September 13, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Missouri Mavericks
INDEPENDENCE, Missouri - Missouri Mavericks' Head Coach Scott Hillman announced Monday the Central Hockey League (CHL) team has signed forward Mike Berry and defenseman Ray DiLauro for the 2010-11 season. The Mavericks also announced five players will compete in American Hockey League (AHL) camps. Berry, Dominic D'Amour, Chris Mifflen, Nick Sirota and Mike Wakita will all tryout for AHL teams.
Berry, 27 (6/28/83), enters his sixth season professionally. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward had 59 points including a career-high 27 goals for the Newcastle Vipers (EIHL) last season. In 339 games as a pro, Berry has 97 goals and 136 assists for 233 points to go along with 423 penalty minutes. He has 19 or more goals in four out of his first five seasons. The Kanata, Ontario native will also try out for the AHL's Worcester Sharks before heading to Missouri.
"We are very excited to add Mike to our roster," said Hillman. "He is the type of player we have been looking for, he is very hard working and brings a nice combination of offense and grit. Mike is a player that battles for every inch of ice and a player who will bring competitiveness to the ice every night."
DiLauro, 31 (7/13/79), is a ninth round draft pick (246th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound defenseman has 202 career points (52-150202) in nine seasons. The Bensalem, Pennsylvania native has played the previous four seasons in three of Europe's top leagues, and most recently played for the Cleveland Barons of the AHL in North America. DiLauro had his best season in 2004-05 with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers where he posted 52 points on 12 goals and 40 assists in 72 games played.
"Ray is another big piece of the puzzle we have been trying to fit together as we re-tool our blueline," Hillman added about his newest defenseman. "He is big, physical and has good composure with the puck. By signing Ray, (Blake) Forsyth and (Dominic) D'Amour we have a lot more experience on the back end than we had a year ago. Ray has the ability to contribute on the power play and add additional offensive output from our back end."
Hillman also announced five players signed for the Mavericks' 2010-11 season will be in NHL affiliate camps at the end of September. Berry and defenseman Dominic D'Amour will compete in the San Jose Sharks affiliate camp in Worcester. Returning forward Nick Sirota and rookie defenseman Mike Wakita will compete in the Lake Erie Monsters camp, AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. Finally, rookie defenseman Chris Mifflen will try out for the AHL's Texas Stars, affiliate of the Dallas Stars.
"Having five players competing for jobs in the AHL is very exciting for our young program," said Hillman. "I believe it shows how long of a way we have come in the Mavericks' short existence. We are committed to helping our players develop their skills and their careers in hockey. We are committed to putting a team together that competes at a very high level. The way to do that is to look for a good mix of veteran and young players that are committed to success and want to separate themselves from the pack."
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. Tickets for all 33 regular season home games are on sale now starting at just $14 per game. Mini-plans, season tickets and group tickets are also available by calling (816) 252-7825 or visit www.MissouriMavericks.com for more information.