Beast Announce 2015-16 Training Camp Roster
Brampton Beast Media Release
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast Hockey Club, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, is pleased to announce its roster for 2015-16 Training Camp.
Players will be taking to the ice starting Monday, October 5 and will practice throughout the week until camp concludes on Wednesday, October 14.
On-ice practice sessions will be taking place at the Powerade Centre at 10 a.m. daily for the duration of Training Camp. Practices are open to the media as well as Beast Season Ticket Holders. Please note that practice times and locations are subject to change.
2015-16 Training Camp Roster
Beast Contracted Players Attending AHL Training Camps
Mathew Maione – D
Justin DaCosta – D
Cal Wild – F
Jeff Brown – F
The Beast’s second season in the ECHL kicks off on the road for the 2015-16 campaign. The Beast will head to New Hampshire to face the Manchester Monarchs on Friday, October 16 before ending their season-opening road trip in central New York to face the Elmira Jackals on Saturday, October 17.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are pleased to announce the signing of CHL scoring champion Yannick Riendeau.
Riendeau had a stellar junior career averaging almost a point per game in his years in the QMJHL. His most outstanding year was in 2009, where the Quebec native led the Canadian Hockey League in points (178 pts in 83 games). That year Riendeau outscored John Tavares of the New York Islanders. The forward sensation had 126 points (64 g 58 a) in 64 games during the regular season was the playoff MVP with 52 points (29 g 23 a) in 19 games tying Mario Lemieux for the second most goals in Canadian Hockey League playoff history.
“Yannick will be one of the most skilled players the Brampton Beast fans will have ever seen,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He’s a proven offensive producer who will provide depth to our attack.”
Riendeau had his first professional start with the Providence Bruins of the AHL and signed a three-year contract. From 2009-2012, the 5’10 185lbs winger suffered from numerous injuries while with the Bruins and spent some time with the Reading Royals of the ECHL where he met recent Beast signee and childhood teammate Yannick Tifu. After his season with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL in 2012-13, Riendeau headed to France where he played a full season finishing with 33 points in 25 games. Riendeau returns to the ECHL where had a 137 total career points in 145 games.
“I’m excited to join the Brampton Beast organization and I have heard nothing but good things,” said the Beast forward. “I’m a natural offensive player with good stick handling and can be a great contributor. I’m good offensively but I know that to win a championship you have to also be defensive.”
BRAMPTON, ON. — On Tuesday afternoon at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, the Brampton Beast, had a special announcement regarding a very historic moment in ECHL and hockey history. The Beast revealed that they will be hosting a game vs the National Ice Hockey Team of India on October 9th, 2015 at the Powerade Center. This is the first time in ECHL history that one of it’s developmental clubs will be hosting a game vs an international team.
The City of Brampton has one of the largest Indian communities in all of Canada. Both the Brampton Beast hockey club and the National Ice Hockey Association of India are hoping that this monumental moment in hockey history is the beginning increased interest in the sport in India. It is also hoped this opens up opportunities for people around the world to have the right to play Ice Hockey and enjoy the experience of playing the sport we all love, no matter where they are.
In the entire country of India, there is only one hockey rink located at an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level. It is beyond tough for some people to adjust to playing in places like Denver and Calgary, let alone at a rink that is at a level that can lead to high altitude sickness. Despite hockey being played in India since 1908, it being one of the most populated nations on earth, funding and opportunity to build more rinks simply has not been there until recently. In 2009 head coach Adam Sherlip decided to take things a step further and start moving India into a developing hockey nation.
Head coach Sherlip will be bringing a total of 10-12 players to Canada for this opportunity. He described his team as being “very excited” and that they “could not believe” that they will be coming to Canada for this opportunity. The Brampton Beast will be helping the Indian national team with an open try-out for Canadians of Indian decent to help fill out the roster. The players that make the roster will be recognized as Team India National Hockey Players. In addition, the Beast may be looking for billet families so that the players from India will experience life here in Canada, something they will never forget.
The Indian national team will be using sticks from former NHLer Donald Brashear’s company, BRASH87. The game will be played at the Powerade Center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada on Friday, October, 9th at 7:15 pm. The game between the Beast and Team India is a fantastic opportunity for hockey fans to tune in, experience a truly monumental game in hockey history and to see these players have an experience of a lifetime while supporting the growth of hockey all around the world.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast is pleased to announce the signing of the two new additions to the team’s blue line, Mississauga native and international veteran Justin DaCosta and Ryerson Rams alumni Dean Willmott. The duo will join Mathew Maione, Guy Leboeuf and Francis Meilleur as the core of the Beast’s defensive unit.
DaCosta spent his 2014-15 season in Europe and split time between the Elite Ice Hockey League’s (EIHL) Coventry Blaze and the Polish Hockey League’s KH Sanok, where he was teammates with new Beast goaltender Bryan Pitton.
He enjoyed a great season overseas but when presented with the opportunity to return to North America to play for the Beast, his answer was a simple one.
“When I first found out there was a team in Brampton, I always thought it would be a great place to play,” DaCosta said. “I was born in Toronto and I live in Mississauga now and (playing near my hometown) has always been something that I wanted to do. I’m excited about the team that Coach Chaulk is building. He’s bringing in a lot of great players.”
The 30-year-old played in 212 Ontario Hockey League games between 2002 and 2006 for the Barrie Colts, Owen Sound Attack and Mississauga IceDogs before moving on to a successful university career with the University of New Brunswick.
He kicked off his professional career during the 2009-10 Central Hockey League playoffs, suiting up for 10 contests with the Colorado Eagles.
Over the next five seasons, he collected quite a few stamps on his passport as his professional career took him all over the globe, including stops in the United States, France, Austria, Hungary, Finland and the United Kingdom.
Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk believes DaCosta’s vast international experience will make him an asset on the Beast blue line.
“Justin is a puck-moving power play defense man who will fit in well with our possession style of play,” he said. “His veteran presence will bring valuable experience and leadership to our defense.”
Willmott, 25, is no stranger to Beast fans, having played his rookie season with Brampton in 2014-15. He suited up for 21 contests, scoring one goal and chipping in with two assists and 16 penalty minutes and is excited to remain a member of the Beast for the 2015-16 season.
“It feels great to be back,” Willmott said. “To be able to be able to play in front of my family and friends and stay close to home is important to me. Brampton has a great hockey culture and there have been a lot of great teams that have played in the city. It’s great to be able to come back and play again at the Powerade Centre with the Beast.”
Willmott scored his first goal as a professional at the Powerade Centre in Brampton on March 27, 2015 and earned First Star honours in a 6-3 loss to the Rapid City Rush.
Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan liked what he saw from Willmott from last season and is looking forward to seeing what he is capable of in his second pro season with the Beast.
“We really respect Dean’s resolve,” Kaplan said. “After being on the Beast last year, he was required to re-up and tryout again with the team. Many players would have walked away, but Dean stepped up and earned another opportunity with the team. We respect his commitment.”
Hailing from Toronto, Willmott has been playing in his home province of Ontario for his entire junior and professional career. He spent three seasons in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League between 2008 and 2011, including two with the Seguin Bruins and one with the Huntsville Otters.
Willmott then went the university route and spent his entire four-year OUAA career with the Ryerson University Rams and played in 103 games and earned himself eight goals and 17 assists.
BRAMPTON, ON. — On Wednesday, the Brampton Beast, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, held a fan event to kick off the 2015-16 season.
First, season ticket holders were invited to paint the lines on the ice at the Powerade Centre. Then Beast fans gathered at the Real Stars Bar and Grill, just inside the Powerade Centre, to witness the announcement of the Beast’s latest player signing.
Beast GM Cary Kaplan said, “A team can only go as far as its goaltending will take them. From his days leading the Brampton Battalion, to his recent dominance in Allen leading the Americans to the CHL Championship in 2014, Bryan is a proven leader and stellar goaltender.”
Habs fans will watch with interest to see which prospects in the Canadiens system, including a goaltender, will be sent to Brampton.
Additional photos from the Brampton Beast goalie signing event (all photos by Rabita Naqvi | Rocket Sports Media):
Beast Sign 2013-14 CHL Champion and Former Brampton Battalion Goalie Bryan Pitton
Brampton Beast Media Release
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast is proud to announce the signing of Central Hockey League Champion and former Brampton Battalion goaltender Bryan Pitton.
The 6’3” goaltender was selected in the 5th round by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Bryan is the brother of Jason Pitton, who is currently the franchise’s points leader (100 points in 136 GP) and finished last season with 22 goals.
Bryan is no stranger to playing in Brampton. He spent his entire his OHL career with the Brampton Battalion and played a total of 124 games for the club between 2005-06 and 2007-08 and is looking forward to returning home to the Flower City.
“Excitement comes to mind,” Pitton said of the opportunity to play in Brampton. “It’s been eight or nine years since I’ve been back home. Just the idea of being close to family and friends and to get to play where I spent three special years of my life is exciting.”
Last season, Pitton was a rock between the pipes for KH Sanok in the Polish Hockey League and compiled a 1.97 goals against average and a league-best .934 save percentage in 44 games.
Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan believes Pitton’s vast experience makes him a valuable asset to the Beast for the 2015-16 season.
“Signing Bryan Pitton is very substantial for the Beast,” said Kaplan. “A team can only go as far as its goaltending will take them. From his days leading the Brampton Battalion, to his recent dominance in Allen leading the Americans to the CHL Championship in 2014, Bryan is a proven leader and stellar goaltender”.
Prior to Pitton’s time in Poland, he spent the 2013-14 season in the now-defunct Central Hockey League and helped the Allen Americans to a league championship. He had great season with a 2.75 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage in 43 regular season contests. Pitton was near-unbeatable during the CHL playoffs and posted a 2.20 goals-against-average and .931 save percentage in 17 games.
“It is also appropriate at this time to thank Bryan’s brother Jason Pitton for his significant contributions to the franchise in our first two seasons,” said the Beast president and general manager. “Jason was one of the original ambassadors of the Beast and made a big impact both on and off the ice.”
Bryan made his professional debut with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons at the end of the 2007-08 season and has suited up for 17 AHL contests between the Falcons and Oklahoma City Barons.
His transition back to North American hockey should be an easy one, as he already has 127 games of ECHL experience under his belt from stints with the Stockton Thunder and Bakersfield Condors between 2008-09 and 2011-12.
Pitton headed overseas following the 2011-12 hockey season and landed with the Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom, where he posted the busiest season of his professional career and suited up for 52 games and recorded a 2.89 goals against average to compliment his .907 save percentage.
Pitton’s success has made him a hot commodity over the last two seasons and Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk is excited to see what the 27-year-old will bring to the team.
“Bryan is an elite goalie who has led Allen to the CHL championship,” said Chaulk. “He gives our team a chance to win every night and has the ability to give his teammates a calm confidence. His compete and maturity is immeasurable in our league.”
Beast Agree to Terms with Former CIS Rookie of the Year
Brampton Beast Media Release
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are proud to announce the signing of forward Luc Blain. Blain returns to Canada after spending the past two seasons with Anglet in the France2 league where he served as alternate captain in his last year and led the league in scoring with 47 points (17G, 30A) in 24 games.
“Luc is a solid two-way centreman who makes plays and provides offense,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “I expect Luc to earn important minutes for the Beast this season.”
Prior to his professional career, the 6’3, 200 pound centreman played three years in the CIS at the University of Ottawa. Blain had an outstanding rookie year, scoring four goals in his second game of the season and was named CIS athlete of the week his first week playing with the team. Blain recorded 52 points (16G, 36A) and broke the record for rookie with the most points in the CIS. The centreman also finished second in Canada in scoring and was named Rookie of the Year.
Following a successful season, Blain was approached by numerous ECHL teams to attend tryouts but decided to attain his communications degree instead. The 26-year-old went on to be assistant captain in his second year and was named captain of the team in his third season.
“The team that Chaulk is putting together looks promising this year,” said the Quebec native. “I’m a two-way center and good with face-offs. After spending some time in Europe, I’m excited to be back in Canada playing North American style hockey again. I’m eager to get the season going and to meet the team and the Beast fans.”
During the off-season, Blain trains on and off the ice with his brother Jeremie along with other AHL and NHL players at a gym in Montreal. Jeremie was a fourth round Edmonton Oilers Draft Pick in 2010 and played with the Kalamazoo K-Wings of the ECHL last season where Chaulk served as assistant coach of Kalamazoo at the time.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce the acquisition of 2012 CHL MVP and 2014 ECHL Top Scorer, Brandon Marino. During those years, from 2012 – 2014, Marino scored more points than any other AA hockey player at the CHL and ECHL level.
The California native will be the first American-born player signed by the Beast in franchise history, demonstrating the Beast’s focus on building the best team possible regardless of nationality.
“Brandon Marino is an elite ECHL scorer and simply one of the league’s best all-around players,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “We wanted the first US player that the Brampton Beast have ever signed to make a statement on our commitment to winning for our fans. With Brandon, Yannick Tifu, Scott Howes and Cal Wild as our four veteran players, we are confident in our powerful leadership core.”
The fourth veteran player signed to the Beast this offseason (out of a maximum of four veteran spots allowed per team), Marino is an elite forward with a proven ability to score, having notched 162 points in 143 ECHL games across two seasons with the Fort Wayne Komets. He was named Team MVP and “Mr. Hustle” for being the hardest working player on the squad both years he was with the Komets, in addition to bringing home one of the league’s most coveted awards as the ECHL’s top scorer in 2013-2014.
“I was given the opportunity to play on the first line and on the powerplay, much of the time with Chris Auger,” said Marino of his success with the Komets. “Having good teammates to play with, that’s what its all about. You’re only as good as the guys you’re playing with, and I think with the group [Colin] Chaulk is putting together we are going to be a tough team to beat.”
After spending last season overseas in the EBEL, Austria’s top tier hockey league, it was largely the recruiting of Head Coach Chaulk that brought the former scoring champion to Brampton.
“Chaulk was definitely a huge part of it, there was a lot of mutual respect from our time together in Fort Wayne,” said Marino. “His demeanor in the room when he was playing, and then the way he took on the assistant coaching duties when he wasn’t able to play, I saw how good of a coach he is going to be. The intelligence he has for the game, his commitment to winning, and the fact that he played at this level for so many years are a dangerous combination.”
Prior to suiting up for the Komets, Marino spent two years playing for the Quad City Mallards of the CHL. In his second season with the team, he led the league in goals (41) and was second in points (90) in just 65 regular season games, earning him the title of CHL MVP in 2011-2012.
“Marino is a former league MVP and scoring champion, whose speed and will to win are unmatched,” said Coach Chaulk. “Most importantly he can play in all situations, and will be a valuable asset for the Beast this season.”
BRAMPTON, ON — The Brampton Beast are excited to announce the re-signing of 24-year-old defenseman and last season’s Rookie and Fan Favourite Player of the Year Mathew Maione.
Maione notched 43 points (14 goals and 29 assists) in 69 games for Brampton, leading all ECHL rookie blueliners in scoring and coming in 10th overall in scoring among ECHL defensemen.
“Mathew had a true breakout season last year,” said team President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “He was consistently our best defenseman and often our best player. Known for his breakaway speed and great on-ice instincts, I feel the Beast faithful will be really excited about this signing. We are looking forward to Mathew being a big part of what is shaping up to be a powerful roster in Brampton this season.”
Despite several offers to play in Europe in the fall, Maione chose to remain in the GTA and continue his professional career with the Beast for the upcoming year. The close proximity to home has allowed the offensive-minded defender to once again train with renowned fitness guru and feared NHL forward Gary Roberts at St. Andrew’s College during the offseason.
“I love working out with Gary, he’s an awesome guy who is extremely competitive and I feel like I’m in great shape coming into this season,” said Maione. “Truthfully I just want to get started. I’m excited about the team Chaulk is putting together, and to play for a guy who was a captain for ten years in Fort Wayne where he won five championships is going to make us a really tough team to play against.”
Maione suited up for four seasons of CIS hockey with the University of Prince Edward Island before beginning his professional debut with the Fort Wayne Koments in the spring of 2014. During his university hockey career, Maione tallied 65 points (9 goals, 56 assists) in 112 games to go along with 102 penalty minutes and a +24 rating.
“Maione is a smooth skating, puck-moving defenseman who has a natural confidence and poise with the puck,” said Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “Given his ability and skill on the ice we expect him to be able to contribute both offensively and defensively for the Beast.”
In 2013 Maione represented both the University of PEI and Atlantic University Sports in the International University Sports Federation Games in Italy, where the young blueliner scored the game-winning goal for Team Canada in the tournament final to defeat Kazakhstan and bring home the gold medal.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce that Francis Meilleur has been signed as the second defenseman to anchor the Brampton blueline for the 2015-2016 season.
Meilleur joins the Beast after spending his past two years in the Ligue Magnus in France, where he tallied 32 points (6 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games between the Dolphins Epinal and LHC Lions, in addition to seven points in 11 playoff matches.
“I’ve been away for two years in Europe, so I’m pretty excited to come back and play in Canada,” said Meilleur of his time overseas. “I enjoyed my experience in France but I missed the North American style of hockey. I wanted to come back, play closer to home, and be a part of the hockey atmosphere here in Brampton. People take the game way more seriously here and I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to signing his first European contract, Meilleur suited up for 124 ECHL games with the Greenville Road Warriors, Bakersfield Condors and Las Vegas Wranglers. The Longueuil, Quebec native became instantly known for his ability to contribute at both ends of the ice, a trait that has drawn the attention of coaches since his days of playing junior in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“Francis is a puck-moving defenseman with over 100 games of ECHL experience,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He has a well-rounded skill set on the ice and I expect him to be able to contribute in both the offensive and defensive zones.”
During his four-year junior career in the QMJHL, Meilleur logged 139 points and 205 penalty minutes in 264 games, in addition to a +76 rating. He was named alternate captain of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in his third season with the team before being traded to the Montreal Juniors for his final year.