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 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.”