August 17, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Missouri Mavericks
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman announced Tuesday the Central Hockey League (CHL) team has signed six rookies for the 2010-11 season. Forwards Matthew Brenton, Jeff Broekema, Marco Guercio, Ryan Sparling and Myles Stevens along with goaltender Bobby Jarosz have all signed their first professional contracts with the Mavericks.
"Nine rookies have signed contracts for the 2010-11 season including Chris Mifflen, Mike Wakita, Derek Knowles and the six we have signed today," said Head Coach Scott Hillman. "This talented crop of first year players show the diversity of our recruiting efforts this season. Two players are from Division 1 NCAA hockey (Wakita, Jarosz), three from Canadian University (Sparling, Knowles, Mifflen), one from Canadian College (Guercio), one from Canadian Major Junior (Brenton) and one from tier-2 hockey in western Canada (Stevens)."
Broekema, 22 (9/2/88), competed for a spot in the Mavericks' training camp at the First Annual Free Agent Showcase this past weekend. A total of 29 players entered the Free Agent Showcase and Broekema stood above the rest for his chance to make the 2010-11 roster. The Belleville, Ontario native had 40 points (17-2340) in 47 games played with the Pickering Panthers (OJHL) in 2008-09.
"Jeff Broekema separated himself from the crowd in the free agent camp by playing with incredible intensity and effort every shift," said Hillman. "Although he is not a big guy (5-foot-7, 181 pounds) he plays much larger than his size and showed good vision and touch in the offensive zone. There are a few other players that may join Jeff from the free agent camp but Jeff is the first player in Mavericks' history to be invited to our main camp through a free agent try-out."
Brenton, 21 (2/25/89), comes from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he played the previous four seasons and final two seasons with the Montreal Juniors. In 265 games in the QMJHL, the Stewiacke, Nova Scotia native finished with 40 goals and 69 assists for 109 points and 126 penalty minutes.
Guercio, 26 (8/8/84), is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound forward from Kelowna, British Columbia enters his rookie season with the Mavericks. Guercio most recently played for South Alberta Institute of Technology where he averaged over a point per game with 28 points (18-1018) in 27 games to go along with 97 penalty minutes.
Sparling, 22 (7/23/88), played the 2009-10 at Saint Francis Xavier University where he finished with 11 points (2-911) in 25 games played. Prior to playing at St. Francis, the Sydney, Nova Scotia native played four seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound forward finished with 217 points (83-134217) in 247 games played over four seasons and is the all-time leading scoring in Sea Dogs history
Stevens, 20 (11/30/89), is the youngest player to sign with the Mavericks to date. The Norway House, Manitoba native played the previous four seasons with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). The 6-foot-0, 195-pound forward averaged well over a point per contest with the Stampeders with 224 points (79-145224) in 190 games played. Stevens also has 442 penalty minutes and has over 160 in each of his last two seasons.
"These four forwards have all put up nice numbers in their respective leagues," added Hillman. "All of them play with grit and have offensive numbers to round out their game. Each of them are very excited to prove that they are ready to take their game to the next level. Guercio and Stevens will look to add another element of toughness to our squad. Sparling and Brenton put up very solid offensive numbers in the QMJHL, and we believe they are the types of players that can transition to the CHL and make an immediate impact."
Finally, the Mavericks added rookie goaltender Bobby Jarosz. The Crystal Lake, Illinois native played the past three seasons with Michigan State University (NCAA). In his final season, the 6-foot-0, 172-pound netminder finished 4-3-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. After his collegiate career ended, Jarosz played one game with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers last season and stopped 21 of 22 shots in his first professionally victory.
"Jarosz is a very exciting goalie," said Hillman of the second goaltender signed by the Mavericks. "Although he has not logged a lot of ice time, he has excelled nearly every minute that he has been between the pipes. We are very pleased to have Bobby on our roster. We believe he will compete very hard with Gerry (Festa) to earn playing time with the Mavericks this season."
Mavericks' signings to date:
Matthew Brenton, F Bobby Jarosz, G
Jeff Broekema, F Gerry Festa, G
Olivier Filion, F Blake Forsyth, D
Marco Guercio, F Chris Mifflen, D
Brett Hammond, F Cole Ruwe, D
Derek Knowles, F Mike Wakita, D
Toby Lafrance, F
Carlyle Lewis, F
Derek Pallardy, F
Karl Sellan, F
Ryan Sparling, F
Myles Stevens, F
Bill Vandermeer, F
Simon Watson, F
The Missouri Mavericks will begin their second season in the Central Hockey League on October 15, 2010 against the Odessa Jackalopes at 7:05 p.m. The Mavericks play their home games at the state-of-the-art Independence Events Center where parking is always free. Individual game tickets will go on sale September 10, and season tickets are on sale now starting at just $10 per game. Call (816) 252-7825 for more information or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com .