10/28/2015 11:22 AM
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the St. John’s IceCaps and Montreal Canadiens, is pleased to announce the signing of one of the best defensemen in Brampton Battalion history and experienced NHL skater Michael Vernace.
Vernace, 29, is a Toronto native who spent his entire Ontario Hockey League career playing for the Battalion from 2003-04 to 2005-06. He compiled impressive junior statistics for a blueliner, including 23 goals, 101 assists and 124 points in 138 games. In 2005-06, he recorded 62 assists, the most of all defensemen in the OHL that season. His 72 points in 2005-06 is the most ever recorded by a Battalion defenseman.
Vernace has immense professional experience and has suited up for 22 NHL games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche. He spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League and suited up for 438 career games for seven different AHL clubs and Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk hopes he can be a difference-maker on the Beast blue line.
“Mike is a defenseman with NHL experience. He spent most of his career in the American Hockey League,” Chaulk said. “He’s a solid puck-moving defenseman who was a standout for the Brampton Battalion years ago and we’re lucky for him to have filtered down to this level and we hope to have him as long as possible.”
Pither, Wise and Cann set to join the Beast
The Beast are also pleased to announce the additions of talented centre Luke Pither, former Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors winger and CIS standout Jamie Wise and former Beast goaltender Trevor Cann.
Pither, an Oshawa, Ontario native, had a fantastic four-year Ontario Hockey League career, culminating with an impressive 36-goal, 94-point campaign with the Barrie Colts in 2009-10.
As a professional, Pither has immense experience in North America and overseas and has played in the American Hockey League (Adirondack Phantoms, Charlotte Checkers), the ECHL (Trenton Titans, Wheeling Nailers) as well as in the SM-liiga in Finland and in Austria.
Wise hails from Stouffville, Ontario and attended Beast training camp earlier this season. He finished his junior career in 2011-12 with a bang, recording 31 goals and 48 points with the Majors and played in the 2011 Memorial Cup in Mississauga.
He recorded 21 goals in 26 games for the Ryerson Rams in the CIS in 2013-14 and was named to the CIS (OUA West) First All-Star Team.
Cann, a second round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2007, is no stranger to the Beast, having suited up for the club for 38 games last season, posting a 3.84 goals-against-average and a .902 save percentage.
This season, he has been with the Beast serving as an emergency backup for the last three games, but has now been signed to a standard player contract.
Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan is excited for the arrival of the newest members of the Beast and hopes their previous successes can spell success for the Beast.
“We are very excited for these four significant additions to the team,” Kaplan said. “Each one of them brings a tremendous track record. Mike Vernace was arguably the best defenseman to ever play for the Battalion. Trevor Cann was our number one goaltender last year. Jamie Wise had an exceptional CIS career at Ryerson and Luke Pither was a prolific OHL scorer and a point-per-game player in the ECHL.”
To make room for the new recruits, forward Yannick Tifu, who recorded his 500th ECHL point as a member of the Beast, has been traded to the Reading Royals for future considerations and defenseman Justin DaCosta has been released from his contract.
Check out the new-look Beast this weekend as the Toledo Walleye come to town for a pair of games on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7:15PM and on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2:00PM. Single game tickets are now available, starting at $16.25. Trial Packs for the 2015-16 season are also available starting at $39.99 that include three game tickets. For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.