliday join our WolfPack hockey club is a special day for our organization. Tyler is a player that competes in every game he plays and he has shown he can be a leader at a very high level. We are looking forward to Halli bringing that presence into our culture as we continue to build WolfPack hockey into one of the most attractive university programs available to competitive student players. We feel Tyler will be a guy that sets the tone physically in tough games and can also score a critical goal when we really need one. Clearly ,he won the respect of his team-mates with his example on and off the ice while playing in Kelowna, and Prince George in the Western League and I know that will continue within our WolfPack hockey culture.”

Halliday needs to take some University Prep courses in Math and English for the first semester with an eye to entering the Bachelor of Business Administration degree program hoping to be an accountant.


(Former Cents forward Casey Fratkin during the 2008-09 season)

I don't know how I missed this last month, but I'm really glad to see that former Cents forward/defenceman Casey Fratkin is off to the NCAA to play Div. III hockey. Here's the release from Fratkin's last team, the Drumheller Dragons:

May 20, 2010

Fratkin Commits to Elmira College

The Drumheller Dragons would like to congratulate Casey Fratkin on his recent commitment to the Elmira College Soaring Eagles (NCAA D-III, ECAC West) for the 2010-11 season.

Fratkin, a 1989-born, 5’11”, 185 pound defenceman from Burnaby, BC, recorded 1 goal and 9 assists along with 50 penalty minutes in 31 games played for the Dragons this year.

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to play and study at a school of Elmira’s calibre,” comments Fratkin. “Throughout the recruiting process, I was very impressed by their athletic and academic programs, and I can’t wait to begin my college career with the Soaring Eagles. I would like to thank my Teammates and the Dragons organization for their support and guidance, specifically Educational Director Dave Wood. Dave was an invaluable resource both during and after the season, and played an important role in this accomplishment.”

Dragons’ Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Player Development, David Ferrari, adds, “We are extremely proud of Casey and look forward to following his career in the NCAA. Casey immediately had an impact on our Team when we acquired him, and we are grateful for the hard work and professionalism that he displayed every day.”

Elmira College Head Coach, Aaron Saul, notes, “Casey really fits the mold of a Soaring Eagles defenceman. He is poised and mobile, and is a great competitor. We expect his contribution to our Program to be substantial.”

Fratkin's junior career was a pretty tumultuous one that saw his rights owned by the Cents (twice), Vernon (BCHL), Nanaimo (BCHL), Williams Lake (BCHL), Okotoks (AJHL), Drumheller (AJHL), Kamloops (KIJHL), Chase (KIJHL), North Bay (NOJHL) and La Ronge (SJHL). Moving on to NCAA is a big-time accomplishment for Fratkin and I wish him all the best with the Soaring Eagles.

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