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.”