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McCrae to Attend UBC

June 4, 2009 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Spokane Chiefs News Release

Justin McCrae, captain of the 2008-09 Spokane Chiefs and a member of the 2008 Memorial Cup championship team, will play for the University of British Columbia next season. McCrae recently completed a five-year WHL career, including the last year and half with the Chiefs.

"Justin is exactly the type of player we like at UBC," said UBC Head Coach Milan Dragicevic of McCrae who was a fourth round selection (102nd overall) of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2007 NHL Draft. "He works extremely hard at both ends of the ice. Justin has the offensive talent to produce at the CIS level but he also isn't afraid of going into the corner and winning the tough battles."

Dragicevic is a former Chief who played 100 games in Spokane from 1988-90.

McCrae joins current UBC T-Bird Matt Pepe from the 2008 Memorial Cup final. Pepe, who was named a Canada West all-rookie team member this year, captained cup finalist Kitchener Rangers in 2008.

"That was definitely the highlight of my hockey career," said McCrae of the Chiefs junior hockey triumph in 2008. "You play to win championships and it was such an awesome ride, I will remember it for the rest of my life."

The 6-foot-0, 190 pound native of Cochrane, AB spent half of the 2007-08 season and the entire 2008-09 with Spokane after spending the first three and a half years of his WHL career with the Saskatoon Blades.

In 302 regular season games, McCrae tallied 67 goals and 97 assists for 164 points. He had a career-best 19 goals in 2007-08 when he split time between the Blades and the Chiefs while notching career highs in assists (33) and points (49) with the Blades in 2006-07. In 46 playoff games, he registered four goals and 11 assists.

This past season McCrae saw action in only 37 regular season games, but played in all 12 Chiefs playoff games, after suffering knee and foot injuries early in the season.

"This was the first time in my entire career that I had missed significant time with an injury and it was really frustrating," said McCrae who had played a minimum of 61 regular season games over his first four WHL seasons. "I am completely healed and had a good finish to the season. I want to contribute offensively this coming year but it's also important to be responsible defensively and establish a solid two-way game. Winning is the most fun you can have in this game so I'm ready to do whatever it takes."

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