BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the St. John’s IceCaps and Montreal Canadiens, announce today that four players have been reassigned to the Beast from the Montreal Canadiens.
Forward Yannick Veilleux and defensemen Dalton Thrower, Justin Baker and Jeremie Blain have been reassigned to the Beast and are expected to be in the lineup as the club commences the 2016-17 ECHL season on the road this Saturday, October 15 against the Wheeling Nailers.
Veilleux joins the Beast organization having played last season with the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League. The 6’2” left-winger was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues. A native of St-Hippolyte, Quebec, he brings a wealth of experience to the Beast lineup.
Veilleux is a veteran of 148 AHL games and scored 19 goals and added 21 assists with 167 penalty minutes. He is coming off his most productive season in the AHL, scoring eight goals and adding 15 helpers last season. He has one ECHL season under his belt with the Kalamazoo Wings in 2013-14. He finished fifth in team scoring with 16 goals and 23 assists in 62 games played.
Beast fans will certainly remember Dalton Thrower. The hard-hitting defenseman from Squamish, British Columbia spent parts of the last two seasons with the Beast. In 2015-16, the 2012 second round selection of the Canadiens netted a goal and three assists in 29 games played. He made his AHL debut with the St. John’s IceCaps last season, appearing in nine contests and recording 24 penalty minutes.
Another familiar face among this list belongs to Jeremie Blain. The 6’3” rearguard split last season between the Beast and AHL’s Chicago Wolves. With Brampton, he appeared in 34 games and established himself as a stellar offensive defenseman, scoring two goals and setting up 22 more. As a member of the Wolves, Blain hit his stride, recording three goals in 16 games. The brother of Beast forward Luc-Olivier, Blain was a fourth round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2010.
Defenseman Justin Baker, who signed a contract with the Beast in September, has been returned to the club following successful training camps with both the Canadiens and the IceCaps.
The 6’2” defenseman started the 2015-16 season with the Allen Americans and put up impressive offensive numbers, including two goals and eight assists for 10 points in only 17 games played. He joined HK Nitra at the end of the 2015-16 season and notched two goals and two assists in seven regular season contests and added another goal and two assists in 17 playoff games, helping lead his squad to the Slovakian Extraliga championship.
Baker hit his stride in the professional ranks during the 2014-15 season with the Americans. Not only did he assemble impressive offensive numbers, including 10 goals and 29 assists in 70 games played, his strong two-way play earned him a place on the ECHL’s All-Rookie Team and eventually, a Kelly Cup title.
Beast General Manager Cary Kaplan is excited to see these high-end talents descend from within the Canadiens organization and believes that these players are exactly what the club needs to excel at the ECHL level.
“The Montreal Canadiens (NHL) continue to be a great partner for us in all respects,” Kaplan said. “As a testament to the strength of their drafting and scouting, the four players assigned to Brampton who are projected to be in our opening day lineup help make us competitive with the top teams in the ECHL. We expect a great season on the ice and can't wait for our Season Opener in Wheeling and Home Opener versus Toledo.”
Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk likes what he has seen and heard about his newest team members and is eager to get the season started.
“It really solidifies our defensive core and gives us a ton of depth,” Chaulk said. “You have to have depth because things can change extremely quickly in this league.”
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The Brampton Beast will be bringing their exciting brand of ECHL hockey back to the Powerade Centre this fall. Don’t miss a minute of the action! 2016-17 Memberships are now available, starting at $34.78 plus HST per month.
For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast, please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or email@example.com.