Four More Ink Pacts with IceMen
EVANSVILLE, IN.--- The business of pro hockey in Evansville is becoming bullish as the IceMen continue to make major inroads in assembling their first ever roster as bona fide members of the newly-expanded 18-teams' Central Hockey League.
Fresh on the heels of this week's earlier announcement concerning the major signing of 1,000-points veteran standout virtuoso Jeff Nelson, General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm maintained the momentum with the signings of four more player personnel in augmenting his growing lineup for the rapidly-approaching 2010-11 CHL season.
The latest quartet of players set to don the IceMen coat of arms are goaltender DAVID WILSON, defenseman CLAY THORING and forwards CHRIS CAMPANALE and ANDREW GIBBONS. Adhering to club policy, terms of the contract deals were not disclosed.
WILSON, 25, is undertaking his initial season in the professional ranks following a solid four-year career at one of the most prestigious American college hockey institutions, the University of Maine. The 6-1, 187lb native of Caledon East, Ontario was a member in good standing of Maine teams that almost always seem to be nationally-ranked and contending not only for its own Hockey East Conference title but also the NCAA National crown. Last season, in 13-games for the Black Bears, he compiled a mark of 8(3-5-0) with 1-shutout and stellar, stingy GAA of 2.66. In his junior year of 2008-09, he stepped in between the pipes for 14-more Maine encounters, registering a record of 12(3-8-1) with a 2.82 GAA and .901 SPCT.
The IceMen's newest human puck detour has achieved some most distinguished honors and accolades prior to his advent to Evansville. Wilson has been named a Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner as well as being acclaimed to the Hockey East Academic Honor Roll. Before attending college, he performed his craft with the Brampton Capitals and Streetsville Derbys where in 41-games in 2005-06, he posted a 2.91 GAA and superb .919 SPCT. In that same season, Wilson was named Top Goaltender and MVP of the 2005-06 Royal Cup Canadian Junior Hockey Championships.
GM/Coach Kromm had been on the lookout for a second netminder and now he feels he has one. "David had a solid college career at one of the truly premiere hockey universities in the U.S. His vast experience with such a strong Division I school with an outstanding reputation should augur especially well for us this season."
THORING, 28, comes to Evansville with some excellent experience at both the Canadian major junior `A' level and Canadian collegiate levels. This season will represent his first full season in the pro ranks and his second overall. The 5-11, 195lb left-shooting rearguard actually made his pro debut in the CHL in 2008-09 with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and Colorado Eagles. In a combined 27-games, he engineered 6-points on 1-goal, 5-assists along with 33-PIM.
His resume consists of four years of WHL action with the Swift Current Broncos (1998-2001) and the Vancouver Giants (2001-02). This was followed by five years of collegiate hockey prowess with the Acadia U. (2002-03) and the U. of Regina (2004-2008).
Coach Kromm on Thoring. "Clay comes to us highly-recommended with an impressive background at both the major junior `A' and Canadian college levels. He also enjoyed success earlier on in the pro ranks in the CHL. We look for Clay to be a solid puck-moving defenseman."
CAMPANALE, 24, (CAMP-ah-NAL-ee) is getting set for his first pro season here in Evansville, coming from the American International College. The 6-0, 190lb right wing served as the Yellow Jackets' Team Captain in his senior season last year. Despite a season of nagging injuries, the American-bred from Chester Springs, PA still saw action in 31-games, collecting 8-points. His best season at AIC occurred one season earlier in 2008-09 when he led his team in scoring, garnering 18-points in 35-games on 7-goals, 11-assists with 18-PIM.
Prior to his college career, Campanale starred for the Green Mountain Glades in 2005-06, being named Team MVP. A 2004 graduate of Malvern Prep, he was hailed as The Philadelphia Inquirer Player of the Year as well as Team MVP. He spurred his Friars club to 4-Flyers Cup Championships and the State Championship in 2004 when he was also named Flyers Cup MVP.
Kromm likes the leadership potential that the rookie Campanale brings to his club. "We were drawn to Chris due to his strong collegiate career at AIC .He was the team's leading scorer in his junior year and earned the team's captaincy in his senior season. He is a steady, hard-working, honest hockey player with good leadership skills."
GIBBONS, 24, is also entering his initial pro campaign under the Evansville employ. Like Thoring, he has achieved a vast, varied background through major junior `A' hockey in the prestigious OHL as well as Canadian college. The 6-3, 197lb right wing hails from Oshawa, Ontario and is coming off of two strong seasons at Carleton University in Toronto. He averaged over a point a game in 39-career outings at Carleton, collecting 43-points on 11-goals, 32-assists with 92-PIM. His best season there came in 2008-09 when he finished in the top 25 in CIS league-wide scoring, recording 33-points in 28-games on 9-goals, 24-assists along with 78-PIM.
Prior to his two years at Carleton, Gibbons played five years in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals (2002-05), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2004-05) and Belleville Bulls (2005-07). His best seasons were in Belleville where he collected 77-points in 95-games over two seasons; 95(28-49-77) with 130-PIM.
The IceMen GM/Coach is looking forward to the arrival of his big, rugged rookie forward. "Andrew is a former standout from the OHL and the Canadian college ranks. He comes to our organization very highly-recommended. He plays the game with a lot zeal and energy and should give our club some strong character and leadership."
Today's signings of goaltender DAVID WILSON, defenseman CLAY THORING and right wings CHRIS CAMPANALE and ANDREW GIBBONS bring to 14 the number of players presently under contract with Evansville for the 2010-11 CHL season. Previously, the IceMen announced the signings of goaltender MATT LUNDIN, defensemen JORDAN LITTLE, NICK SCHNEIDER; centers BRIAN BICEK, JEFF NELSON, DAMIAN SURMA; left wings JESSE BIDUKE, MARK CODY; right wings BO CHEESMAN, ROBB ROSS.
The IceMen training camp opens, Monday, October 4th at Swonder Ice Arena in Evansville.
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