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.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast, proud ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce that four players from the Free Agent Camp held from July 24-26 have been invited to the Beast’s main Training Camp this September.
Goaltender Paul Dorsey, forward Luke Sandler, defenseman Ben MacAskill and former Beast blueliner Dean Willmott were chosen from a prospect pool of 76 total participants to advance to the next level of selection and battle for a spot on the 2015-2016 Beast roster.
“The quality of the players was a lot higher than in previous seasons,” said Beast front office staffer Mike Pupo, who assisted in the coordination of the camp and players over the past two years. “There was also a lot more diversity on the ice with players coming from a wide variety of hockey levels and leagues around the world.”
Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan agreed that there was a much bigger buzz around the camp this summer, given the Beast’s solidified position in the ECHL and affiliation with the Canadiens.
“Over the course of our three seasons here in Brampton, this was without a doubt the largest, most intense and most competitive Free Agent Camp that we have run,” said Kaplan. “The response from the guys on the ice was incredible. As a result, we are inviting four players to our main training camp this fall, each of whom will battle for a roster spot with the Beast.”
Assistant Coach Peter Goulet, who oversaw the Free Agent Camp, also provided an update on the Boston Chowder Cup Tournament he participated in from July 16 – 19, 2015. Goulet assembled and entered a team into the Senior Jr. A Elite Division, composed of players aged 18-20 years old, against a field of 58 total teams. Former participants in this tournament include six prospects selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL entry draft, among them No. 2 overall selection Jack Eichel and No. 5 pick Noah Hanifin, out of a total of 41 NHL draft picks from this past year alone.
“I have been bringing teams to the Boston Chowder Cup for the last 14 years,” said Goulet of the experience. “Of those years, I have coached teams into the Semi-Finals twice, only to come up short both times. This summer was my third trip to the Semi-Finals, with a team that had only five players who played Jr. A Hockey in Canada last year, and while we didn’t win the tournament I was extremely impressed with the way the team came together against some very high-level competition. We look to build off these very successful results when we return to Boston next season with teams in both the Senior Jr. A Elite, College Open, and 2000/2001 Divisions.”
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast, proud ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce the addition of two premier scoring forwards, Yannick Tifu and Chris Auger, to their 2015-2016 line-up.
Tifu, the former Reading Royals captain who led his team to a 2012-2013 Kelly Cup Championship, will join the Beast after spending last season overseas with the Ducs d’Angers of the French Ligue Magnus.
The talented centre is just two years removed from what is widely considered the best single season of any Royals’ player in franchise history, where he scored 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 72 regular season games. Tifu continued his torrid pace into the postseason, adding another 25 points (including 12 goals) in 22 playoff contests en route to helping the Royals capture their first ever ECHL Championship.
The 97 total points and +27 rating helped Tifu earn the Royals’ Ironman Award that season, in addition to being selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player, and winning the Fans Choice Award for the second consecutive year.
“To win a championship you need the right pieces of the puzzle,” said the speedy centreman of Brossard, Quebec. “Everybody on the team is a piece of that puzzle, it goes from the front office to the guys on the ice to the coaches behind the bench, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that.”
The ten-year veteran began his pro career with the Rockford IceHogs of the UHL after dominating the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he racked up 248 points for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies over a four-year junior career.
Suiting up for the Pheonix Roadrunners the following season, Tifu went on to spend the next eight years of his career between the ECHL and AHL levels, scoring 498 points in 460 ECHL games in addition to 32 points in 81 AHL contests.
“Tifu is a proven leader and scorer at every level and team he has been on,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He showed that as the captain of the Royals when they won a championship, and we are confident he will raise our level of competitiveness here in Brampton. “
The Beast are also pleased to announce the addition of the Chicago Blackhawks 2006 6th-round pick Chris Auger.
Auger will know at least two familiar faces when suiting up for his new team this fall, having played alongside current winger Stephon Thorne and head coach Chaulk on the 2011-2012 President Cup-winning Fort Wayne Komets.
“Chaulk and I had a great relationship on and off the ice, and since then have continued to have a tremendous amount of mutual respect for each other,” said Auger of his former teammate and new coach. “When he got the head coaching job he called me and laid out what his vision was for the team. It didn’t take too long to make the decision that what he is building here is a really good thing, and something I want to be a part of.”
Auger truly broke out and showed his scoring prowess in that first season as a Komet, leading his team during the regular season with 28 goals and chipping in a team-high 10 markers in the playoffs to help bring home the CHL Championship. After losing nearly the entire next season to injury, Auger came back in a big way in 2013-2014, again leading the Komets (now a part of the ECHL) in scoring with 29 goals, good for 5th in the entire league.
“To be able to sign two forwards that have not only produced consistent top-end statistics, but have also both won league championships in the past few years, will have an immediate impact in helping us assemble a powerhouse offence here in Brampton,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “Auger scored 70 goals in his past two full seasons while Tifu, as Redding’s captain and leader in all respects, scored over 200 points during his three season in Redding, and well over 500 points in his ECHL career”.
Prior to turning pro, Auger spent four years playing NCAA College hockey with University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where the Belleville, Ontario native collected 52 points and 38 penalty minutes in 117 games with the River Hawks.
“Chris Auger is the type of player that can be effective in every situation,” said Chaulk. “From manning the point on the power play to killing penalties, he is a very dynamic player and knows what it takes to win a championship. Lastly both Auger and Tifu are good people, for Brampton that’s the most important part.”
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce that Guy LeBoeuf will be the first defenseman signed to the team for the 2015-2016 season.
Known for his imposing stature and physical style of play, Leboeuf will return to the Brampton blueline after suiting up for 34 games in a Beast jersey last year. After adding boxing to his workout regimen in South Florida this summer, the Bedford, Quebec native looks to be an even more dominant force on defense this year.
“When people look at stats, they see I’m not really a points guy,” said the 6’5” defenseman. “I want to continue what I was doing last year. I want to use my size to keep the puck out of our net by taking away time and space from the other teams’ top players and give our guys a chance to win.”
Weighing 215 pounds, LeBoeuf quickly shot up the Beast defensive depth chart, finding himself on the top shutdown pairing with Montreal Canadiens prospect Dalton Thrower.
“We’d like to see Guy in that [top defensive pairing] role again,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He’s is a strong skater and is great with getting his stick on the puck. That’s the way we want our defensemen to play.”
Prior to joining the beast, Leboeuf played 27 ECHL games, all last season, split between the Missouri Mavericks and South Carolina Stingrays, in addition to a 14 game stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He was invited to the Arizona Coyotes rookie camp prior to the start of the year, playing with Team Canada sensation and top-prospect Max Domi.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are pleased to announce the return of former Brampton Battalion captain and last year’s Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Thorne to the 2015-2016 Beast roster.
“Being a part of this organization in Brampton means a lot to me,” said Thorne. “Being close to home, being a minute away from my parents who are able to come and watch me play, it means everything. It’s great to be back and I couldn’t be more excited for October.”
Thorne will suit up for his second season as a member of the Beast after logging eight goals, 13 points and 123 penalty minutes for the team last year. The Mississauga native also took over the role of protecting his teammates on the ice by leading the Beast with 13 fighting majors in 61 games.
Prior to turning pro, Thorne played three seasons with the Brampton Battalion and was named team captain in 2010-11. His first professional season came the following year with the Fort Wayne Komets, where he helped win the Ray Miron’s Cup of the Central Hockey League alongside current Beast Head Coach (and then-Captain of the Komets) Colin Chaulk.
“Thorne is a guy that plays both ends of the rink, and does things the right way,” said Chaulk of the signing. “We played a season and a half together, and won a championship together. He can fight, he can chip the puck out, and overall he plays a role that is extremely important to the team’s success.”
“I just go out there and play my game. It’s who I am,” said Thorne. “I want to be a two-way player and put up a little bit more offense, but no matter what you’ll see me protecting my teammates. I want to help those guys as much as I can, whether it’s going out there and fighting, hitting a guy or blocking a shot, that’s my game and that’s what I’m going to bring every night.“
Catch Thorne around the Powerade Centre and out at our community events in the Peel region this summer! The organization looks forward to continuing to connect with their ever growing fan-base and beginning a successful third year this coming fall.
Brampton, ON – The Brampton Beast are thrilled to announce the return of rookie sensation Jeff Brown for the 2015-2016 ECHL season.
Brown, a Toronto native, will continue his career as a ‘Hometown Kid’ after making the jump to pro hockey with the Beast last February. Fresh from wrapping up his senior campaign with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (CIS), the young forward joined the Beast mid-season, and looked like anything but a rookie after notching five points in his first five games with the team.
“Jeff came in last year as the 10th forward and earned his way,” says Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He is a guy that does a little bit of everything and we expect him to challenge and push our top six forwards. He plays the right way; on the penalty kill, on special teams, and at the same time he can run a guy over. The biggest thing that stood out after watching game tape was his level of physicality and his willingness to compete, and those are valuable assets to our team.”
A force to be reckoned with at both ends of the ice, Brown instantly became a fan favourite with his soft hands and hard hits, playing every shift with a ferocious energy and bringing the Powerade Centre crowd to their feet again and again during his 21 games with the team.
“I think a big part of that early success comes from the way I play my game,” says Brown. “I want to by that gritty, hard-nosed player, the two-way guy that can use strength and skill around the net and put up some good numbers.”
This combination of determination, skill and drive are qualities that Team President and General Manager Cary Kaplan also has on his checklist this summer as he continues to assemble next season’s roster.
“In a very short period of time Jeff showed a tenacity and fearlessness in his game that we are really looking for,” says Kaplan, who discussed the importance of players like Brown, who truly appreciate playing the game they love at a high level in front of such passionate fans, during the tough nights that come with a long ECHL season.
Despite several offers to play professionally overseas, Brown chose to continue his development closer to home. The older brother of prospect Connor Brown, the Toronto Marlies leading scorer this past season, Jeff will spend the summer training at the MasterCard Centre with a number of Marlies and Maple Leafs players under the supervision of former Marlies trainer Bryan Marshall.
“I had a few offers over in Europe that I turned down,” says Brown. “Returning to the ECHL to play for the Beast was my first choice. It’s a great opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens becoming our new NHL affiliate, and having the chance to sit down with Chaulk was a big part of the decision to come back and sign. He has a smart hockey mind and I like the direction he is planning on taking the team, and I want to be a big part of that this season.”
Prior to making the jump to pro, the 6’1”, 200-pound winger spent four years playing Canadian Interuniversity Sport Hockey for the Varsity Blues, scoring at a clip of over a point-per-game with 40 goals, 46 assists and 86 points in 83 total contests. Brown truly found his groove with the Blues in his final season, where he notched 13 goals and 18 assists in 27 games while becoming an on and off-ice leader for the team.
During his junior career, Brown spent two and a half seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League before being traded to the Windsor Spitfires in his final year of eligibility. During his 182-game OHL career, Brown scored 51 goals and 58 assists to go along with 263 penalty minutes.
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce another familiar face, Scott Howes, will be returning to the roster for the 2015-2016 ECHL season.
Howes, the Beast franchise leader in points per game, and third overall in total goals scored, will once again suit up for the Brampton side this fall.
A pure goal scorer who spent last season tearing up the Danish Elite League, Howes has recorded 80 goals (141 points) in his last 103 professional games, a span going back three years to 2012-13 when he was a member of the Allen Americans.
“Scott was arguably the most productive player that has ever played for the Beast, scoring nearly a goal a game,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan of Howes’ 36 games with the Beast. “He also has a great history in winning an ECHL championship with Alaska. We are very excited that Scott will be returning to Brampton and will be vital to our winning culture.”
During the Alaska Aces run to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2011, Howes led his team in postseason scoring with 19 points in 12 games, earning the talented forward Playoff MVP honours.
“I’m really excited to be coming back to the Beast organization,” said Howes, who will be relocating to the GTA with his wife and newborn. ”We have such passionate fans, it’s a cool situation to be able to play at home at the professional level. Between that, coaching and management, it feels like they are going in the right direction. It’s going to be a great season.”
The 26 year old native of Toronto, ON played his junior hockey in the QMJHL where he accumulated 118 points in 113 regular season games and added 26 points in 19 post season matches. Invited to training camp by the Vancouver Canucks, Howes began his pro career with the Manitoba Moose (AHL) in 2008-09 and has put up strong numbers in both the ECHL and AHL.
In 2012-13 Howes joined the Allen Americans and lit up the Central Hockey League by tallying 1.59 points per game, scoring 20 goals in 20 game and finishing at a 0.95 goals per game rate, the highest goals per game of any player in the four professional hockey leagues in North America in the 2012-13’s regular season.
Catch Howes around the Powerade summer and out at our community events around the Peel region! The organization looks forward to continuing to connect with their growing fan-base and having a successful third year.