May 24, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Missouri Mavericks
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks Head Coach Scott Hillman announced Monday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has signed forward Toby Lafrance and defensemen Chris Mifflen and Mike Wakita. Lafrance and Mifflen return after playing for Missouri in the team\'s inaugural season and Wakita enters his rookie season in the CHL.
"We are very excited about our first six signings for next season," said Mavericks\' President and General Manager Brent Thiessen. "In our most recent group of signings, we have added scoring, and introduced two solid players on the blue line who give us a great presence."
Lafrance, 22 (6/17/87), joined the Mavericks in February of 2010 and played in the team\'s final 21 games. The Granby, Quebec native finished with nearly a point per game with Missouri with 20 points (8-12=20) including six multiple-point games, and three game-winning goals. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound forward split time between the ECHL\'s Stockton Thunder and Johnstown Chiefs during his rookie season where he finished with 33 points (11-22=33) in 60 games. Prior to turning pro, Lafrance played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Victoriaville Tigres where he scored 40-plus goals in each of his final two seasons. In his four-years, he accumulated 229 points (112-117=229) in 230 games played in the QMJHL.
"We are very excited to have Toby back," said Hillman. "He was an instant scoring threat when he joined our team and we look forward to him making that contribution next season."
Mifflen, 22 (1/24/88), is entering his rookie season, however he played two games for the Mavericks during the 2010 playoffs as an amateur. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound defenseman is the first blue-liner to sign with the Mavericks for the 2010-11 season. Prior to coming to Missouri, the Orleans, Ontario native played one season with Carleton University where he led all defensemen on his team with 16 points (7-9=16) in 28 games. Mifflen played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with three different teams and totaled 42 points (11-31=42) and 198 penalty minutes in 152 games played.
"Although we only had Chris for last year\'s playoffs, we were impressed with his size and ability on the blue line," said Hillman. "He immediately makes our defense stronger and bigger."
Wakita, 24 (5/28/85), is also entering his rookie season. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman finished a four-year career at Union College (NCAA) with three goals and eight assists in 108 games to go along with 150 penalty minutes. The Campbell River, British Columbia native was also an ECACHL All-Academic selection for his freshman and sophomore seasons. Prior to playing at Union, Wakita played in 171 games for the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and recorded 61 points (11-50=61) and 472 penalty minutes in 172 games played. As captain for the River Kings during the 2005-06 season, Wakita was named the Coastal Conference Defenseman of the Year and First Team All-Star with 28 points (8-20=28) and 180 penalty minutes in 60 games.
"We landed another physical defenseman," said Hillman of his sixth signing for the 2010-11 season. "We know we were small on the blue line last year, and Mifflen and Wakita both play a big and physical style on defense. They are both young players that have aspirations to be in the American Hockey League."
The Missouri Mavericks will begin their second season in the CHL in October 2010. Season tickets are on sale now by calling (816) 252-7825 or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for more information.