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Former NHL Draft Pick Clayton Barthel Among Defensive Additions

September 15, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Arizona Sundogs News Release

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - Arizona Sundogs Head Coach and General Manager Marco Pietroniro announced today the team has agreed to terms with defensemen Clayton Barthel (bar-TEL) and Billy Bezeau (BEE-zoh) for the upcoming 2010-11 Central Hockey League season.

Barthel, a former third round draft pick (88th overall) of the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, most recently skated alongside newly acquired forward Steve Kaye with pro club Vipiteno of Italy's second league (Serie A2), collecting seven goals, 12 assists and 50 penalty minutes (PIM) in 33 regular season contests in 2009-10.

During the 2008-09 campaign, the 6-foot-3, 201-pound d-man skated in Germany with Landsberg EV of the German Oberliga (GerObL), tallying 41 points (15g/26a) and 176 PIM in 59 contests.

Prior to turning pro, the 24-year-old native of Kelowna, British Columbia skated for five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kelowna Rockets. Barthel notched 17 goals, 35 assists and 354 PIM in 262 regular season games with Seattle before recording 18 points (8g/10a) and 98 PIM in 65 games with Kelowna during his final season in 2006-07.

Bezeau, 23, comes to the Sundogs after splitting the 2009-10 season between the ECHL and France.

The Miscou, New Brunswick, native registered three goals, three assists and 61 PIM in 11 games with Morzine-Avoriaz before netting two points (1g/1a) and eight PIM in 19 contests with the Kalamazoo Wings.

As an amateur, Bezeau spent four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Prince Edward Island Rocket, Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Victoriaville Tigres and Quebec Remparts before playing collegiately at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick.

In 201 career QMJHL contests, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound blue-liner amassed 15 goals, 91 assists and 271 PIM.

"Clayton and Billy are both young defensemen with a tremendous upside," said Pietroniro. "They've both gathered some professional experience and each have skills that will help them to be consistent on our blue line. We're pleased to have them both on board for the 2010-11 season."

With the addition of Barthel and Bezeau, the Sundogs' 2010-11 roster now sits at 14. Players under contract for the upcoming season include goaltender Doug Groenestege, forwards Joey Sides, Adam Smyth, Chase Watson, Steve Kaye, Jason Visser, J.C. Robitaille and Jason Williams, and defensemen Tyler Butler, Mike Novosad, Rob Lehtinen and Mike Nesdill.

The Sundogs will celebrate their fifth season in the Central Hockey League beginning this October at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Season ticket packages are available for as low as $295. For more information call (928) 759-6600 or visit

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